The learning outcomes are as follows: to gain insight into the importance of location, in terms of spatial and temporal context and the capability of leadership to tune…
The learning outcomes are as follows: to gain insight into the importance of location, in terms of spatial and temporal context and the capability of leadership to tune into and strategically adapt to context; to understand and explain the sharing economy and explain how the Uber business model fits into this new way of doing business; to evaluate how Uber South Africa has adapted its business model in the period of the COVID-19 crisis and discuss the nature of the business model innovations that is has made; and to understand business model for sustainability and how it differs from the general understanding of business models.
On 15 May 2020, Alon Lits, General Manager of Uber Africa was considering his dilemma of adapting their business model to the demands of COVID-19, without losing their core business model as a multi-sided technology platform business. Uber was asking their riders to stay home to ensure social distancing during the lockdown, rather than booking a ride with Uber. The question was how they could support their driver partners, while they were discouraging riders to make use of Uber. Uber had taken initiatives to create additional revenue streams for drivers. The case highlights how Alon Lits and his executive team prioritised the health and well-being of their Uber community and quickly adapted their technology to meet the evolving needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. They customised their offerings to the different needs in the seven Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries in which they operated. Uber supported businesses by using the Uber-X sedan vehicles to deliver necessities like food, medicine and parcels to the frontline and poor communities. Uber globally offered their drivers in quarantine 14 days of financial assistance. Serving communities also involved offering free rides to women and children who were victims of domestic violence to get them to a safe space. The multi-sided platform technology business had to consciously adapt, to the “next normal” as the COVID-19 era evolved.
Complexity academic level
The case is most suitable for Post-Graduate Master’s level courses, MBA, MPhil in Corporate Strategy.
Teaching Notes are available for educators only.
CSS: 11 Strategy.
The purpose of this paper is to experiment a dynamic performance management (DPM) approach to explore and assess the business dynamics of digital ride-hailing platforms…
The purpose of this paper is to experiment a dynamic performance management (DPM) approach to explore and assess the business dynamics of digital ride-hailing platforms with a focus on both supply and demand sides, and related interplays.
The research adopts the DPM framework supported by simulation-based experimentations for developing a systemic case interpretation of Uber Inc. and its specific business complexity.
The emerging scenario analysis reveals that changes in the commission percentage for drivers and cutting prices for customers (car hailers) by competitors have significant impacts on the car-hailing industry.
DPM and associated simulation-based analysis of the ride-hailing business may provide significant managerial decision insights and a ground base research in a relatively less-explored field within the strategic management domain.
This paper provides a perspective on the field of nonmarket strategy. It does not attempt to survey the literature but instead focuses on the substantive content of…
This paper provides a perspective on the field of nonmarket strategy. It does not attempt to survey the literature but instead focuses on the substantive content of research in the field. The paper discusses the origins of the field and the roles of nonmarket strategy. The political economy framework is used and contrasted with the current form of the resource-based theory. The paper argues that research should focus on the firm level and argues that the strategy of self-regulation can be useful in reducing the likelihood of challenges from private and public politics. The political economy perspective is illustrated using three examples: (1) public politics: Uber, (2) private politics: Rainforest Action Network and Citigroup, and (3) integrated strategy and private and public politics: The Fast Food Campaign. The paper concludes with a discussion of research issues in theory, empirics, and normative assessment.
While digital platforms tend to be unproblematically presented as the infrastructure of the sharing economy – as matchmakers of supply and demand – the authors argue that…
While digital platforms tend to be unproblematically presented as the infrastructure of the sharing economy – as matchmakers of supply and demand – the authors argue that constituting the boundaries of infrastructures is political and performative, that is, it is implicated in ontological politics, with consequences for the distribution of responsibilities (Latour, 2003; Mol, 1999, 2013; Woolgar & Lezaun, 2013). Drawing on an empirical case study of Uber, including an analysis of court cases, the authors investigate the material-discursive production of digital platforms and their participation in the reconfiguring of the world (Barad, 2007), and examine how the (in)visibility of the digital infrastructure is mobilized (Larkin, 2013) to this effect. The authors argue that the representation of Uber as a “digital platform,” as “just the technological infrastructure” connecting car drivers with clients, is a political act that attempts to redefine social responsibilities, while obscuring important dimensions of the algorithmic infrastructure that regulates this socioeconomic practice. The authors also show how some of these (in)visibilities become exposed in court, and some of the boundaries reshaped, with implications for the constitution of objects, subjects and their responsibilities. Thus, while thinking infrastructures do play a role in regulating and shaping practice through algorithms, it could be otherwise. Thinking infrastructures relationally decentre digital platforms and encourage us to study them as part of ongoing and contested entanglements in practice.
