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Results:
Tag: Diffusion of innovations
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  • Barriers to Innovation in USACE

    Abstract: The Dredging Operations and Environmental Research Program (DOER) of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) develops new tools and practices to support the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of navigation dredging operations and then implements these new approaches (that is, innovations).We analyzed the innovation process to increase the adoption and implementation of new approaches and techniques. We then created a literature review of innovation diffusion theories and developed a mental model that identifies the actual and perceived barriers to innovation diffusion in USACE through a case study of its Navigation Program. We built the final expert mental model using interviews with 25 subject matter experts familiar with the program’s processes and external stakeholders. Interviewees reported environmental and budgetary constraints, time restrictions, and politics as the most common barriers to dredging innovation, including those based on the perceptions and beliefs of stakeholders rather than hard engineering or policy constraints (herein cognitive barriers). We suggest overcoming these barriers through changes in communication channels and social systems, such as public outreach through social media channels; interpersonal face-to-face meetings with decision makers; internal collaboration between local USACE districts and external collaboration with outside stakeholders, such as contractors and environmental regulators.

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