Public science, private science: The causes and consequences of patenting by Research One universities
AuthorOwen-Smith, Jason David
AdvisorPowell, Walter W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDrawing on pooled cross-section time series data and fieldwork based comparative case studies, this dissertation examines the causes and consequences of increased patenting by Research One universities. Academic patenting has increased dramatically in the last two decades, indicating a growing concern with commercial and economic outcomes for university research. Patents are characteristic of private, for profit, science. As such, they differ in consequential ways from publications, the characteristic output of public, or academic, science. Both public and private science are stratified by accumulative advantage mechanisms. Drawing on an 18 year pooled cross-section simultaneous equation model, this dissertation demonstrates that patenting activity and scientific reputation have become increasingly linked in the last fifteen years. The dramatic increase in academic patenting and the concentration of commercial success among a handful of universities can both be explained by changes in the relationship between public and private science over time. Not all universities have benefited equally from the increasingly linkages between commercial and academic science. Drawing on fieldwork conducted at two university campuses, this dissertation argues that a university's ability to capitalize on global changes in the relationship between public and private science depends on its research capacity, technology transfer infrastructure, and institutional ability to support the simultaneous pursuit of patenting and publishing. This combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies enables analysis of university patenting trends across time and at multiple levels. Field level changes in the relationship between commercial and academic science shape an are shaped by organizational adaptations to new ambiguities created by importing private science to the university context. Within the organizations individual activities and possibilities for action are structured by the changing organizational and institutional environments that have resulted from increased research commercialization.
Degree ProgramGraduate College