Factors influencing fuel reduction research use :a theory-based evaluation


Cole, Heidi Bigler.. (2007). Factors influencing fuel reduction research use :a theory-based evaluation. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

Factors influencing fuel reduction research use :a theory-based evaluation
Cole, Heidi Bigler.
Fuel reduction (Wildfire prevention)--Research--Use studies
Natural Resources
This dissertation explores factors that influence whether forest managers use fuel reduction research. A survey was administered to 868 Forest Service employees who work in fuel reduction planning and decision-making. Managers' use of research findings is tacit; the process of seeking, absorbing and ultimately using research findings cannot be observed externally. However, use levels can be measured using Knowledge Internalization, which measures factors that influence decisions to use research. Knowledge Internalization was the dependent variable in this study. Two theories provided the independent variables tested in this study. Protection Motivation Theory is based on risk aversion. It suggests that people will use information to reduce personal risk. Adoption Theory suggests that costs and benefits underlie individual's decisions to use new information. Results suggest that both Protection Motivation Theory and Adoption Theory are predictive of Forest Service land managers' use of fuel reduction research. However, the Adoption Theory model proved to be most predictive. Study results may be useful for developing science delivery communication plans that address users' cognitive needs. More people may use fuel reduction research if they can see advantages to using the research, if the research is easy to use, if they can observe others using the research and if they can try using the findings before committing to use them. Fuel reduction researchers and their federal funders are held accountable for producing fuel reduction research that is both useful and used. This research identifies communication-related factors that influence managers' decisions to use fuel reduction research. A measure that can address accountability needs was developed. Changes in forest manager behavior that result from fuel reduction science delivery efforts can now be measured.
Thesis (Ph. D., Natural Resources)--University of Idaho, November 15, 2007.
Major Professor:
James R. Fazio.
Defense Date:
November 15, 2007.
Format Original:
xi, 125 leaves :ill. ;29 cm.

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