The relationship between citizen readiness and the intention to continuously use smart city services: Mediating effects of satisfaction and discomfort

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Technology in Society


The principal goals of smart cities are to improve citizens' quality of life and foster economic growth while ensuring efficient service delivery and sustainable development. Accordingly, understanding and adequately meeting citizens' needs and desires is a fundamental step toward improving citizens' happiness. While prior studies have investigated the direct relationship between technology readiness and continuous intention to use the services, extant results are still fragmented. Hence, this study examines the relationship between citizens' readiness and intention to continue usage by introducing satisfaction and discomfort as mediators in a smart city services (SCS) context. We rely on a mixed-method approach to propose and validate a new readiness model for assessing smart city citizens' readiness for continuous usage and long-term adoption of SCS. In the first phase, qualitative research was used by conducting in-depth interviews with SCS experts to investigate and theorize the main factors perceived as enablers and inhibitors to the continuous usage of SCS. While in the second quantitative phase, data were collected from 350 citizens and structural equation modeling was employed to test the proposed hypotheses. The findings suggest three main enablers (empowerment, optimism, and innovativeness) and three main inhibitors (insecurity, mistrust, and legal considerations) that affect the intention to continuously use SCS. In the quantitative phase, satisfaction and discomfort emerged as mediators to intention of continuous usage. Moreover, we found that empowerment, innovativeness, and optimism enhance the continuous usage of SCS when mediated by satisfaction but have no significant effect when mediated by discomfort. Discomfort was found to be an effective mediator between inhibitors and continued usage intention. Our study highlights the role of technology readiness as a personality trait in shaping user satisfaction, discomfort, and intention to continue using SCS. Furthermore, it proposes a new scale and model for measuring users’ readiness to adopt and continuously use SCS. The proposed model has practical implications for SCS providers, and can inform the design of future SCS and ensure their sustainable and successful adoption by citizens, not only initially, but also in the long-term.

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