Research Administration

You wrote a new policy, but is your research team ready for culture change?

It’s not enough to make a new policy. Today, you must also activate “culture change” to ensure compliance. Daunting, I know. But not impossible. It means we need to rethink the way we roll out new policies and govern research.

Here are a few quick thoughts on who you need on your team to motivate a culture change through a new policy.

First, you need the connector who understands the innovation strategy and the need to engage the entire research team to promote the cultural change (Tucker). This is likely your office managers who can bring together their entire division to help adapt their mission to align to the new policy.

Second, you need the maven who will keep everyone honest (Tucker). This is the research coordinator who is highly knowledgeable and who understand the impact of the new policy on every project, and how to adapt the policy for every person in the division. Their knowledge is deep and they are capable of sharing knowledge with the team to inspire culture change.

Third, you need the salesperson with crazy mad negotiation skills to make others agree with them (Tucker). This is your administrative director who can easily motivate investigators and project directors into sustainable action. And who has the ears of higher administration to help negotiate the transition.

Lastly, you need the messenger who can deliver the details of the message far and wide (Tucker). The messenger is only as good as the message. According to Gladwell, the message needs a “stickiness factor” that makes it memorable. This means you cannot just hand out the new policy and expect wild results. We need to make the message practical and personal to create sustainable patterns and behaviors. The message should have personal meaning for our investigators with a practical reality, “I see a way to do it” that can fit into “my” life, and “a reason why it matters” (Tucker).

If you want to cause a culture change—a hospital-wide insane epidemic of culture change—you need to involve everyone and you need to foster a creative and inviting environment that is conducive to success. Good luck!


  • Tucker SJ, Carr LJ. Translating Physical Activity Evidence to Hospital Settings: A Call for Culture Change. Clin Nurse Spec. 2016 Jul-Aug;30(4):208-15. doi: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000212.
  • Gladwell M. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Little Brown. 2000.

Article publié pour la première fois le 30/12/2016

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