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Comparison of Network Characteristics of Foreign & Native Academic Scientist in STEM fields Kamna Lal Wan-Ling Huang Eric W. Welch Prepared for presentation at ST&E Policy Lab Symposium March 17-18 th 2009, CUPPA-UIC, Chicago Research questions

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Comparison of network characteristics of foreign native academic scientist in stem fields l.jpg

Comparison of Network Characteristics of Foreign & Native Academic Scientist in STEM fields

Kamna Lal

Wan-Ling Huang

Eric W. Welch

Prepared for presentation at ST&E Policy Lab Symposium

March 17-18th 2009, CUPPA-UIC, Chicago


Research questions l.jpg
Research questions Academic Scientist in STEM fields

  • Do native scientist and foreign born scientists differ in their network structure and characteristics of network relationship?

  • Do scientist of different nationality vary in their network structure and characteristics of network relationship?


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Framework Academic Scientist in STEM fields


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Culture-Value Framework (Hofstede, 1980) Academic Scientist in STEM fields

culture differential can explain workplace behaviors, attitudes and other organizational outcomes

Proposition: Foreign born and native scientist develop their network structure and network relationships differently due to culture differences

Theoretical Justification


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Hypotheses (1) Academic Scientist in STEM fields

  • Collaborative/advice/talk network size

    H1:The native scientists have a larger network than the foreign born scientists

    (Melin, 2004; DiTomaso; Ibarra, 1995; Farris, & Cordero, 1993 )

  • Extent of external collaboration

    H2: There is a difference between native scientists and foreign born scientists in the propensity for external collaboration

    (Krackhardt & Stern,1988; Lee, 2004; Bozeman & Corley, 2004)


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Hypotheses (2) Academic Scientist in STEM fields

  • Density of collaborative/advice/talk network

    H3: Foreign born scientists have a denser network than native scientists.

    (Burt, 1992, 2004; Tanyildiz, 2008 )

  • Closeness

    H4: The closeness ties are more and frequent in case of foreign nationals.

    (Alder, 1997; Trompenaars, 1998)


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Hypotheses (3) Academic Scientist in STEM fields

  • Extent of collaboration with senior

    H5: Foreign born scientists have larger proportion of senior collaborators in their network (Fox & Faver, 1984 )

  • Peer Tie

    H6: Foreign born scientists have smaller proportion of peer collaborators in their network (Hafernik et al., 1997; Katz & Martin, 1997; Melin, 2000)

  • Country differential

    H7: Foreign born scientists from countries with similar culture and language as U.S. will have a similar network structure and relationship pattern as native scientists, vice versa (Carliner, 2000; Alder, 1997; Espenshade & Fu, 1997; Trompenaars, 1998)


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Measures Academic Scientist in STEM fields

  • Grouping Independent Variables (self reported)

    • Native Born v.s. Foreign Born

    • Country Groups 1=U.S. and Canada; 2=China and Taiwan; 3=India; 4=Europe; 5=Eastern Europe; 6=All else

  • Dependent Variables

    • Collaborative/advice/talk network size: Sum of names generated

    • Extent of external collaboration: E-I index = (ECL – ICL) / (ECL + ICL).

    • Density of network: 2 *(N of connected ties) / (N)(N-1).

    • Closeness: Number of generated names perceived as close friends by a respondent/ total number of names generated

    • Extent of collaborating with senior: Senior and Junior Index = (SCL – JCL) / (SCL + JCL)

    • Peer tie


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Method Academic Scientist in STEM fields

  • Comparison of two group means- ANOVA

  • Post Hoc tests

    • Tukey’s HSD-assumption of homogeneity of variance held

    • Games-Howell - homogeneity of variance violated

    • N=1601


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Results-Group Comparisons Academic Scientist in STEM fieldsANOVA

  • Native and Foreign born scientist significantly differ in all dimensions of network structure and network relationship, except the extent of external collaboration (ns)

    • Native scientists have a higher mean value than foreign born scientists for most variables

    • Foreign born has higher mean value for E-I Index

    • Unexpected collaboration density result for foreign born

    • S-J Index values of foreign born higher than native born


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Results-Country Comparisons Academic Scientist in STEM fieldsANOVA

  • Scientists from countries with same culture have similar values for their network structure and characteristics of network relationship except the extent of external collaboration and density of talk network

    • Mean value for U.S./Canada, Eastern Europe and Europe similar for network size, collaboration density

    • India shows similarity with U.S/Canada in size of total collaborative network, advice & talk network

    • China has lowest values for peer ties, talk sum, talk density and collaboration density


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Results- Academic Scientist in STEM fieldsPosthoc for nationality

  • U.S/Canada and European country groups appear to be similar in network structure and network relationship

  • China/Taiwan have smaller talk size than India and Europe

    Language Explanation: India-post colonial country*

  • Scientists from China/Taiwan and Eastern Europe are more likely to collaborate with senior academics

  • Scientists from China/Taiwan are less likely to collaborate with peer colleagues than Europe and Eastern Europe


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Conclusion Academic Scientist in STEM fields

  • The results generally support our hypotheses

    • Native and Foreign born scientists differ in their network structure and characteristics of network relationship

    • Language is an important factor explaining network size and characteristics


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Questions & Comments Academic Scientist in STEM fields


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