ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesHuman Research EthicsScientific misconduct at an elite medical institute: The role of competing institutional logics and fragmented control (Papers: Christian Berggren and Solmaz Filiz Karabag | April 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Scientific misconduct at an elite medical institute: The role of competing institutional logics and fragmented control (Papers: Christian Berggren and Solmaz Filiz Karabag | April 2018)

 


View full details | Go to resource


Abstract
The incidence of revealed fraud and dishonesty in academia is on the rise, and so is the number of studies seeking to explain scientific misconduct. This paper builds on the concepts of competing logics and institutional fields to analyze a serious case of medical and scientific misconduct at a leading research institute, Karolinska in Sweden, home to the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

The Paolo Macchiarini/Karolinska case highlights an uncomfortable reality: the speed, response and consequences of research misconduct by star researchers is often shaped by a powerful institution conflict of interest. The consequences can be dire. Of course the institutional impacts of being deemed later to be reticent to act are often worse. The internal processes for reflecting on the bona fides of an allegation and the institution’s social responsibility/risks need to be rethought. We have included links to the earlier items about this case.

By distinguishing between a market-oriented, a medical and an academic logic, the study analyzes how various actors − executives, research leaders, co-authors, journal editors, medical doctors, science bloggers, investigative journalists and documentary filmmakers − sustained or tried to expose the misconduct. Despite repeated warnings from patient-responsible doctors and external academic reviewers, Karolinska protected the surgeon, Paolo Macchiarini, until a documentary film at the Swedish national public TV exposed the fraud which led to public inquiries and proposals for a new national ethics legislation.
.
The analysis illustrates the power of a market-oriented logic focused on brand and image at the research institute and at a leading journal, but also the perseverance of the logics of scientific scrutiny and medical care among practicing doctors and independent academics although the carriers of these logics were less well organized than the carriers of the market-oriented logic. Furthermore, the analysis shows the problem of fragmented control in the academic institutional field. The discussion of remedies compares the Karolinska case, where media actors were instrumental in sanctioning the perpetrators, with a similar instance of medical misconduct at Duke in the US where the government agency (ORI) intervened and shows the limitations of both types of actors. The conclusion highlights the importance of studying misconduct management and institution-building in different fields to develop effective remedies.
.
Keywords
Institutional logics, Institutional actors, Scientific misconduct, Retraction, Academic dishonesty, Fragmented control.
.

Berggren, C. and S. F. Karabag (2018). “Scientific misconduct at an elite medical institute: The role of competing institutional logics and fragmented control.” Research Policy.
Publisher: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733318300817



Resources Menu

Research Integrity


Human Research Ethics