During this time period, the CISRC was piloting three new intervention strategies to facilitate the dissemination of cancer information to the public.
The CISRC was conducted within the larger political context of an evaluation of a federal government health information program: One implicit understanding related to the research was that the results would be utilized to demonstrate that the CIS could be used as a research arm of NCI.
In the absence of physical proximity, because of geographic dispersion, electronic propinquity and periodic national face-to-face meetings were the primary means of accomplishing co-presence for members of the CISRC. Especially in terms of innovation processes, we have found that it was at these periodic national meetings that major decisions were made (Chang et al., 1997; Pobocik et al., 1997).
The CISRC PI was one of the Principal Investigators on these early grants, and this solidified his long-standing involvement with the CIS that he continued through his voluntary participation in their task forces, particularly the Evaluation Task Force.
One example of CIS Project Directors being taken for granted was that CISRC PI waited until two weeks before they were due to solicit letters of support from them for the CISRC renewal application (CISRC conference call, 9/5/96).
Interestingly both the Project Directors and researchers' major summative statements of the CISRC suggest a need to put more emphasis on constantly monitoring the project to insure it was not becoming one-sided (Fleisher et al., 1998; Marcus, 1998a).
Some Project Directors were excited about the CISRC's potential role of teaching CIS members how to do research, or at the very least how to collaborate on the writing of research articles.
Fortunately for the CISRC, the CIS Project Directors embraced this challenge and became highly effective idea champions within their organizations.
In the case of the CISRC, perhaps the leadership's hesitancy to acknowledge the discrepancy among idea champions' and orchestrators' perceptions of innovation reflects a natural tendency to avoid labeling an innovation as a mistake.
The conclusions reached in this paper are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Cancer Information Service Research Consortium (CISRC), or the AMC Research Cancer Center.
One implicit understanding related to the research was that the results could be used to demonstrate that the CISRC had the potential to become a research arm of the CIS (Marcus, 1998).