The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 290–328 | Cite as

Network and perceptual determinants of satisfaction among science and engineering faculty in US research universities

  • Eric W. Welch
  • Yamini Jha


This study examines how personal research collaboration and advice networks of academic faculty in six fields of science and engineering affect three kinds of satisfaction: satisfaction with rewards; satisfaction with reputation of department and institution; and satisfaction with professional recognition and visibility of research. The study includes determinants found in the literature such as perceived influence on departmental decisions, departmental provision of resources, and perceptions of time spent on service and other controls. Using data collected from a national survey of academic faculty in six fields of science and engineering in Carnegie designated Research I universities, regression models test literature derived hypotheses. Findings show that the effects of network structure and resources on satisfaction depend on the kind of satisfaction studied. Non-network variables demonstrate associations with satisfaction that are generally expected from the literature. The paper provides evidence of the critical role that personal research collaboration and advice networks play for scientists’ satisfaction. It also raises important questions about the complex relationships between network structures and resources, and satisfaction. Conclusions present implications for university and departmental administrators.


Collaboration network Advice network Science and engineering Satisfaction 

JEL Classification

Z13 Z18 



The data analyzed in this article were collected as part of an NSF funded study entitled “Women in Science and Engineering: Network Access, Participation, and Career Outcomes,” (Grant #REC-0529642).


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies (CSTEPS), School of Public AffairsPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.UNH ADVANCEThe University of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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