Basic Motives Behind Academic And Industrial Science

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Basic Motives Behind Academic and Industrial Science and the Differences in Their Practice

Zahra Hussaini
Griffith University

Academic and industrial science are organisations in which research and development (R&D) is carried out, albeit with different motives and practices. The purpose of this paper is to compare the key drives, or basic motives, behind the types of science and explain how they relate to the differences in their practice. Academic science, in simple terms, entails carrying out science in universities and similar organisations (Bridgstock, 1998) driven by basic research, publication and freedom. Industrial science, however, generally involves businesses driven by applied research, secrecy, and …show more content…

It dictates the survival of their academic career, and those who do not meet the demands of this system are marginalised by peers and institutions (Kilonzo & Magak, 2013). Industrial R&D, however, has its ultimate goal the improvement of the industry’s economic position (Bridgstock, 1998). Hence, the “ideal type” industrial science focuses on applied research (Sauermann & Stephan, 2013), which involves solving practical problems desirable in the market (Aghion, Dewatripont & Stein, 2008). As such, industrial scientists are discouraged to publish their results since no corporation wishes to reveal a potentially significant discovery to its competitors (Bridgstock, 1998). Thus, secrecy appears to be heavily relied upon across most industries (Cohen, Nelson & Walsh, 2000). Therefore, academic and industrial science differ with respect to the nature of research and publishing.
Another key driver of academic science is freedom in research whereas industrial scientists’ decisions are largely dictated by managers of the firm. Because of their research mission, academics are allowed to decide on how and what tasks to undertake based on their intrinsic interest (Aghion, Dewatripont & Stein, 2008). By contrast, the processes in industrial science are under management’s control (Bridgstock, 1998) where there is an emphasis on knowledge that contributes to the existing firm assets and increases profit, hence restraining researchers’ choice of projects (Aghion, Dewatripont

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