Does The Social Organisation Of The Economic Discipline Influence The Content Of Economic ScienceNatalie Singh Economic Methodology S1013380Friday, December 12, 20181 The stereotypical view of science, the belief that a scientific discovery is made by a brilliant individual alone is still deeply ingrained outside the scientific community.
The anecdotal story about newtons discovery of the general law of gravity, the apple tree story, is a prime example of the stereotypical belief. Newton’s story illustrates well the belief according to which scientific discoveries ultimately come down to an individual researcher and his or her object of research, therefore little emphasis is placed on the role of the scientific community. Science, and in particular the content of economic science, underlies many influences stemming from the organisation of knowledge, which involves the interaction among fellow researchers and also the exchange between research institutions. The creation of knowledge, and therefore the content of the economic discipline, is the result of implicit social rules which organise the production of knowledge, some of which will be discussed in this essay.The first part of this essay points out the magnitude of the social organisation of the economic discipline and problem of knowledge production and dissemination.The second part is concerned with theoretical assumptions which deal with the solution of the problems raised in the first section and for some part introduces sone theoretical background about related to the social aspect of knowledge production.The financial crisis in 2008 has precipitated distrust in the practice and problem-solving abilities of economic science.
This is important to remember as a problem of social order as the scientific community as practitioners of economic science are concerned. Moreover researchers with respect to their profession as economists are criticised for the way they approach economic problems; their accordingly narrow view of the problem prevents them from actually solving the problem (Colander et al. 2009)1 The existing modalities of economic science are often referred to as the paradigm of the economic discipline. The existing paradigm serves to solve the puzzles of the scientific discipline . However if the puzzle cannot be solved with the existing approaches the science enters the phase of a crisis(Kuhn, 1962). However it takes the realisation of the scientific community to recognise that a problem within the field has emerged. The reevaluation of the existing scientific approaches, or paradigm, have come about through interactions among researchers and also ultimately through the decisions that this problem should be addressed publicly. However addressing this problem is often possible through well-known researchers in the discipline.
The reputation a of a scientist often determines whether a problem is recognised as such within a discipline, therefore a good reputation determines whether a scientist will gain attention without regard for his or her discovery (Merton, 1968). Moreover the decision to accept that there is an underlying problem is often undesired as the researchers fear that their individual reputation may suffer as consequence if the problem, or anomaly, pointed out may turn out not to be one (Ebersole et al. 2016). Economic science, and science in general, is not only concerned with generating knowledge and producing effective results but also with the dissemination of the produced results and current research questions. The dissemination of research results ultimately relies on the approval of the respective department of a research institution. So if a new research problem is raised and the individual researcher decides to address the problem in research paper it is within the discretion of the research department and finally the publisher to publish it.
Junior researchers are under constant scrutiny when it comes to the content of their research papers; in order to get an approval for the publication of their papers they often have to meet the expectation of the superiors in their department. Also to get articles published in top scientific journals it is not advised to include results which were critical. This was suggested by a researcher to phd students who reported to her (Rosser et al. 2010).1 The first paragraph dealt with the magnitude of the social organisation of the economic discipline.
This sections deals for some part with the theoretical background of the social organisation of the economics discipline and for some part with solutions which stem from the self- interested behaviour of individuals within the scientific community.The realisation that efficient research results generated with the economic discipline are to large extent motivated by the self-interested behaviour of economic scientists came down to a recent development. This approach, to look at economist as individuals merely interested in enhancing their academic reputation and to look at economists embedded in a complex of social relations, constitutes the economics of scientific knowledge. This approach is often referred to as ESK(Davis & Boumans, 2016). Prior to the view of the individual researcher as an economic agent.
The sociology of science preceded the idea of economics of scientific knowledge, or in short ESK. The sociology of science applied as opposed to the economic of scientific knowledge the knowledge of social science to social organisation of knowledge and also in general the behaviour of the individual scientists(Barnes & Barry, 1974). So in contrast to ESK this approach involves the analysis of science and behaviour involved from the perspective of sociology.Dasgupta and Merton (1994) have come up with an ideal organisation of knowledge: Open source knowledge.
It is suggested to make knowledge publicly available and accessible without costs incurred to ensure that scientific knowledge cannot be withheld for the own gain of the researcher. Behaviour motivated by self-interest is less likely to occur if the source of this behaviour, which is scientific knowledge, is made publicly available. The social organisation involves a hierarchical system. The researcher with the best solutions within a a team of reachers receives rewards in the form of acknowledgements from fellow researchers. The reward structure governing the achievements are rather contra productiveThe reward structure bears some problems as the scientists will be more concerned about who is the most deserving of the acknowledgements within1 the team.
So the scientists is less likely to focus on research and instead is preoccupied by the though of who is deserving the reward. The pursuit for recognition is also very often motivated by the prospective of monetary reward (Merton 1973; Gaston 1970; Cole 1978)ConclusionsThe idea that knowledge is rather a construct of objective and partial behaviour is a flawed assumption. It takes the social and also often the historical context to understand how knowledge is ultimately produced and then published in scientific papers. This could be best illustrated by the questions which have arisen during the financial crisis in 2008, which constitute a historical and as well social context.
This occasion has led to a reevaluation of the existing theories in the discipline of economic science. Furthermore the scientific community has reconsidered its existing paradigm. The socially influenced organisational issues within scientific institutions were also addressed since then.
e realisation that efficient research results generated with the economic discipline are to large extent motivated by the self-interested behaviour of economic scientists came down to a recent development. This approach, to look at economist as individuals merely interested in enhancing their academic reputation and to look at economists embedded in a complex of social relations, constitutes the economics of scientific knowledge. This approach is often referred to as ESK(Davis & Bou.
Prl reseasociology of science applied as opposed to the economic of scientific knowledge the knowledge of social science to social organisation of knowledge and also in general the behaviour of the individual scientists(Barnes & Barry, 1974). So in contrast to ESK this approach involves the analysis of science and behaviour involved from the perspective of sociology.1 994) have come up with an ideal organisation of knowledge: Open source knowledge. It is suggested to make knowledge publicly available and accessible without costs incurred to ensure that scientific knowledge cannot be withheld for the own gain of the researcher.ReferencesBarry Barnes, Scientific Knowledge and Sociological Theory (London and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974)Colander, D., Goldberg, M.
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