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Organizational structure and learning: The case of Swedish public transport authorities
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. (Centrum för Tjänsteforskning/SAMOT)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to explore how organizational structure and information processes frame the abilities of organizations to reach their objectives. 

Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses multiple cases to gain a holistic understanding of the role of organizational structure in learning within public organizations. This study comprises 11 semi-structured phone interviews with 11 respondents each representing a Regional public transport authority (RPTA) in Sweden.

Findings –This article argues 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’ ability to reach their objectives.

Originality/value – Unlike previous studies, this article shows how organizational structures in public organization, such as Swedish public transport, are decided based on political compromises rather the needs to solve coordination problems. 

Keyword [en]
Organizational structure, organizational learning, public transport
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-39076OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-39076DiVA: diva2:896920
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-19 Last updated: 2016-03-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Innovative Value Creation in Public Transport: Learning to Structure for Capability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Innovative Value Creation in Public Transport: Learning to Structure for Capability
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Abstract [en]

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 an approach requires not only a deep organizational knowledge of customer needs, but also a detailed knowledge of how the achievement of the various demands affects users and their value creation. This thesis further shows that organizational structures are based on political comprises rather then the needs to solve coordination challenges and facilitate customers’ value creation. It is here 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016. 68 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2016:6
Keyword
Capability, organizational learning, organizational structure, public transport, theory of attractive quality
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-39091 (URN)978-91-7063-684-4 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Presentation
2016-03-11, 11D257, Agardhsalen, Karlstad, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-02-22 Created: 2016-01-20 Last updated: 2016-08-25Bibliographically approved

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