Abandoning the Research Bench: Individual, organizational, and environmental accounts

Yehouda A. Shenhav*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sociological studies in R&D sites have explained the transition of researchers to administration using individual and/or intraorganizational perspectives. The phenomenon has been attributed to age, obsolescence, different socialization processes, and the conflict between professional researchers and the bureaucratic features of nonacademic organizations. This article reviews the individual and the structural level explanations of the phenomenon, and suggests an additional set of environmental accounts that consider the funding process. The hypothesis that the actual time devoted to research is influenced by these environmental factors is empirically tested in the context of the Israeli R&D endeavor. The results indicate that some administrative tasks are an integral part of research work, and imply that research and administration are not mutually exclusive activities but, rather, may be different functions of the same career pattern for nonacademic researchers. The article also suggests that the dual career ladder, a widely accepted organizational solution, is not a satisfactory remedy for researchers vulnerable to environmental pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-23
Number of pages19
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1988


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