The behavioral and institutional determinants of public value knowledge outcomes in conservation science

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Conservation scientists acknowledge the importance of partnering with stakeholders in business, government, and non-governmental organizations to manage biodiversity. This research seeks to identify factors that increase the public value outcomes from these partnerships, which represent a form of knowledge transfer that advances scientific contributions to society. By identifying the individual behaviors and institutional designs that foster higher public value outcomes, this project advances understanding of how publicly supported science can be directed to optimize public benefits and social significance, building a foundation for advancing public value outcomes in other fields of science. The findings translate research into practice through connections with the practitioner communities and by sharing findings on effective partnership strategies. The project creates general guidelines and indicators to assist with knowledge partnership design and new models for institutional partnerships that cultivate practical outcomes in sustainability.

Public value theory is a conceptual framework that has been examined empirically in science and technology cases. Much of this research has focused on developing typologies of public value failures and characterizing instances according to these typologies. This project extends this line of research by recognizing public value outcomes in biodiversity research as a product of both individual behaviors and institutional arrangements, moving towards establishing a causal basis for public value outcomes in a single, specific domain of scientific research. Using field study methods including semi-structured interviews, this project examines the behaviors and attitudes of biodiversity researchers relative to scientific productivity. The project examines how networks of researchers, including those from universities, government, and think tanks work together in affecting different types of scientific outcomes.

Principal Investigator: 
Leah Gerber
Arizona State University
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Co-PI Name(s): 
Derrick Anderson
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Start Date: 
May, 01 2017
Last Amendment Date: 
Feb, 15 2017
Expiration Date: 
Apr, 30 2019
Award Instrument: 
Standard Grant
Program Manager: 
Maryann Feldman
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