Incentives to academic commercialisation activity and mixed signals about identity in researchers’ perceptions of utility

Share/Save/Bookmark

Yencken, John (2006) Incentives to academic commercialisation activity and mixed signals about identity in researchers’ perceptions of utility. In: The 14th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference : May 11-13, 2006 + May 10, 2006 Doctoral Workshop, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands., 10 May 2006 - 13 May 2006, Enschede, The Netherlands .

[img] PDF
127kB
Event: The 14th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference : May 11-13, 2006 + May 10, 2006 Doctoral Workshop, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands., 10 May 2006 - 13 May 2006, Enschede, The Netherlands
Abstract:Akerlof and Kranton have analysed for a number of people and situations ‘their motivations in terms of the identities of members of the organization, where workers lose or gain utility insofar as their behaviour matches the ideal for their social identity’. They have proposed a utility function that incorporates ‘identity as a motivation for behavior’. They have postulated identity as being based on social categories. Their utility function provides both for each person to assign people to these categories with each person having a conception of their own and of other people’s categories. They then add the concept of prescriptions (recognizing that other scholars may have tended to call these norms) that indicate the behaviour appropriate for people in different social categories in different situations. They use the word identity ‘to describe both a person’s self image as well as her assigned categories’ This paper has drawn on data collected during a consultancy involving the author for the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training. This study explored incentives and disincentives to academic researchers to commercialise their research outcomes and their impact on university research commercialisation performance. This consultancy identified confused signals about identity as important disincentives. Such confusion has derived from a number of issues, including lack of effective recognition of commercialisation activity in reward and promotion systems and lack of time available to younger academics after fulfilling their teaching, publication and administrative responsibilities. The study also found that in publicly funded universities financial incentives, such as access to a share of royalties, were classic Herzberg hygiene factors. Royalty sharing had to be available but increasing the royalty share was unlikely to affect commercialisation performance. The present paper has explored the relevance of Akerlof and Kranton’s concept of identity as a tool to analyse the motivation of academic researchers to commercialise their research outcomes. It has sought to analyse how the motivation of a researcher to divert time and mental effort to commercialisation activities related to each individual’s conception of their own and each other’s categories (in the Akerlof and Karnton terminology), having regard to their institutional environment and the prescriptions that are seen by the researchers and by others in their environments to determine appropriate behaviour. The first objective has been been to achieve improved understanding of incentives and disincentives motivating or demotivating academic researchers to commercialise their research outcomes. The analysis, was a secondary objective, has sought to evaluate the likely impact on commercialisation motivation of the implementation of Research Quality Frameworks (RQF) as the methodology for determining access to research funding by Australian universities. The RQF proposal is being designed to take into account the impact of research as well as its quality based on quality of publications. However, it concludes that the implementation of RQF in Australia is likely to seriously weaken the motivation of academic researchers (under increased pressure from university research managers on research quality related effort) to devote effort to commercialization unless new incentives and related initiatives are introduced. Finally, the research has been designed to answer the question raised by Akerlof and Kranton: ‘If monetary incentives do not work, what does?’
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Commercialisation, incentives, identity, research, utility
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/proceedings/131
Organisation URL:http://www.utwente.nl/bms/nikos/
Export this item as:BibTeX
EndNote
HTML Citation
Reference Manager

 

Repository Staff Only: item control page