This explanatory case study investigated the phenomenon of one institution’s public research university STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) faculty members’ perspectives on indirect cost recovery from research grant funding. The explanatory scheme incorporated organizational culture, faculty socialization, and political bargaining models in the conceptual framework. The analysis indicated that faculty socialization and organizational culture were the most dominant themes; political bargaining emerged as significantly less prominent. Public research university STEM faculty are most concerned about the survival of their research programs and the discovery facilitated by their research programs; they resort to conjecture regarding the utility of indirect cost recovery. The findings direct institutional administrators to consider less emphasis on compliance and hierarchical authority and focus on greater communication and clarity in budget processes and organizational decision-making when working with expert professionals such as science faculty; for higher education researchers, the findings indicate a need for more sophisticated models to understand organizational dependency on expert professionals.


Higher Education Organizational Culture, STEM Faculty Socialization, Grant Funding, Managerialism, Single Site Case Study

Author Bio(s)

Susan Gossman received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2015. She is Director of Post Award in the Sponsored Programs Administration office at Northern Illinois University. Susan has worked as an administrator at a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago. Please direct correspondence to sueg1312@gmail.com.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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