This paper explores the nature of relationships between individual endowments, efforts, rewards and institutions toward explaining the generation of path-breaking discoveries in academics. Individual endowments are explicitly modeled as the capability to do lateral and vertical thinking which lead to knowledge generation, funding and also influence the chances of making breakthroughs in research. Our findings highlight the role of optimal combination of individual effort within the institutional constraints in order to maximize the chances of success. Under certain situations higher efforts do not necessarily lead to higher chances of making breakthroughs. When individual endowments can be augmented through institutional reward mechanisms, individual or institutional shortcomings can be overcome through optimal timing and placement of efforts. The paper also seeks to explain why researchers may be reluctant to explore new lines of inquiry and often pursue research that has negligible impact on societal improvements.
- Academic Research Productivity,
- Path-Breaking Research,
- Lateral and Vertical
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sorada_tapsuwan/1/