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Researchers strategies: Parallel or Sequential working style


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper




There are different styles among researchers in their activities to apply for funds and to perform research project. Our observation has been that you can see at least two radically different styles. Some researchers have a style of acting that we would call a parallel or even an entrepreneurial style. That means that you apply for new projects even if the portfolio is full, and although there are no current resources to perform the project. If a new project is granted, the resources are also recruited. The consequence is that the environment has to grow both by recruitment and by promotion of juniors. The application work will have to be industrialized, and also calls for several support structures. On the opposite a sequential style means to apply for a new project only when another runs into its end. This attitude will be conservative and just allow for a small expansion of the working environment. Partly it may relate to the ‘ivory tower’ and ‘strategic research’ (Kurek et al 2007), but in this study we just address the “habit” of applying for external research projects and contributing to a growing research environment. We would like to propose a study where we correlate the number of applications and granted proposals from individual researchers, with usual key figures for a research environment, such as publications, citations and awarded PhDs. If a certain researcher applies a parallel or a sequential style, how will he or she perform in terms of recruitment and supervision of PhD students, writing papers and getting citations? We would also like to correlate the appearance of these different styles in different environment, to trace where they appear. In our close proximity, we notice for example that a parallel style or even strategy is apparent in some environments, but lacking in others. Is that distribution just random or systematically? What does it look like at other universities? How many individuals are needed or sufficient to influence an environment? The expected outcome is to settle that these characters actually exists, the two styles. And if they do, to find which factors will be beneficial for the development of a more entrepreneurial style, a parallel style. And also how environments dominated by this kind of researchers develop especially in relation to environment with the other style.


author = {Gunnar Widforss and Malin Rosqvist},
title = {Researchers strategies: Parallel or Sequential working style},
month = {June},
year = {2016},
booktitle = {22nd EARMA Annual Conference 2016 NEW HORIZONS IN RESEARCH MANAGEMENT},
url = {}