Uber, the virtual service that connects drivers to passenger, presents a novel form of work-organization in which managerial functions are transposed into a virtual…
Uber, the virtual service that connects drivers to passenger, presents a novel form of work-organization in which managerial functions are transposed into a virtual platform. This ethnographic study documents how Uber drivers in the city of Monterrey, Mexico navigate and come to make sense of the Uber model of work. Employing the conceptual device of the work-game, this study argues that engagement in the game of “earning coins” coupled the interest of drivers in generating the most-possible income with the interest of management in maintaining a readily available labor pool. Reinforcing this coupling was Uber’s deployment of an entrepreneurial ideology of “being your own boss,” which was especially important given the company’s lack of a physical management structure. However, as Uber takes advantage of the deindustrialization that has gripped Monterey, it attracts drivers exhibiting varied employment trajectories. This in turn creates different modes of playing the work-game and thus generates sharply divergent subjective understandings of the work, whose nature this chapter explores.
The purpose of this paper is to explore all the strategies adopted by Uber China to gain more and more market shares of Chinese markets. It included localization of its core product, adaptation to Chinese demands and tying up with different Chinese companies.
The case study has been prepared after thoroughly studying Uber’s business in China. Secondary data is collected from credible sources such as the Uber website, newspapers, interviews and journal publications. This data helped in arriving at a basic understanding of the company, its objectives, strategies and the business model. The strategies formulated by Uber and the challenges it faced while operating in China are studied and explained based on this secondary data. Various published papers, reports released by reputed organizations and universities, interviews of managers and experts and research papers were also used to develop this case.
This case is developed considering the bent of today’s consumers toward sharing economy. The scope of businesses based on the concept of sharing economy is very wide and is increasing. China’s sharing economy sector was one of the fastest economies in the world. The case chronicles ride of Uber in China: from its entry in the country, strategies adopted, challenges faced and to the exit from China.
Complexity academic level
International business management at the undergraduate and postgraduate programs in management
Over the past few years Uber has experienced more controversy than any other digital platform. Looking at the case of Uber in Poland, this chapter distinguishes four…
Over the past few years Uber has experienced more controversy than any other digital platform. Looking at the case of Uber in Poland, this chapter distinguishes four arenas in which Uber has been contested: in cities, in public opinion, in the political realm, and in the legal field. Each of these arenas has a different logic and dynamic and also involves different actors and institutions. Nevertheless, the various struggles are connected with each other. Victories and defeats in one spill over into another, providing actors with resources or imposing constraints on them. The author illustrates the connection between various arenas by looking at court cases involving Uber drivers in Poland and shows how those court cases were not only legal events that determined the legality of Uber in Poland but also moral and political events that influenced struggles over legitimacy that were taking place outside the courtroom.
Consumers’ intentions to participate in the sharing economy have received much attention from researchers in recent times. However, little attention has been paid to…
Consumers’ intentions to participate in the sharing economy have received much attention from researchers in recent times. However, little attention has been paid to consumers’ actual participation in the sharing economy. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that drive customers in Ghana to use Uber.
The authors used surveys as the research design. There were 500 participants who were users of Uber. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires.
The findings of this study show that trust, customer return on investment and search convenience are the key factors that contribute to riders’ usage of Uber service. Furthermore, this study shows that consumers’ need for prestige and social connection do not play a significant role in consumers’ (riders’) usage of Uber services.
Studies investigating consumers’ participation in the sharing economy from an emerging economy context using the social exchange theory is limited. This study identifies elements of the economic and socio-emotional dimensions of the social exchange theory and the strength of their impact on people’s participation in the sharing economy.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze why people have become suppliers in the sharing economy (SE) as Uber drivers in a developing country.
From a background on SE, car sharing and gig economy, the authors carried out a qualitative research. The analysis was based on 20 semi-structured interviews conducted with Uber drivers, and on the authors’ participant observation as Uber drivers and passengers in the third largest Brazilian city, Belo Horizonte.
Empirical evidence shows that becoming an Uber driver is more a matter of solving unemployment on a more permanent way rather than a search for a temporary and flexible work to supplement income. Although there are benefits related to flexibility, income and social interactions, negative externalities identified herein lead to the conclusion that the overall work relations and conditions are negative.
Much in the literature of the SE is focused on understanding consumer behavior; this research, on the contrary, is focused on understanding producers, which indicates an incipient perspective. The contributions of this paper show that the SE merges into different distributive decentralized means of production that are seeing as profit/income generated from shareable assets.