It is now fashionable to seek innovation in the public sector. As routine government practices have failed to solve complex policy problems, innovation is increasingly seen as the key to establishing public faith in government agencies' ability to perform. However, not surprisingly, governments have often failed to support and maintain innovation over time. The purpose of this study is to examine what accounts for sustained innovation in government transparency. This is an in-depth analysis of the diffusion of the Electronic Freedom of Information Act (EFOIA) across the US states from 1996 to 2013. With the theoretical basis of policy diffusion, this study measures the degree of innovation among states by the timing of adoption, and by the extent of implementation. The factors that influence states' adoption and implementation of EFOIA will be compared, thereby explaining why some early adopters failed to maintain the leader position in innovation in government transparency through the implementation phase. The study findings show that the failure of early adopters in sustained innovation is the result of the conditional nature of diffusion mechanisms (i.e. socialization and learning) which operate differently at the adoption and implementation stages of EFOIA. This study contributes to a better understanding of the role of the legal environment created by the federal government, and the relationships between state governments in sustaining innovation in government transparency.
Newer communication technologies (CTs) will always vie with more mature technologies for the attention of time-constrained legislators. As continual advances in CT make new methods of communication available to legislators, it is important to understand how newly introduced CTs influence novel and changing legislator behaviors. The mixed-method research presented in this study provides deep insights into the relationships between legislators and the CTs they use. This study offers many contributions, among them: it effectively bridges a gap between existing Internet Enabled CT (IECT) behavioral studies on non-legislators by expanding them to include legislator behavior; it expands existing narrowly focused research into the use of CT by legislators by including both IECT and mature CTs such as face-to-face meetings and telephone; it provides a fresh perspective on the factors that make CTs important to legislators, and it uncovers legislator behaviors that are both useful, and potentially harmful, to the process of democracy in the United States. In addition, this study confirms and extends existing research in areas such as minority party constituent communication frequency, and extends the topic of legislator CT behavior into some unanticipated areas such as constituent selective behaviors and the use of text messaging during floor debates which effectively enable lobbyists and paid consultants to participate real-time in floor debates in the Arizona House and Senate.
Most of challenges facing today's government cannot be resolved without collaborative efforts from multiple non-state stakeholders, organizations, and active participation from citizens. Collaborative governance has become an important form of management practice. Yet the success of this inclusive management approach depends on whether government agencies and all other involved parties can collectively deliberate and work toward the shared goals. This dissertation examines whether information technology (IT) tools and prior cooperative interactions can be used to facilitate the collaboration process, and how IT tools and prior cooperative interactions can, if at all, get citizens and communities more engaged in collaborative governance. It focuses on the individual and small groups engaged in deliberating on a local community problem, which is water sustainability in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Experiments were conducted to compare how people deliberate and interact with each other under different IT-facilitated deliberation environments and with different prehistory of interactions. The unique experimental site for this research is a designed deliberation space that can seat up to 25 participants surrounded by the immersive 260-degree seven-screen communal display. In total, 126 students from Arizona State University participated in the experiment. The experiment results show that the deliberation spaces can influence participants' engagement in the collaborative efforts toward collective goals. This dissertation demonstrates the great potential of well-designed IT-facilitated deliberation spaces for supporting policy deliberation and advancing collaborative governance. This dissertation provides practical suggestions for public managers and community leaders on how to design and develop the desired features of IT-facilitated interaction environments for face-to-face and computer-mediated online public deliberation activities. This dissertation also discusses lessons and strategies on how to build a stronger sense of community for promoting community-based efforts to achieve collective goals.
One approach to support such personalization is via self-experimentation using single-case designs. ‘Hack Your Health’ is a tool that guides individuals through an 18-day self-experiment to test if an intervention they choose (e.g., meditation, gratitude journaling) improves their own psychological well-being (e.g., stress, happiness), whether it fits in their routine, and whether they enjoy it.
The purpose of this work was to conduct a formative evaluation of Hack Your Health to examine user burden, adherence, and to evaluate its usefulness in supporting decision-making about a health intervention. A mixed-methods approach was used, and two versions of the tool were tested via two waves of participants (Wave 1, N=20; Wave 2, N=8). Participants completed their self-experiments and provided feedback via follow-up surveys (n=26) and interviews (n=20).
Findings indicated that the tool had high usability and low burden overall. Average survey completion rate was 91%, and compliance to protocol was 72%. Overall, participants found the experience useful to test if their chosen intervention helped them. However, there were discrepancies between participants’ intuition about intervention effect and results from analyses. Participants often relied on intuition/lived experience over results for decision-making. This suggested that the usefulness of Hack Your Health in its current form might be through the structure, accountability, and means for self-reflection it provided rather than the specific experimental design/results. Additionally, situations where performing interventions within a rigorous/restrictive experimental set-up may not be appropriate (e.g., when goal is to assess intervention enjoyment) were uncovered. Plausible design implications include: longer experimental and phase durations, accounting for non-compliance, missingness, and proximal/acute effects, and exploring strategies to complement quantitative data with participants’ lived experiences with interventions to effectively support decision-making. Future work should explore ways to balance scientific rigor with participants’ needs for such decision-making.
The second project is the Structural Inertia Model, which is intended to build theory around why larger firms may be less successful in capturing new marketshare than smaller firms, as well as to advance fitness landscape methods. The model explores the possibility that firms with larger scopes may be less effective in mitigating the costs of cooperation because conditions may arise that cause intrafirm conflicts. The model is implemented on structured fitness landscapes derived using the maximal order of interaction (NM) formulation and described using local optima networks (LONs), thus integrating these novel techniques.
Finally, firm dynamics can serve as a proxy for the ease at which people can voluntarily enter into the legal cooperative agreements that constitute firms. The third project, the Emergent Firm model, is an exploration of how this dynamic of voluntary association may be affected by differing capital institutions, and explores the macroeconomic implications of the economies that emerge out of the various resulting firm populations.
Maricopa County is the home of the Phoenix metropolitan area, an expansive city with serious air quality concerns. To ameliorate air quality in the county, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department developed a website and mobile application called "Clean Air Make More" as a means of outreach and engagement. In doing this, the county has found a way to engender a bilateral relationship between individuals and their government agency. This study analyzes the effectiveness of Clean Air Make More in establishing this relationship and engaging the community in efforts to improve air quality. It concludes that the design of the application effectively meets user needs, but marketing efforts should target populations disposed to taking action regarding air quality.