This article suggests ways to capture users’ views and perceptions of smart city services and applications towards more informed decision- and policy-making processes. It contributes to the debate on several issues pertaining to smart cities, urban computing, and information management.
Motivated by the dynamic field of smart-cities research, the current study represents a move to a finer understanding of end users’ perceptions and attitudes to smart-city services and applications. According to the authors, this understanding is critical not just to design smart-cities services but to ensure the functionality and sustainability of smart cities.
It is argued that by developing appropriate scales these otherwise subjective views and perceptions may be objectivized and hence made of great use to managers and policymakers. This article addresses the need for a more integrated and holistic understanding of users’ perceptions about smart cities through the conceptualization, development, and verification of scales relating to their psychological and social beliefs.
The authors engaged in a scientific scale development process by integrating both inductive and deductive research methods to delineate users’ perceptions of the value-added and usability of smart-city services. Following initial rounds of focus groups and assessment by experts, the authors conducted an international survey with 295 participants from Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Arab Peninsula, and other regions. The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS 24 and AMOS 20 tools. The study proposes a 20-item scale in five distinct dimensions: Technology anxiety; Work’“life interface; Engagement orientation; Support orientation; and Quality of life.
The identification of the five factors has significant implications for technology experts and policymakers alike. This study attempts to draw their attention to the human side of technology and prompt them to adopt an approach that creates a virtuous cycle of user-centric innovation and policy formulation for the smart cities of the future.
This article is structured as follows. Section 1 consists of an Introduction. In Section 2, a thorough but targeted literature review of smart- cities research is presented. Further, the background of the study is given. Section 3 describes in detail the research methodology for developing the scales. It includes exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis for testing and validating the instruments. In Section 4, the results are discussed, followed by the theoretical and managerial implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research. Finally, Section 5 concludes the research.
The authors invite future researchers to build upon their conceptualization by developing and testing various propositions associated with the above dimensions.
You can find the paper here.