Andrés Bernasconi at Chile's Universidad Andrés Bello says in Inside Higher Ed there are several ways in which most academics differ from the business executives they must often imitate "at times of increasing entrepreneurialism in universities." Though he acknowledges that "some academics are … shrewd business persons when it comes to profitably linking their research or consulting work to the needs of industry," most are less inclined to participate in such partnerships for several reasons. The primary reason being the stark differences in the "sources of professional recognition, the targets of their work efforts, their relationships with competing organizations, and the degree of homogeneity of [tasks] across organizations" between academia and industry, he says. Industry staff are recognized for their direct contributions to a firm's bottom line, while universities tend to measure their employees' success based on prestige, he adds. Overall, Bernasconi says, these and other distinguishing features "tend to define the research professor as an outward-oriented person, with a sphere of interest and influence beyond the place of employment, while generally business managers focus instead on the inside of their companies for professional fulfillment and advancement."
Apples and Oranges
Mar 16, 2011