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ERIC Number: EJ1141107
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1560
Fief and Benefice Feudalism. Two Types of Academic Autonomy in US Chemistry
Wieczorek, Oliver; Beyer, Stephanie; Münch, Richard
Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research, v73 n6 p887-907 Jun 2017
In this article, we apply Max Weber's ideal types of fief and benefice feudalism to elite and non-elite chemistry departments in the USA. We develop a theoretical analogy of academic feudalism in regard to three dimensions: power relations, engagement with companies, and the impact of structural changes on the autonomy of scholars. We use a mixed methods approach to track changes in productivity and industrial collaboration on a departmental level and the researcher's understanding of research autonomy on the individual level. On the departmental level, our findings suggest that scholars located at elite departments are able to utilize federal and industrial resources to increase publications over time. On the individual level, we establish that researchers in both segments perceive their autonomy as being very high, whereas practical autonomy differs according to department. While scholars at elite departments remain relatively autonomous in practice, scholars at non-elite departments often tend to tailor their research to specific requirements to receive funding.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A