theories & frameworks

Are you looking for an Implementation Science theory or framework to inform your research proposal?

Model Selection

Dissemination & Implementation Models in Health Research & Practice

Explore this interactive website to find a D&I Model that best fits your research question; adapt the selected model to your context; integrate the model into your research; and find existing measurement instruments for the model constructs.
(Developed by the Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention (CRISP) in collaboration with the Washington University Network for Dissemination and Implementation Research (WUNDIR).)

Organizational theories

Organizational theories explain the complex interaction between organizations and their environments that can help improve the outcomes of implementation science research. The following are a selected compilation of key resources that delve into the role of organizational theory in implementation science.

Publications that address linkages between organizational theories and implementation science:

Organizational theory for dissemination and implementation research by Sarah Birken, Alicia Bunger, Byron Powell, Kea Turner, Alecia Clary, Stacey Klaman, Yan Yu, Daniel Whitaker, Shannon Self, Whitney Rostad, Jenelle Shanley Chatham, Alexis Kirk, Christopher Shea, Emily Haines and Bryan Weiner.

The role of organizational research in implementing evidence-based practice: QUERI Series by Elizabeth Yano.

Relevant book chapters from Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health: Translating Science to Practice (2nd edition) edited by Ross Brownson, Graham Colditz and Enola Proctor

  • Chapter 8: The role of organizational processes in dissemination and implementation research by Gregory Aarons, Joanna Moullin and Mark Ehrhart
  • Chapter 9: Systems thinking and dissemination and implementation research by Barbara Riley, Cameron Willis, Bev Homes, Diane Finegood, Allan Best and Jessie-Lee McIsaac

Applications of Organizational Theory in Implementation Science

The Chronic Care Model versus Disease Management Programs: A Transaction Cost Analysis Approach by Jennifer Leeman and Barbara Mark is an example of the application of an Organizational Theory, in this case Transaction Cost Analysis, for better understanding a health plan’s decisions to improve chronic illness management.

A Structure-Technology Contingency Analysis of Caregiving in Nursing Facilities by Jacqueline Zinn, Diane Brannon, Vincent Mor and Theresa Barry is an example of the application of an Organizational Theory, in this case Structural Contingency Theory, for the analysis of caregiving in nursing facilities.

Theory Selection

The Theory Comparison and Selection Tool (T-CaST) is a user-friendly tool to help researchers and practitioners select theories, models, and frameworks to guide implementation projects. The tool offers explicit criteria to facilitate theory comparison during the selection process. T-CaST is also potentially useful in selecting theories, models and framework beyond the field of implementation science.