Exploring Organizational Design for Openness and Collaboration in Scientific Organizations

Susanne Beck, Marcel LaFlamme, Robin Brehm, Marion Poetz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Academic scientists are increasingly expected to conduct their research in an open and collaborative manner, crossing disciplinary, organizational, and even sectoral boundaries to increase productivity and impact. At the same time, scientific research organizations such as universities or research institutes are facing a progressive trend towards managerialism, increasingly enmeshing organizational priorities with individual researchers' agendas and workflows. This raises the question of how and to what extent scientific organizations can facilitate or block researchers from engaging in open and collaborative research practices. We investigate this question from an organizational design perspective and explore two in-depth case studies of scientific organizations with a total of 63 interviews, 4,129 pages of secondary material, and field observations. Our analysis identifies 30 factors, grouped into seven clusters (strategy, leadership, processes, structure, infrastructure, people, and culture), which facilitate or block researchers engaging in open and collaborative practices. Subsequently, we reflect on these results against the backdrop of three contingencies resulting from the particularities of the science system: the scientific field, the open or collaborative practice applied, and the intensity of organizational influence exerted on researchers within the organization. Our findings contribute to the literature on the organization of science and hold meaningful implications for research policy as well as for managers of scientific organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventDRUID21 Conference - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 18 Oct 202120 Oct 2021
Conference number: 42


ConferenceDRUID21 Conference
LocationCopenhagen Business School
Internet address


  • Organizational design
  • Organization of science
  • Open innovation in science (OIS)
  • Managerialism
  • Scientific organization
  • Scientific research collaboration

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