Technology Adoption

The adoption of technologies and new processes is often opposed. Overcoming this requires building: awareness of problems, interest for solutions, evaluation of benefits, solution trialing, and lastly adoption.

The challenges of technology adoption affect all industries: from farmers adapting to climate change; to communities transitioning to renewable energy; to pipeline companies adopting new methods of identifying, modelling, and managing corrosion mechanisms. The first step − building awareness – may be overcome by understanding the multidisciplinary and complexity of the problem. How do they understand and describe the problem? The second step – creating interest for solutions – requires understanding the needs of customers. Where do they get their information (network connections, trade publications, technical experts, gate keepers)? What are their decision criteria (cost, effectiveness, safety, regulatory requirements, public scrutiny)? Where do they look for solutions (organizational attitudes towards make vs. buy)?

Technology adoption is often characterized as a lifecycle process. Innovators and early adopters are quicker to recognize and respond to an external trigger that causes them to seek technical solutions. Later adopters and laggards are more likely respond to influence by their early adopter neighbors.

Areas of Research

There were 919 occupational fatalities in Canada for 2014… Even with sophisticated risk-informed approaches, many hazards are overlooked.

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80-90% of losses are caused by human (individual and organizational) failures… Yet systems approaches focus on technology and processes.

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Technological risks are being challenged on moral and emotional bases… Risk decision makers struggle with these dynamic, interactive, and expanding debates.

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The adoption of technologies and new processes is often opposed. Overcoming this requires building: awareness of problem, interest for solutions, evaluation of benefits, solution trailing, and lastly adoption.

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Organizations can be regulated at various levels, on various activities, by various actors, and through various modes. Yet, what is the interactivity between these?  What are the most effective enhancements?


Dr. Lianne Lefsrud, Ph.D, P.Eng.

Engineering Safety and Risk Management, Faculty of Engineering
12-287 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering 9211 116 Street, Edmonton, T6G 1H9

Phone: 780.492.8351 (office) | 780.951.3455 (mobile)  |  LinkedIn |  Twitter


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