Why do Academics like working with organizations?

“Why do Academics like working with businesses, governments, and NGOs?”

Working as a consultant has rewards for academics. Some, like Stephen Cheung, see the opportunity for an “exciting intellectual journey”, that comes from applying theoretical knowledge in “real-world” situations. Cheung is further motivated by the “level of speed and efficiency” that exists in applied situations, which cannot easily be realized in a more bureaucratic structure. Quick and efficient outcomes are mostly “difficult to achieve” in a “traditional university framework.” 

(2002: http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2002/10/academic-consultant-why-start-consultancy)

Academic consultants are also motivated by the thought that humankind will not reach its potential by basing its decisions on the top ten hits of a search engine. When interviewed for this article, Dr. Berny Sebe, Senior Lecturer in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK), said that, “the ultimate goal is to ensure that scientific developments contribute to improve our society: ensuring that new research helps public and private entities make better decisions, enables new intellectual and industrial developments and also that it generates income to fund future research.”

Dr. Ben Smyth, who has transitioned from academia to work as a Senior Researcher in the IT security industry in Paris, is also motivated by exposure to new perspectives and developments: by “gaining” privileged access to future industry directions.” Moreover, like Dr. Sebe, Dr. Smyth told this writer that working with NGOs, governments, and businesses as a way to make the world a better place. “to impact future scientific developments for the good of society.”

About the author

Bill has a PhD in Education in Autonomy/Empowerment and is on the casual teaching staff at Macquarie University in Sydney. He has been a partner in businesses focused on developing innovation in organizations since 2003.