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Ability or morality? Exploring the multiple dimensions of social trust on public acceptance of urban transport infrastructure projects

Yang Wang (School of Civil Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Xingpeng He (School of Civil Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Jian Zuo (School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)
Raufdeen Rameezdeen (School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 30 January 2023

Issue publication date: 14 March 2023

303

Abstract

Purpose

The public's trust in the authorities has a great impact on people's perception and cognition on development of different types of urban transport infrastructure projects (UTIPs). Given the importance of public acceptance for the efficient construction and operation of UTIPs, this study aims at investigating the personal and environmental factors that influence public acceptance behavior from the perspective of stakeholder management.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on social cognitive theory (SCT), this study explores the multiple dimensions of social trust on public acceptance in the development of UTIPs by a comparative case study. Two types of UTIPs, a metro railway and a bridge in the Wuhan City, China, were selected as cases, with a questionnaire distributed among the public to collect their sense of trust towards the development of these projects. The data were analyzed through structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

This study reveals that social trust positively influences public acceptance, directly or indirectly through perceived benefit and -risks and self-efficacy. However, the emphasis on social trust about competence and integrity of the authorities varies with the types of projects. Self-efficacy worked as the “mirror of trust” reflecting people's attitude towards social trust in the authorities on their ability and morality.

Originality/value

The value of the paper lies in discussing social trust from multiple dimensions in the field of urban infrastructures, which provides new insights into specific mechanisms for shaping public acceptance in project management towards the development of UTIPs.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is sponsored by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71874127).

Citation

Wang, Y., He, X., Zuo, J. and Rameezdeen, R. (2023), "Ability or morality? Exploring the multiple dimensions of social trust on public acceptance of urban transport infrastructure projects", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 301-324. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-07-2022-0152

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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