Chapter

Public Research Systems, Career Structures, and the Commercialization of Academic Science in Different Capitalisms*

Steven Casper

in Capitalisms and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199694761
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694761.003.0011
Public Research Systems, Career Structures, and the Commercialization of Academic Science in Different Capitalisms*

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In recent decades governments have initiated a range of policies to encourage universities to commercialize research results. This chapter focuses on academic scientists as the key drivers behind the commercialization of research, and argues that commercialization activities are primarily conditioned by organizational incentives and constrained structured by national research systems. The chapter explores how involvement in commercialization activities can be used to improve the competitiveness of scientific laboratories to varying degrees within different national research systems, and thus to contribute to our understanding of the continuing contrasts in patterns of research commercialization between differently organized public science systems. The analysis pays particular attention to labour market dynamics within different research systems, exploring at a micro-level how national research system institutions affect patterns of competition at the laboratory level within the United States and Germany. To provide empirical support for key claims, the chapter also presents short empirical case studies of the organization of labour markets within the cell biology field in the United States, and labour market ties between academic labs and spin-offs in Germany.

Keywords: public research systems; commercialization; university–industry relationships; labour markets; institutional analysis; Germany; United States; biotechnology

Chapter.  12756 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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