Negotiating knowledge: the role of network hedging in the production of high-impact science outputs

13/06/2022 to 15/06/2022
Diverse networks rich in structural holes are widely believed to facilitate the production of high-impact science outputs. Yet research on network structure and composition do not explicitly consider how scientists can best utilize their connections. In this study, we seek to unpack variation in how individuals everage the opportunities afforded by their network. We argue that network hedging Æ consulting multiple individuals for the same resource need Æ rather than network compartmentalization Æ turning to different network contacts for different resource needs Æ helps scientists produce greater scientific impact. Analyzing granular data on the network mobilization decisions and scientific outputs of 841 biomedical scientists, we find support for our prediction that network hedging is positively associated with the production of high-impact scientific output, and that this effect is manifest above and beyond the benefits of having more diverse networks.
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Adrián A Díaz-Faes, Pablo D'Este, Anne Ter Wal