Envisioning a national infrastructure for science – academic entrepreneurship in 1890s–1950s Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionManagement & Organizational History. 2017, . 10.1080/17449359.2017.1356233
This paper investigates the importance of entrepreneurship in the establishment of institutions for scientific research in Norway from the late nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth century. By rethinking the historical development of three forms of institutionalization of scientific research – the science academy with its private funds; the central research institute; and the research council – this paper provides insights into how the entrepreneurial process worked to identify future opportunities, gather resources and legitimize ventures for the organization of science in Norway. The paper pays special attention to the role of a select group of scientists, and their inter-generational transfer of knowledge. At the same time, the paper argues for academic entrepreneurship as an inherently collective endeavor, involving also state representatives and industrialists. The methodology of the long-term historical narrative allows for highlighting the specificity of the Norwegian development, while acknowledging the importance of the shifting contexts of entrepreneurial action in a period marked by two world wars and economic crises.