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Mobile Applications as Carriers of Institutional Pressures: A Case of the Finnish Taxi Industry

Conference paper
Authors Karin Väyrynen
Arto Lanamäki
Juho Lindman
Published in Nordic Contributions in IS Research Ed. Sune Dueholm MüllerJeppe & Agger Nielsen
ISBN 978-3-319-96367-9
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-9...
Keywords Taxi industry, Institutional pressures, Mobile apps
Subject categories Informatics

Abstract

While the worldwide market expansion of Uber has raised controversy, Uber has also received praise for its mobile phone app. Its many features – taxi ordering, pricing, real-time location information, paying, and service evaluation – have provided significant customer value. When Uber entered Finland in November 2014, few other taxi apps were available. Between 2014 and 2018, this shortage of taxi apps turned into an abundance, with many companies introducing their own taxi apps. By leaning on institutional theory, and more specifically by applying coercive, mimetic and normative pressures as a lens, we provide an explanation for why three Finnish taxi apps now resemble Uber in some features, whereas they differ in others. Based on our interviews, we can explain the present-day differences between these apps by coercive and normative pressures in the institutional environment of the Finnish taxi industry. We contribute to the IT and institutionalization research stream by illustrating how mobile applications as IT artefacts can be seen as carriers of institutional pressures materializing in the features they provide.

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