Impact: adoption and use

Argues for the importance of differentiating between the initial adoption of research findings and long-term use, and suggests that focusing only on adoption is the single biggest impediment to achieving impact. Adoption is defined as “the willingness and ability to take research results and convert them into something that’s usable more broadly”, which can involve incorporating the results into “an artefact or service or advice”. For example, farmers may be willing to grow genetically altered crops because of easier, low-cost production (adoption), but not taking into account consumer (user) preferences and concerns about risks may lead to difficult and slow uptake. The difference between adoption and use often also plays out as the difference between policy development and subsequent program delivery. Furthermore, the difficulty of achieving impact rises with the complexity of the receiving ‘ecosystem’.

Reference: Elsum, I. (2013). Tackling Integrative Applied Research: Lessons from the Management of Innovation. In, Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems, by Gabriele Bammer, ANU E-Press, Canberra, Australia, pp: 431-441.

Video (35 minutes: relevant segment found at 1:40 minutes to 4:45 minutes): A lightning talk about this digital poster is available as Digital Poster Lightning Talks #2 by Elsum, Stewart, Walker, Neville, Haryanto and Vincent available on the I2S channel on YouTube. The tour was presented at the First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation held in Canberra in Australia, online and at three co-conferences (Lueneburg in Germany, The Hague in the Netherlands and Montevideo in Uruguay), 8-11 September 2013.

Posted: September 2015
Last modified: November 2019