Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Abutabenjeh, Sawsan

Committee Member

French, P. Edward

Committee Member

Nukpezah, Julius

Committee Member

Potter, Mike

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


This dissertation aims to understand the mechanisms behind the adoption of smart cities technologies (SCT) and how they can promote social equity in local communities in the United States. There is a distinct lack of empirical research addressing the methods designed for the promotion of social equity despite their numerous benefits. The present study will address this omission in the scholarship by providing evidence-based insights on how public administrators can leverage SCT to promote distributional social equity through the Digital Era Governance (DEG) and Adoption Theory frameworks. This study also demonstrates the efficacy of applying the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to understand better the mechanism leading to the acceptance and adoption of SCT in the United States. Lastly, it provides insightful evidence demonstrating the value of these approaches and their influence on policymakers’ decisions using SCT to address one of society’s most challenging issues, fostering social equity. It utilizes data from the ICMA’s 2016 Smart Cities Survey, the 2015 Sustainability Practices Survey, and the U.S. Census Bureau. The study employs logistic and negative binomial regressions to examine the factors influencing commitment to using SCT, engagement with SCT, and distributional social equity. The findings indicate that factors such as ‘perceived usefulness’ and ‘ease of use’ influence commitment to SCT usage, which impacts SCT engagement, leading to social equity outcomes

Available for download on Thursday, May 15, 2025