Mobility as a service-hype or the future of transportation?

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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While digitalization reshapes the traditional transportation industry boundaries, it is important to understand how technologies and different industry players begin to interact and where and how the new opportunities emerge. In this study, I examine Mobility as a Service (MaaS) – a current phenomenon and an emerging business model in the Finnish transportation industry that has gained significant interest on the global transportation markets. The overarching empirical purpose of this work is to understand the ongoing development process in Finland - especially in the Helsinki metropolitan area where the concept of MaaS is most developed. To address the research problem, the following research question is asked: How is the new business model, Mobility as a Service, developed in Finland? In order to answer the identified research question, I used the case study methodology and collected empirical data through nine semi-structured interviews and recently-published media articles about MaaS. Thematic coding was used as the central data analysis method as it helped me identify the common patterns in my data and group them under the bigger themes. For the purpose of primary research, literature on business models, networked business models and business model development were examined and integrated to the empirical findings of this study. My research concludes that MaaS is not a traditional emerging business model but rather a networked business model that is co-created in a network of actors. It emerges at the intersection of several concepts and ideas, multiple business models and technologies. Its core characteristics are: customization and personalization, an all in one mobility market platform, resource sharing and replacement of the private car. The development process of a networked business model is continuous and iterative by nature. The process begins with tens of independent firm specific business models evolving to the networked business model. Moreover, this research proposes that before becoming a fully functioning networked business model, the emerging model takes form of an opportunistic business model, during which introduction and testing of the emerging service happens. In addition to continuous iteration, involvement of new business network participants facilitates learning and identification of shared opportunities. Thus, this research proposes that the number of business model iterations and continuous involvements of new network participants are the core drivers of development.
Thesis advisor
Granqvist, Nina
business models, networked business models, emerging business models, business model development process, mobility as a Service, MaaS
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