Scientists in the principal investigator role

Supervised by:
  1. Fernando Martín Alcázar Co-director
  2. María José Foncubierta Rodríguez Co-director

Defence university: Universidad de Cádiz

Fecha de defensa: 08 July 2021

  1. Gonzalo Sánchez Gardey Chair
  2. Beatriz Rodrigo Moya Secretary
  3. James A. Cunningham Committee member
  1. Organización de Empresas

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 669993 DIALNET lock_openRODIN editor


The social and economic contributions of R&D are essential in the development of countries, since they are the motor for their progress. Research can be implemented by companies, but it can also be implemented in universities and research centres. The research process is more and more often conducted in teams and these are increasingly multidisciplinary. This is a double-edge sword because, even though diversity among research team members could increase the generation of innovative and creative ideas, this heterogeneity can also have a dark side for the welfare of the research team. Therefore, when both advantages and disadvantages can emerge in a diverse research team, what can diminish the weaknesses and enhance the strengths is the crucial role of an efficient principal investigator managing and leading the research team. Notwithstanding that there are some studies that have focused on the principal investigator role in the literature, the knowledge about them is somewhat scant, because there is still a need for a deeper understanding of this crucial actor in R&D environments. The research work carried out in this Doctoral Thesis aims to address both principal investigators and their environments. With this research, we will deepen the understanding of what influences principal investigators and what they have an influence on, since principal investigators are a key asset in R&D environments. Therefore, the focus of this Doctoral Thesis is on some of the issues that are in the core of the influence of principal investigators on the activities of R&D teams. Particularly, we focus our research efforts on developing a measurement scale of the principal investigator's human capital whose results could allow us to determine whether different principal investigator profiles exist. We also focus on studying whether obtaining public competitive funding could be influenced by the principal investigator's priorities or their gender. Moreover, we focus on the relationship between the level of conflict within a research team and its performance, as well as on the influence that the principal investigator's transformational leadership has on this relationship.