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33 CHAPTER FOUR CHALLENGES BARRIERS IDENTIFIED IN PAST STUDIES brings additional understanding to the topic of challenges. The barriers highlighted are: Challenges abound in the process of technology transfer or implementation of research results. Past studies have included · Institutional the issue of impediments or barriers to successful technol- Lack of resources--funding and people; ogy transfer and a number of these challenges remain. The Lack of management support to implement new results from a few of these studies are included in this sec- ideas; tion. Each study provides a different perspective and helps Lack of an organizational infrastructure; to form a broad view of the challenges facing technology Inflexible regulations, incentives, and rewards; and transfer participants. Resistance to risk taking and change. · Technology supplier factors TRB Special Report 256: Managing Technology Trans- Misunderstanding of receivers' needs, fer: A Strategy for the Federal Highway Administration, Technology not suitable for the condition or envi- notes that "a number of factors serve as impediments to inno- ronment, and vation in the highway industry because they limit or prevent Technology not presented appropriately. innovation and its potential benefits" (p. 33). Special Report · Human/behavioral 256 presents an excellent summary of principal impediments Cultural clashes, to innovations in highway transportation that focus on the following categories: Language, Lack of interest or perceived need, and · Technical--testing, demonstration, and standards set- Poor attitudes from provider and recipient toward ting issues. one another. · Procurement--disclosure, low-bid process, life-cycle costs, and specifications setting issues. Overcoming these barriers can be difficult, but the circu- · Legal--designbuild limitations, product liability and lar provides the following advice: insurance costs, community involvement, and permit issues. · Motivation is caught, not taught--One person's excite- · Public sector and institutional--resistance to change, ment becomes contagious. When the whole staff, office, lack of incentives, limited capabilities, interest group or agency is highly motivated, even institutional barriers resistance, effect of political patronage, employment are scaled, if not broken down. practices and work rules, and technology mismatch · Empower people to become more open minded--If issues. everyone in an organization is given the authority to · General--resources limitation issues. think and, more significantly, act upon their thoughts, the organization will grow, both intellectually and The full summary table is in Appendix G. productively. · Be customer-oriented--Meet customer needs more effec- In the comprehensive look at technology transfer provided tively and strive for customer satisfaction. in Transportation Research Circular 488: Transportation Technology Transfer: A Primer on the State of Practice In NCHRP Report 382: Facilitating the Implementation (1998), the authors identify common challenges or barriers and of Research Findings: A Summary Report (Bikson et al. 1996), also provide some guidance on overcoming these barriers. the top barriers to implementation identified are grouped into This study stated that, "Barriers restrict or constrain success" the following four areas: (p. 54). They may be self-imposed or the result of factors external to the technology transfer process. The barriers · Characteristics of research, identified in the study have some overlap with TRB Special · Internal organizational context, Report 256, considering the circular was a reference for the · External organizational context, and TRB work. However, the barriers discussion of the circular · Implementation process.