Infrastructure Investment for Regional Development? An Empirical Investigation of Differences in Perceptions Between the Experience Economy Sector and Other Organizations



Infrastructure Investment for Regional Development? An Empirical Investigation of Differences in Perceptions Between the Experience Economy Sector and Other Organizations

Authors

Galina Biedenbach, Umeå School Of Business And Economics, Umeå University, Jessica Eriksson, Umeå School Of Business And Economics, Umeå University, Agneta Marell, Umeå School Of Business And Economics, Umeå University

Description

The main purpose of this paper is to explore potential opportunities perceived by organizations in the experience economy sector and organizations in other economy sectors with regard to a major transport infrastructure investment. 267 CEOs and personnel managers from seven municipalities affected by the development of the new railway participated in this study.

Abstract

The main purpose of this paper is to explore potential opportunities perceived by organizations in the experience economy sector and organizations in other economy sectors with regard to a major transport infrastructure investment. The study aims to make a theoretical contribution to transportation research by integrating theories on regional development and entrepreneurship, and by empirically assessing differences in perceptions formed by organizations from different sectors about opportunities enabled by a new railway. We utilize the Nordic approach to conceptualize the experience economy and to classify the organizations. We draw upon the concept of the creative class, which underlines our propositions on why organizations, predominantly SMEs, from the experience sector might perceive particular opportunities from the new investment and why they are more prone to expect that the new railway will benefit them specifically. The paper reports the findings of the project evaluating a major regional infrastructure investment in the new railway Botniabanan in Northern Sweden. 267 CEOs and personnel managers from seven municipalities affected by the development of the new railway participated in this study. The questionnaires were analyzed by using ANOVA. The results show that there are significant differences in perceptions formed by organizations from different sectors regarding opportunities which can arise from the new railway for a particular organization, a municipality, and its residents in general. Considering significant differences identified in regard to general attitudes held by organizations towards the new railway and their regional engagement, the study highlights the importance of understanding the essential differences in perceptions of an infrastructure investment and its possible implications for local businesses and institutions. We further develop practical suggestions for policy makers on how to consider perceptions of organizations about future opportunities and the differences between various sectors in their efforts aiming to develop the infrastructure and to facilitate regional development.

Publisher

Association for European Transport