In most state departments of transportation (DOTs), about 40% of the workforce will be eligible for retirement within a few years, taking with them significant institutional knowledge. Collaboration and interdisciplinary work are also increasing the need for effective, efficient, and timely knowledge transfer. State DOTs and other transportation agencies could benefit from knowledge management (KM) techniques and practices to help identify, capture, and transfer institutional knowledge and support continuous learning.
KM continues to evolve, particularly in the understanding of factors such as cognitive science, learning cultures, and knowledge risk. Some research has been conducted on KM and institutional knowledge in the transportation sector, but KM is still a new practice in that context. In NCHRP Report 813: A Guide to Agency-Wide Knowledge Management for State Departments of Transportation, guidelines on the fundamentals of agency-wide KM for state DOTs are provided. There are also numerous examples from outside the transportation sector on how to start building a KM function within an organization. However, a prioritized program of research (hereafter, research roadmap) on KM specifically for state DOTs has not been developed and hence would be timely, since research roadmaps for transportation practices far more mature than KM have been developed. Ultimately, such a roadmap could identify and prioritize the KM needs of transportation agencies and provide the foundation for maturation of the KM practice.
The objective of this research is to develop a research roadmap for knowledge management in state DOTs and other transportation agencies. The roadmap shall be designed to systematically revisit research priorities to guide research and ensure its future relevancy. The roadmap shall include, but not be limited to, the following elements:
Description of research that should be conducted within the next 5 years
10 or more research problem statements suitable for submittal to NCHRP
Identification of relevant, active, and completed research that could benefit from a focused implementation effort
Prioritization of all research recommendations
STATUS: Research is in progress.