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Methods of Determining Priorities in a Programme of Research

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Abstract— A method for selecting a programme of research by calculating the overall costs and benefits is outlined and then, as an example, it is applied to a particular field of research. The field selected is that of research into Vehicle Safety.

The method of collecting the data for the necessary analysis is described and using two separate programme objectives, namely the maximization of gross benefits and the maximization of net benefits, various selections are made using linear programme computer techniques.

The dangers of uncritical acceptance of cost/benefit criteria in project selections are noted. In particular the need for freedom to devote effort to understanding the nature of problems rather than achieve quick solutions is pointed out.

Finally, reasons are given for modifying the portfolio selected to produce what is called a pragmatic portfolio.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.1975.tb01357.x

Publication date: February 1, 1975

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