chapter  7
14 Pages

Customers and Vendors: Dyads in a Dance

So far, we have tracked the flow of money budgeted for generic research to DoD's in-house R&D activities. Some of it is retained for R&D services performed in-house and for overhead costs. But most of it flows out to vendors in commercial firms and in universities and other nonprofit organizations. This outbound flow of money converts DoD's intramural activities into customers for R&D services. The interaction of customers and vendors in this extramural market is our present subject. The more we know about their interaction, the more we will know about knowledge production, since the one engenders the other. Customers and vendors readily exchange information, and the exchange process catalyzes their mutual interpretation of it. In so interpreting, they coconstruct knowledge.