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Uber SA: disruption of the local taxi industry?

Geoff Bick (Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)

Publication date: 6 August 2019


Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are as follows: to understand the repercussions of a disruptive technology, in addition to its perceived benefits; to incorporate the human element into the technology benefits; to appreciate alternate sides of an argument regarding an issue; and to analyse the cross-functional implications of an innovation that changes the “rules of the game” for doing business.

Case overview/synopsis

Uber, a US-based multinational, provides a real-time technology platform to enable users to utilise ride-sharing with Uber drivers. This is an example of a “shared economy” or “collaborative consumption” business model, which has disrupted the status quo of the taxi industry around the world. Uber was launched in South Africa in 2013, creating many job opportunities but causing much reaction from the taxi industry and the authorities.

Complexity academic level

This is a short case which can be used across a number of programmes, as most students will have had some experience or exposure to the Uber model, and is very useful as an “ice-breaker” case to introduce students to the case study method of analysis and teaching. This case can be used for undergraduate and postgraduate students in business schools or other institutions or on executive education programmes as part of a strategy, marketing, business model innovation or entrepreneurship module.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.

Subject code

CSS 11: Strategy



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names, financial and other recognisable information to protect confidentiality.


Bick, G. (2019), "Uber SA: disruption of the local taxi industry?", , Vol. 9 No. 2.



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