Innovative Value Creation in Public Transport Learning to Structure for Capability

University dissertation from Karlstad : Karlstads universitet

Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this thesis is to explore the capability of Swedish regional public transport authorities (RPTAs) to organize public transport so that it stimulates the intended value creation process needed to increase users’ positive experience.Design/methodology/approach – This thesis utilizes an interpretative research approach. Two empirical studies, resulting in two papers have been used in this thesis. Study I consists of a quantitative Kano questionnaire with 930 respondents. Study II comprises a qualitative study with 11 semi-structured interviews. Both studies have been equally necessary to the results of this thesis.Findings – Public transport is one of the few public services with a mandate to attract users, and therefore, this thesis suggests that Swedish public transport organizations must understand how various services in multiple dimensions affect users’ preferences for public transport. With this understanding, public transport organizations can effectively and efficiently allocate resources and increase the appeal of future public transport. Such a focus demands a deep organizational knowledge and understanding of customer needs and detailed awareness of how the achievement of various requirements affects customers. This thesis shows that organizational structures are based on political comprises rather then the needs to solve coordination challenges and facilitate customers’ value creation. It is further argued that the organizational structures and personal or impersonal information processing mechanisms in Swedish public transport influence the search for information and subsequent organizational learning influencing the RPTAs’ capabilities to include and understand public transport users’ needs. This thesis offers insight into how public organizations, such as Swedish public transport authorities, can make decisions in structural design to learn from customer perceptions and adapt organizational policy accordingly.  In addition, I argue that RPTAs must employ both exploitative and exploratory learning to improve their capabilities and increase their efficiency and effectiveness. This thesis also provides a model to describe these relationships.Originality/value – Unlike previous studies, this thesis shows how organizational structures are decided based on political compromises rather than the need for coordination. This thesis offers insight into how public organizations, such as Swedish public transport authorities, can make decisions in structural design to learn from customer perceptions and adapt organizational policy accordingly.

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