Relational mechanisms governing multifaceted collaborative behavior of academic scientists in six fields of science and engineering

Yamini Jha, Eric W. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Norms of academic science and engineering are moving in the direction of broader applicability and transferability of knowledge beyond the borders of the university. In response, scientists are expected to engage in collaboration that includes both basic and applied collaborative activities. More specifically, the norms of science are beginning to change to allow for novel forms of collaboration that involve sharing of research ideas on multiple facets of collaborative work. This paper examines the extent to which multifaceted collaboration is attributable to relational aspects of individuals' networks. Specifically, we ask the question: what relational aspects of social capital determine multifaceted collaboration among scientists in six fields of science and engineering? Borrowing literature from social capital and science and technology (S&T) human capital, this paper develops a multi-level model of multifaceted collaboration and presents a set of testable hypotheses. Then using data from a national survey of men and women faculty in six fields, we analyze the multi-level data: relationship or dyad level (level 1) and ego level (level 2) with hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to predict multifaceted collaboration of academic scientists. Findings show that some relational characteristics explain multifaceted collaborative behavior as predicted, while others behave in unexpected ways. Conclusions place the findings in context for theory and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1184
Number of pages11
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Heterophily
  • Homophily
  • Multifaceted collaboration
  • Relational
  • Scientists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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