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Is the university model an organizational necessity? Scale and agglomeration effects in science

Brandt, Tasso and Schubert, Torben LU (2013) In Scientometrics 94(2). p.541-565
Abstract
In this paper we argue that the emergence of the dominant model of university organization, which is characterized by a large agglomeration of many (often loosely affiliated) small research groups, might have an economic explanation that relates to the features of the scientific production process. In particular, we argue that there are decreasing returns to scale on the level of the individual research groups, which prevent them from becoming to large, while we argue for positive agglomeration effects on the supra-research-group-level inside the university. As a consequence an efficient university organization would precisely consist of tying together many small individual research groups without merging them. Basing our empirical... (More)
In this paper we argue that the emergence of the dominant model of university organization, which is characterized by a large agglomeration of many (often loosely affiliated) small research groups, might have an economic explanation that relates to the features of the scientific production process. In particular, we argue that there are decreasing returns to scale on the level of the individual research groups, which prevent them from becoming to large, while we argue for positive agglomeration effects on the supra-research-group-level inside the university. As a consequence an efficient university organization would precisely consist of tying together many small individual research groups without merging them. Basing our empirical analysis on a multilevel dataset for German research institutes from four disciplines we are able to find strong support for the presence of these effects. This suggests that the emergence of the dominant model of university organization may also be the result of these particular features of the production process, where the least we can say is that this model is under the given circumstances highly efficient. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Agglomeration effects, Scientific production, Returns to scale, University organization, Efficiency
in
Scientometrics
volume
94
issue
2
pages
541 - 565
publisher
Akademiai Kiado
external identifiers
  • wos:000313711500006
  • scopus:84872498995
ISSN
1588-2861
DOI
10.1007/s11192-012-0834-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c1c86fb3-31c6-45df-b27e-78febd5602ef (old id 3470522)
date added to LUP
2013-02-25 08:24:58
date last changed
2019-08-07 02:45:57
@article{c1c86fb3-31c6-45df-b27e-78febd5602ef,
  abstract     = {In this paper we argue that the emergence of the dominant model of university organization, which is characterized by a large agglomeration of many (often loosely affiliated) small research groups, might have an economic explanation that relates to the features of the scientific production process. In particular, we argue that there are decreasing returns to scale on the level of the individual research groups, which prevent them from becoming to large, while we argue for positive agglomeration effects on the supra-research-group-level inside the university. As a consequence an efficient university organization would precisely consist of tying together many small individual research groups without merging them. Basing our empirical analysis on a multilevel dataset for German research institutes from four disciplines we are able to find strong support for the presence of these effects. This suggests that the emergence of the dominant model of university organization may also be the result of these particular features of the production process, where the least we can say is that this model is under the given circumstances highly efficient.},
  author       = {Brandt, Tasso and Schubert, Torben},
  issn         = {1588-2861},
  keyword      = {Agglomeration effects,Scientific production,Returns to scale,University organization,Efficiency},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {541--565},
  publisher    = {Akademiai Kiado},
  series       = {Scientometrics},
  title        = {Is the university model an organizational necessity? Scale and agglomeration effects in science},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11192-012-0834-2},
  volume       = {94},
  year         = {2013},
}