Conceptualizing smartness in government: An integrative and multi-dimensional view
Smartness has recently emerged as a desirable characteristic of governments, cities, communities, infrastructures, and devices. Within the public sector, smart city has become a popular term and municipal governments around the world are using multiple strategies to become smarter. However, there is no consensus about what smartness means and how to identify its key components or dimensions. Some definitions highlight information technology and data, while others pay attention to sustainability, openness, innovation, or resiliency. Based on a review of current literature, this paper identifies multiple dimensions of smartness and proposes an integrative view that highlights how each dimension contributes to the understanding and development of smart governments. We argue that smartness should be conceptualized in a broad and multifaceted way. The framework we present serves as a foundation to understand and measure smartness in government and provides guidelines for the comprehensive development of smart governments. Some of the dimensions have been identified and studied explicitly in the realm of smart government. A number of other dimensions are embedded in the literature as individual characteristics of a good government; although they are not explicitly referenced in relationship to smart government, we argue that they are important components of a government being smart. The paper also suggests that public managers do not control all dimensions equally. Some dimensions could be seen as relatively direct outputs of their actions, while others could be better understood as outcomes that could be affected, but not solely determined, by strategic interventions or deliberate actions.
Government Information Quarterly
Gil-Garcia, J. Ramon; Zhang, Jing; and Puron-Cid, Gabriel, "Conceptualizing smartness in government: An integrative and multi-dimensional view" (2016). School of Management. 12.