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Title: A case study of Smart Cities : the role of stakeholder commitment
Author: Grave, Kathleen M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 9080
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines stakeholders in IBM Smart Cities, and their commitment to the areas of sustainability and change management in combination with the impact of technology and innovation. Additional research case studies of City of San Jose and Ecovillage Thailand provide insights applied to the IBM case project. Although the amount of unstructured, non-scholarly practitioner contribution related to smart cities projects is growing, the main focus of existing scholarly research has been largely about the economic factors related to spatial dynamics of globalization and metropolitan urban migration or explicit skills-based knowledge. In the past decade there has also been a good deal of research related to the implications of the information age, increased connectivity and how internet and communication networks affect the development of global cities. IBM's goal for smart cities was technology-centric rather than focusing on understanding stakeholder needs. These case studies provided a setting to research a more integrative approach that included stakeholder from experts to local people. My action research combined relevant IBM practitioner experience and the rigor of scholarly research with theoretical content and current academic theory to capture tacit knowledge to help understand how stakeholder commitment in smart cities provides change agency on smart cities projects. I took a phenomenological approach to provide unique case studies of three different approaches to smart cities projects in the context of existing theoretical research of stakeholder commitment related to change management and technology innovation. From interviews, observations and artifacts, I gathered data for each case. The information was coded, analyzed, and interpreted as common themes for discussion. An important aspect of this research was to learn the role stakeholders play in driving change and balancing the implementation of innovation and new technology, and to understand their influence on smart cities projects. To go deeper and understand the influence stakeholder commitment has on the project, it was important to research change models other than technology-focused projects and to interpret the human element as part of the encompassing view of the project. Stakeholders may be government entities, elected and appointed officials, city workers, business partners, technology providers, local businesses, citizens, and more. Stakeholder commitment can mean a shift in thinking from appealing to mass audiences to appealing to individual citizens 'en masse'. I explored thematic experiences of stakeholder levels of commitment and discuss their influence on smart cities projects based on three case studies. Action research provided insight to learn more about a participant's approach and understanding critical insights from multiple projects. The format allowed for discussion of findings and led to implications and answers that, when applied on the IBM case project, improved process and outcomes. New methodologies for identifying and engaging stakeholders as well as their role of commitment on IBM projects were created. My action research included studying who is working together, how they work together, and why they are committed to these projects as individuals and as teams to conclude that the role of stakeholder commitment: • Explores data and information as knowledge • Adopts technology and innovation as advantage • Incorporates project planning and methodology • Requires trans-organizational agreement and accountability • Practices collective leadership approach and empowers individual change agency • Embraces transformational paradox • Uses education for inclusion • Drives sustainability to improve quality of life. My research focused on acquiring new knowledge, understanding and exploring my research findings. This helped the IBM team to improve their project methodologies and processes, and cultivate stronger stakeholder commitment while driving toward their 'smarter' vision and goal. New frameworks and methodological approaches were developed in practice and improved upon through multiple action research cycles. These were incorporated into practitioner methodologies and are available for future projects.
Supervisor: Diamantis, D. ; Anderson, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral