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Scientific misconduct at an elite medical institute: The role of competing institutional logics and fragmented control
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (PIE)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4233-5138
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (Emerging Economies)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3863-1073
2019 (English)In: Research Policy, ISSN 0048-7333, E-ISSN 1873-7625, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 428-443Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The incidence of revealed fraud and dishonesty in academia is on the rise, and so is the number of studies seeking to explain scientific misconduct. This paper builds on the concepts of competing logics and institutional fields to analyze a serious case of medical and scientific misconduct at a leading research institute, Karolinska in Sweden, home to the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

By distinguishing between a market-oriented, a medical and an academic logic, the study analyzes how various actors − executives, research leaders, co-authors, journal editors, medical doctors, science bloggers, investigative journalists and documentary filmmakers − sustained or tried to expose the misconduct. Despite repeated warnings from patient-responsible doctors and external academic reviewers, Karolinska protected the surgeon, Paolo Macchiarini, until a documentary film at the Swedish national public TV exposed the fraud which led to public inquiries and proposals for a new national ethics legislation.

The analysis illustrates the power of a market-oriented logic focused on brand and image at the research institute and at a leading journal, but also the perseverance of the logics of scientific scrutiny and medical care among practicing doctors and independent academics although the carriers of these logics were less well organized than the carriers of the market-oriented logic. Furthermore, the analysis shows the problem of fragmented control in the academic institutional field. The discussion of remedies compares the Karolinska case, where media actors were instrumental in sanctioning the perpetrators, with a similar instance of medical misconduct at Duke in the US where the government agency (ORI) intervened and shows the limitations of both types of actors. The conclusion highlights the importance of studying misconduct management and institution-building in different fields to develop effective remedies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 48, no 2, p. 428-443
Keywords [en]
Institutional logics; Institutional actors; Scientific misconduct; Retraction; Academic dishonesty; Fragmented control
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-148707DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.03.020ISI: 000456638400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-148707DiVA, id: diva2:1219695
Projects
NOAvailable from: 2018-06-17 Created: 2018-06-17 Last updated: 2019-02-20

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The full text will be freely available from 2021-04-18 13:03
Available from 2021-04-18 13:03

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Berggren, ChristianKarabag, Solmaz Filiz
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