Interpretative flexibility and conflicts in the emergence of Mobility as a Service: Finnish public sector actor perspectives

Milos Mladenovic, Noora Haavisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) is still largely under development, with high uncertainties of its societal implications. This development is happening across sectoral, multi-layered, and multi-actor networks. Previous case studies on understanding networked governance of MaaS inform us that there is a range of challenges in the current institutional arrangements, lack of shared MaaS vision, divergent interests, and even conflicts over roles and responsibilities. These case studies have used analytical frameworks based on socio-technical transitions theory, complemented with theories from institutional and business studies. This study focuses on Finland, aiming to provide additional insights about perspectives of non-commercial actors. In particular, we provide a more sophisticated understanding of underlying reasons for conflict and lack of cooperation concerning an understanding of MaaS, its implications, and associated governance actions. The applied analytical framework is building upon concepts from the philosophy and sociology of emerging technology, as well as the contemporary political theory of Chantal Mouffe. Interview findings from seventeen non-commercial organisations have been classified into five categories, namely definitions, operational and business aspects, user perspectives, systemic effects, and governance. Discussion of these interview findings focuses on the interpretative flexibility of MaaS and governance processes in the context of inherent conflict in the value-laden mobility domain. The paper concludes with outlining directions for further synthesis in developing analytical frameworks for studies of governance and responsible innovation in the domain of emerging mobility technologies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCase Studies on Transport Policy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • MaaS
  • mobility services
  • transport governance
  • emerging technology
  • mobility on demand
  • intelligent transport systems
  • smart mobility

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