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Uber: aggressive management for growth

Brett P. Matherne (Department of Managerial Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Jay O’Toole (Department of Managerial Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Publication date: 3 July 2017



This case uses Uber Technologies Inc. to engage students in a serious conversation about how a firm both affects its stakeholders and is affected by its stakeholders as well as the role of strategic leadership in the amount of emphasis placed on ethical practices. Uber represents a visible high-growth startup that has received considerable positive and negative attention in the media; however, few people know of the extent of its aggressive management approach. Much of the publicity about Uber is both a direct consequence of and a direct consequence for stakeholder relationships. Students are asked to analyze Uber’s approach and offer suggestions for moving forward.

Research methodology

This case was created using secondary data sources. The issues for Uber that led the authors to write this case were not very flattering to Uber, and therefore, the authors decided to use secondary sources. Since Uber and many of its direct competitors were private companies, the authors collected as much financial data as the authors could from publicly available sources. Also, due to the contentious nature of some of the managerial tactics used within Uber, the use of secondary data sources was warranted.

Relevant courses and levels

This case was crafted with senior undergraduate students in strategic management as the primary audience, but is also relevant for MBA-level strategy courses as well. This case touches upon core content in the vast majority of undergraduate strategic management courses with a special emphasis on two concepts underrepresented in most strategic management textbooks, stakeholder theory and ethical decision making.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The author/s may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Matherne, B.P. and O’Toole, J. (2017), "Uber: aggressive management for growth", , Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 561-586.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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