Imperial College London


Business School

Vice-Dean (Research and Faculty) for the Business School



+44 (0)20 7594 1955m.perkmann Website CV




288Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Issues in Public science  

Science is a system with its own norms and rules, labour markets and funding structures. As a source of knowledge and innovation, and key influencer, it also plays important roles for economies and societies.

My research explores how science interfaces with the economy and wider society. An important aspect of this interface is how individual academics engage with stakeholders external to science - I refer to this as academic engagement (see for a review).

Accross various projects, some of the questions I address are:

  • What are the consequences of collaborating with industry for scientists' reputation within science? (read).
  • What are the consequences of academic engagement on the quality and direction of science? (read)
  • What are the implications of university-wide commercialization strategies for academics' identification with their university?

In order to address these questions, my co-authors and I have been studying various contexts. For instance, we have developed a rich longitudinal dataset about 12,000 scientists at Imperial College London covering the time period between 2002 and 2017 (more info here). We have also used data on the national scientific qualification in Italy, involving ten thousands of scientists seeking accreditation for being employable at Italy's universities. 

For more information about research on this topic at Imperial, click here.  

Open Data Partnerships

Firms in the pharmaceutical industry have started to use 'open data' initiatives that make all data and research results openly available with no restriction. How can firms appropriate the benefits from such collaboration? In this study, we explore how firms structure their partnerships with universities in a way that allows to reap benefits even though no intellectual property (e.g. patents) is involved. 

One way to manage this is to create a ‘go-between’ organisation situated between the university and the company, which mediates between the interests of academia and business, respectively. See here for an output from this project. 

University-Industry Centres

Many universities have established centres that pursue both open science and industry-funded applied research. This project explores the opportunities and challenges arising in these mixed-purpose organizations, and seeks to identify the organizational structures and procedures that allow for ambidextrous success. See here for an article published in Organization Science on this topic.

I also have an ongoing interest in how organizations are shaped by their environment. My research has explored how 'management fashions' influence the practices within organizations, and how they adopt certain organizational forms. My work on 'institutional entrepreneurship' has investigated how new practices are created, and spread within and across sectors. Finally, in a previous period (my doctoral work) I studied regional economies, regional innovation and competitiveness, and cross-border regions (see here).