Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Graduate Defense: Jeffrey Skinner

March 12 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Dissertation Defense

Dissertation Information

Title: E-government in Idaho’s Small Cities: Factors of Adoption, Implementation, and Growing Organizational Capacity

Program: Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration

Advisor: Dr. Stephanie Witt, School of Public Service

Committee Members: Dr. Chris Birdsall, School of Public Service and Dr. Sanghee Park, School of Public Service


Over the last few decades, a growing body of academic research has focused on e-government in incorporated cities. Much of this research has focused on large and medium sized cities, with most researchers neglecting the study of small cities due to antiquated assumptions and assertions regarding population size and fiscal resources. This has created a digital divide in the literature, which impacts small cities and the citizens they serve. However, recent, and rapid changes have made e-government technology more widely available at a relatively lower cost. This, along with the punctuating events of the COVID-19 pandemic, indicate that e-government in small cities is likely changing as well. To assess the extent of these changes, and to address the void in the literature, I examined e-government in Idaho’s 175 small cities. Utilizing theory on the Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) and Punctuated Equilibrium theory (PET), I sought to answer two research questions, (1) what are the key factors associated with the adoption and implementation of e-government in small cities in Idaho, and (2) what is the organizational capacity of small cities in Idaho for e-government? To address these research questions, I gathered requisite data through a survey of Idaho’s 175 small cities, conducted 17 semi-structured interviews with small city e-administrators, and collected budget data and other publicly available and pertinent information. I then analyzed the quantitative and qualitative data, primarily utilizing descriptive analysis to address the research questions. My analysis identified four key factors associated with the adoption and implementation of e-government in Idaho’s small cities, those being fiscal resources, population size, and notably, e-administrators, and interorganizational relations. In determining the organizational capacity of small cities in Idaho for e-government, I utilized Fredericksen and London’s (2000) framework for measuring organizational capacity by analyzing (1) fiscal planning and practice, (2) operational support, (3) management and planning, and (4) leadership and vision. In these areas, the data is mixed, indicating that a good portion of Idaho’s small cities have substantial organizational capacity, but that there are also marked differences within the range of small cities. Overall, there are indications that small cities should be further included in future research. My research contributes to the field of public administration by adapting DOI and PET theory to address a void in the e-government literature. This research provides insights for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, decreasing the digital divide for small cities and the citizens they seek to serve.