Facilitating the implementation of research findings : review, synthesis, recommendations

by Tora K. Bikson, Sally Ann Law, Martin Markovich, Barbara T. Harder


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Recent years have seen an unprecedented commitment to the conduct of research to address difficult surface transportation problems in the United States. Underlying the increased commitment to research is the expectation that the resulting innovative products and processes will pay off by improving the state of surface transportation in the nation. However, we still do not have a clear understanding of the critical factors that facilitate the implication of research results into practice nor of the key barriers that derail the process. This paper describes some of the results from Phase I of a two-phase project sponsored by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. The paper identifies factors that influence the outcomes of implementation initiatives in surface transportation. It examines the relationships among the boosters and barriers to research implementation and evaluates the factors that seem to exert most influence on implementation. On this basis it recommends ways to improve implementation processes in the industry.

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Originally published in: Proceedings of the 74th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 22-28, 1995, Washington, D.C., pp. 1-40.

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