Feature Articles

Knowledge and Policy

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 13-33

First online:

Research utilization: The state of the art

  • Michael HubermanAffiliated withGraduate School of Education, Harvard University Email author 

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As a field of study, “research utilization” is at a turning point. Despite an accumulation of replicable findings, robust constructs, even a “soft technology” for bridging the gap between theory and practice, we are still largely in the situation of the distance between social problems of, let us say, conflict or inequality and the ability of social science to provide credible, reliable and usable solutions. At the same time, the initial paradigms, suffering from hyperrationalism, have given way to more transactional ones, and have been shaken by the tenets of postmodernism. Shaken, but not undone, as “middle-level” constructs emerge, ones that appear to link the research community with a variety of professional communities in more meaningful and durable ways.