This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Multilevel Analysis of Public Value creation in Smart City using Action Design Science Research: A Systems Thinking Perspective




Dawe, Stephen

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Systems and Technology


In the last 20 years significant innovations in technology and its implementation have enabled cities to become smart cities? With this increase in cities embarking on smart city projects, there has been very little focus on smart city business processes and ensuring the knowledge generated by smart city projects in converted into learning by the city. Smart city’s generally engagement in smart city projects without documenting why those projects are chosen or explaining the public value of these projects. This work reviews the design and implementation of a smart city, creating a framework for approving smart city projects, managing the implementation and lifecycle of each project, while ensuring the public value of the smart city project, is measured, recorded, reported. Action Design Research (ADR) was chosen as the vehicle for this set of works. ADR provided a view of smart city, that included people. Processes, and technology. The purpose of this research was to address the need to provide and management and governance structure for a city to become smart, by ensuring the process, was not driven by technology, but by business processes with a focus on outcome derived from the city’s mission statements. This research produced a designed multi-level ADR process, capable of capturing individual smart city project implementation knowledge, which maintain a focus on city level operations and city level knowledge generation which is focused on the operation of all city systems. By ensuring the generated feedback from each smart city project from both the project itself and from the city level. This ensured system performance and its specific data attributes are producing benefits as expected by stakeholders at the city level. The smart city system of systems framework allows city managers to choose projects based on city strategy and stakeholder priorities while maintaining a level of transparency via the feedback mechanisms required throughout the framework. This work reviews the design and implementation of several smart city projects and explored how the results of these projects can used produce or change the value of city metrics so that success can be defined in terms of the city’s mission statement and strategic plan. This research produced generalizable frameworks that can be used by any city to implement smart city customized to their own strategic plan and mission. To build these frameworks, the Action Design Research paradigm was used to identify system designs and business processes that can support smart city projects and the adaptability that is required when dealing with the ever-changing nature of a city. The primary focus was to create a framework that uses these ADR designs where city managers can address city issues in a planned and coordinated way that ensures new systems, and its requirements are integrated with the current system so that the new system and current system benefit from current data and any new data generated.