A Policy & Communications Investigation of Transportation

A Policy & Communications Investigation of Transportation

Financing and Environmental Issues

Principal Investigators: Richard Watts and Tao Sun

Funding Agency: US DOT

Project Summary

There are a number of key environmental, political and financial issues
facing transportation leaders attempting to promote policies and
programs that advance sustainable transportation objectives in the 21st
Century. This project seeks to understand how leaders of those
organizations use their communication strategies to promote sustainable
transportation, preferred policy outcomes and position within the
organizational network. We build on previous research that investigated
the network positions of 121 organizations engaged with sustainable
transportation programs and policies in the states of Vermont, Maine and
New Hampshire. In that project we mapped the network structure of those
organizations and their interorganizational communication patterns. In
this project we interview the leaders in those organizations to
understand their communication strategies, leadership approaches and
perceived influence over different steps in the policy process focusing
on how they communicate between organizations and the general audience
media. We then compare this qualitative data with the network
analysis-data previously collected and an analysis of the appearance of
these organization in the media discourse. This work contributes to the
understanding of transportation leadership, the role of communications
in organizational network position and appearance in the media
discourse. This research will also add to the understanding of how
leaders of sustainable transportation use communications as a tool to
promote their preferred policy outcomes.

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