Collisions and Collaboration: The Organization of Learning in the Atlas Experiment at the LHC

ISBN : 9780199567928

Max Boisot; Markus Nordberg; Said Yami; Bertrand Nicquevert
336 ページ
153 x 236 mm

After twenty-five years of preparation, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, is finally running its intensive scientific experiments into high-energy particle physics. These experiments, which have so captured the public's imagination, take the world of physics to a new energy level, the terascale, at which elementary particles are accelerated to one millionth of a percent of the speed of light and made to smash into each other with a combined energy of around fourteen trillion electron-volts. What new world opens up at the terascale? No one really knows, but the confident expectation is that radically new phenomena will come into view. The kind of 'big science' being pursued at CERN, however, is becoming ever more uncertain and costly. Do the anticipated benefits justify the efforts and the costs? This book aims to give a broad organizational and strategic understanding of the nature of 'big science' by analyzing one of the major experiments that uses the Large Hadron Collider, the ATLAS Collaboration. It examines such issues as: the flow of 'interlaced' knowledge between specialist teams; the intra- and inter-organizational dynamics of 'big science'; the new knowledge capital being created for the workings of the experiment by individual researchers, suppliers, and e-science and ICTs; the leadership implications of a collaboration of nearly three thousand members; and the benefits for the wider societal setting. This book aims to examine how, in the face of high levels of uncertainty and risk, ambitious scientific aims can be achieved by complex organizational networks characterized by cultural diversity, informality, and trust - and where 'big science' can head next.


Introduction - Big Science Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
1. What is ATLAS?
2. A Conceptual Framework: The I-Space
3. Emergent Strategies and New Research management Models: Lessons from the ATLAS Adhocracy
4. The Concept of an Atlas Architecture
5. ATLAS as Collective Strategy
6. Buying under Conditions of Uncertainty: A Proactive Approach
7. Learning and Innovation in Procurement: The Case of ATLAS-type Projects
8. A Tale of four Atlas Suppliers
9. From Russia With Love: A Contributing Country Perspective
10. The Individual in the ATLAS Collaboration: A Learning Perspective
11. Leadership in the ATLAS Collaboration
12. ATLAS and e-Science
13. ATLAS and the Future of High-Energy Physics


Max Boisot was Professor at ESADE in Barcelona, Associate Fellow at the Said Business School, Oxford University, and Senior Research Fellow at the Snider Center for Entrepreneurial Research, The Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania. Between 1984 and 1989 he was Dean and Director of the China-Europe Management Program in Beijing. This has since evolved into the China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. Max Boisot has published in Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Research Policy, and The Journal of Evolutionary Economics. His book, Knowledge Assets: Securing Competitive Advantage in the Information Economy (Oxford University Press, 1998) was awarded the Ansoff Prize for the best book on strategy in 2000.; Dr Markus Nordberg is the Resources Coordinator of the ATLAS project at CERN, Switzerland, where his responsibilities include budget planning and resources allocation for the ATLAS project. He has also served as Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centrum voor Bedrijfseconomie, Faculty ESP-Solvay Business School, University of Brussels, and as a member of the Academy of Management, Strategic Management Society and the Association of Finnish Parliament Members and Scientists, TUTKAS. He has a degree both in Physics and in Business Administration.; Said Yami is associate Professor at the University of Montpellier 1 and Professor at EUROMED Management (France) in Strategic Management. He has published many research articles and several books. His main research relates to competitive relationships through the topics of rivalry and disruptive strategies, collective strategies, and coopetition. He also develops research on entrepreneurship and strategy in high-tech industries. His main field of analysis is the knowledge-based economy. Among his more recent publications is Coopetition: Winning Strategies for the 21st Century (edited by Yami S, Castaldo S., Le Roy F., and Dagnino G.B.; Elgar 2010).; Bertrand Nicquevert is a Project Engineer at CERN. Within the ATLAS collaboration, he held various positions: as a member of the technical coordination, he was in charge of the geometrical integration; he led the technical design office; he was the project leader of the main ATLAS structure; and the coordinator of various zones, such as the so-called shielding disc. He then joined the Large Hadron Collider installation coordination, and worked on the design of the next generation of linear colliders. He is now work package holder for the integration and design of the MedAustron project for oncological hadrontherapy. In addition to his function of engineer, Bertrand Nicquevert has taken part of various research programs, in the field of history and sociology of science (with Peter Galison from Harvard University), and of design research, mainly in close collaboration with the Grenoble University.