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Invention commercialization among Russian scientists: bridging the gap between ideational and material realms

Turkhan Sadigov (Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 14 May 2020

Issue publication date: 20 January 2021




The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the article explores an understudied side of invention commercialization–the rejection of business as something “dirty” among Russian scientists. As such, the paper contributes to the individual-level explanations of innovation promotion, hence balancing extant literature's excessive focus on institutional explanations. Second, the article suggests that Russian scientists' rejection of business is rooted in broader Russian work ethics rift between “material” and “ideational” aspects of life. As such, the paper shows how dominant collective values refract in the management practice of specific social class, i.e. of scientists.


To analyze the rift between material and ideational aspects of Russian scientists' work, the article employs directed content analysis (DCA) of in-depth interviews with 45 Russian scholars. To address credibility bias of the research findings stemming from DCA, I further draw on the survey of existing studies, researches and polls highlighting Russian population attitudes toward the dichotomy between “material” and “ideal” realms.


This study argues that Russian scientists' likelihood of invention commercialization is positively associated with their ability to integrate in a personal psyche business and science as equally valuable facets of life.


The article identifies the three groups of scientists – opportunity-seekers, idealists and integrators – with different attitudes to invention commercialization. The article shows how policymakers should apply institutional incentives differently to each group of scientists to achieve higher rates of invention commercialization.



“I am grateful to Dr. Kathryn Hendley, and Dr. Loren Graham for their valuable feedback on initial drafts of the work. I also thank Dr. Ted Gerber, Dr. Gonzalez Perez, and two anonymous reviewers for their useful suggestions.”Funding: This research was supported by the Institute of International Education.


Sadigov, T. (2021), "Invention commercialization among Russian scientists: bridging the gap between ideational and material realms", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 202-225.



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