How Uber Manages Crises
Uber Technologies Inc., formerly known as UberCab, was founded by Travis Kalanick, Oscar Salazar, and Garret Camp in March 2009. Uber’s current valuation stands at 129 billion dollars. Uber headquarters are located in San Francisco in the U.S.A. Some of its major investors include Toyota Motor Corporation, Tencent Holdings, and SoftBank Vision Fund. In terms of structure, Uber has a pool of 3.9 million drivers across the world. The number is expected to grow annually owing to increased registrations that take place today. Noteworthy, Uber has operations in 63 countries and over 700 cities. This reveals that Uber is a service provider that is loved and globally accepted. Statistics reveal that in 2019, Uber Technologies had 26, 900 employees and that compared to women, men earn 7% more earnings (Jeon, Lee, & Jeong, 2020). Male drivers drive on average 2.5% faster which enables them to serve more clients. Additionally, female drivers below 65 years received more tips than men. Over the years, Uber has faced many disruptive challenges and fought many rivals transforming the company from a black-ca service to an empire for self-driving cars and food delivery. In the face of disasters such as the ongoing pandemic, Uber technologies have shifted gear to sustain their relevance in the global economy and international trade. The purpose of this essay is to highlight the challenges and ethical issues experienced by Uber. It further proposes innovative policies and strategies to address the challenges and strategies that can be employed in achieving an equitable, cross-cultural, and multicultural work environment.
Issues and Challenges
Although both the Uber drivers and clients face challenges, there are hardly any downsides for customers. One of the greatest challenges facing the industry is safety concerns. This is an issue because, in many states and cities with lax transport industry regulations, average citizens can easily infiltrate the system as service providers. Although it has a positive impact on the number of drivers, there is no way to guarantee that the drivers will maintain professionalism and safety. Another issue is surge pricing, which controls free markets by lowering and increasing pricing based on demand. This hurts customers as sometimes the fare could triple or double during peak hours. Low fares also impact negatively on drivers due to low earnings. In cities like New York, drivers are encouraged to get luxury cars and the latest models to keep with their customers’ needs (Kovoor-Misra, 2019). Price competition has had a negative impact on the transport industry. This has to do with the fact that Uber and other e-hail taxi services are always competing to provide the cheapest service. Further, they are also in competition with traditional. Another challenge facing the Uber business is the lack of accessibility features for people with disabilities. In some countries, car hire companies are mandated by the law to have a given number of wheelchair accessible vans for use. This is not always the case as most drivers don’t have access to the laws making it difficult to comply with the law.
Over the past few years, Uber has found itself at the center of unethical scandals ranging from sexual assault, sabotage, the issue of multi-tasking, and privacy (Maheshwari, 2017). There have been cases of customers raising sexual assault accusations against Uber drivers. This is because the process of bringing drivers on has been negligent. The Word is, Uber does not meet with drivers before approving their applications. It is expected that such a multi-billion company can afford to run background checks on their drivers as it is the only way to ensure clients’ safety. Further, Uber has been found to employ techniques of sabotage against their competitors to ensure they remain in business. Several Uber drivers were found to request rides from Lyft, their main competitor, only to cancel them. This causes the Lyft drivers to waste gas and have low availability leading customers to request Ubers instead. The fact that Uber bases its operations on using GPS to reach potential clients presents a drawback from a safety perspective. This is because drivers have to keep checking their mobile drivers while driving, increasing the chances of causing accidents. Uber has also been accused of disregarding its clients’ privacy as it has an application used in tracking their customers’ location.
Proposed Innovative Solutions
One of the strategies Uber can employ to avoid scandals is putting safeguards in place. Uber has been accused of sexual violations and drivers cheating their clients. While some of the allegations were true they lead to negative implications on the company’s brand. Putting sufficient safeguards provides a way of nullifying the negative publicity that faces them. Another strategy would be to offer its employees more flexible schedules to attract more people in need of additional income streams (Wong, J2017). Flexibility ensures Uber’s growth. Another strategy is adjusting its income claims by reducing commission. Currently, Uber collects commissions ranging from 20%-28% of earnings. Additionally, Uber should develop a grievance handling and sexual harassment policy in its company to help address cases of sexual harassment against its customers. Implementation of such a policy can help address the issue and improve their brand image. To maximize profits, Uber must recognize the changing nature of its business by diversifying its services. Recently, Uber has started leveraging technology for optimal driver allocation and cab bookings. Moreover, with the current situation, Uber should continue to scale up alternative businesses, including Uber Eats and Uber Freight.
Strategies of Implementing an Equitable, Cross-cultural and Multi-cultural Environment.
Uber Technologies recognizes that having inclusive and diverse teams is their greatest asset. It drives innovation which provides them with a competitive advantage. Uber technologies have doubled its commitment to create a work environment where people from all backgrounds can thrive and function. One of the strategies which Uber can employ is increasing the representation of underrepresented groups, including women. This can be achieved by increasing women workforce to 50%, increasing women’s representation in technology and leadership positions. A multi-cultural environment must consider not only race and gender but also sexual orientation. This means including people who identify as LGBTI in the workforce to ensure a diverse and equitable workforce.
Uber remains to be one of the most renowned and successful businesses of the 21st century. With operations in over 63 countries, Uber has managed to take over the ridesharing business by storm. Over the years, Uber has faced many disruptive challenges and fought many rivals transforming the company from a black-ca service to an empire for self-driving cars and food delivery. In the face of disasters such as the ongoing pandemic, Uber technologies have shifted gear to sustain their relevance in the global economy and international trade. It has found itself in the middle of scandals ranging from sexual harassment, safety concerns for clients, inaccessibility features and surge in prices. To address these problems, Uber Technologies must realize the need to keep their employees happy, reduce commissions, run background checks on drivers, and have safeguards.
Jeon, M. M., Lee, S., & Jeong, M. (2020). Perceived corporate social responsibility and customers’ behaviors in the ridesharing service industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 84, 102341.
Kovoor-Misra, S. (2019). Crisis management: Resilience and change. SAGE Publications.
Maheshwari, N. (2017). Uber taxi cab-handling crisis communication. Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies.
Wong, J. C. (2017). Uber concealed massive hack that exposed data of 57m users and drivers. The Guardian, 22.