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UTILIZING T-O-E FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING THE USE OF SIMULATORS IN SNOWPLOW DRIVER TRAINING
Driving simulators have been introduced by some American states’ department of transportation (DOT) as a supplementary tool to train their snowplow drivers. This is a costly investment that requires careful planning. Yet, there is a current lack of recent studies that holistically evaluate factors affecting the decision-making process on adopting the driving simulator in winter snowplow driver training. The current research aims to fill this gap by employing the theoretical framework of Technology-Organization-Environment (T-O-E) to explore factors affecting state DOTs’ decision-making process of adopting snowplow driving simulator in driver training. Relevant factors were identified first using a scoping review of literature, and then validated by interviews with DOT stakeholders. Subsequent findings from the state DOT survey suggests that perceived long-term effect on public safety, cost related to simulator training, and ease of the relocation of simulator are the top contributors when it comes to the factors affecting decision-making on adoption of snowplow driving simulator in training. The resulted T-O-E framework contains 11 factors cross-verified from various sources, in which most factors such as simulator fidelity and relative advantage were categorized to technology context under the T-O-E framework, while the main environment factor relates to normative and mimetic pressure. The paper contributes to academic research by applying T-O-E to offer decision making support for using simulator technology for training of snowplow drivers; and to practitioners by providing state DOT decision makers a framework to analyze different factors on adopting snowplow driving simulators in training.