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Chapter 4. Responding to the Challenges: An Integrative Research Agenda

While each theme in the previous chapter suggests important research questions of its own, a different set of questions emerges from a more holistic look at the research enterprise. These questions serve to highlight the interdependencies among the research ideas and the themes. They might be thought of as integrative questions, or goals that span the thematic areas and move us toward practical applications.

For example, a research project designed to identify new models of the grants process must look at the research from the perspective of value what do the stakeholders value and how do they attribute value to what they and others contribute? It must examine the flow of work through groups and organizations and explore how knowledge is or could be captured, managed, and shared. Such a project must also investigate the role and use of collaboration. New technologies to support grants making would also need attention and demand credible and comprehensive models of the enterprise and its component parts, including an understanding of the dependencies between work processes and system design. This chapter presents some of these integrative research goals.

Integrative Research Ideas and Cross-Cutting Investigative Themes
Selected Integrative
Research Ideas
 
Investigative Themes
Value
 
Workflow
 
Knowledge Sharing
 
Collab- oration
 
Investing in and Using IT
 
New ways to identify and define the substantive goals of research initiatives
 
X
 
 
X
 
X
 
 
New models of the grants-supported research process that make different assumptions about roles, relationships, and responsibilities.
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
Alternative strategies and new technologies to support the review and selection of research proposals.
 
X
 
X
 
 
X
 
X
 
Incentives for collaboration across disciplines, roles, and organizations
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
 
New technologies for multimedia proposal, development, submission, and management
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
 
X
 
Information-centric processes as a tool for an enterprisewide orientation
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
X