|Start Page Number:||223|
|End Page Number:||235|
|Publication Date:||Mar 2017|
|Authors:||Bobadilla Natalia, Gilbert Patrick|
|Keywords:||personnel & manpower planning, research, innovation, social, behaviour|
Practices for managing scientific and technical experts today require a critical re‐evaluation. This paper takes a sociological perspective (convention theory) to examine the tensions and conflicts that arise in the implementation of practices for managing knowledge workers. Drawing on six case studies of knowledge‐intensive organizations and participant observation, we elucidate three different coexisting logics – technical, market and managerial – that together create tensions. We go beyond the analysis of practices in R&D to unveil the nature of those tensions and to show how and under what circumstances arrangements are made between the different logics. Our study demonstrates that knowledge‐intensive organizations have relied on reward and dual ladder systems to solve the tensions between logics. Dual ladders often fail because they are the representation of the problem rather than the solution. We argue that the way for the issue of managing knowledge workers to evolve lies in the enrichment of arrangements, the deepening of compromises and logic hybridization. We discuss the implications of these findings for R&D management practices.