Uber Organization

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Uber is the largest taxi globally. It was established in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and it has its headquarters in San Francisco, in the United States. It is a technology driven company where customers are linked to Uber drivers through an app. The app is installed in a Smartphone and through the Smartphone customers can get a periodic update on the Uber driver distance to the pickup. Since its establishment, the company has spread to over sixty (60) countries worldwide. The company is valued at $ 60 billion by 2016 and it continues to rise in growth and market share. In the last two years, it has established its presence in Sub Sahara African, Middle East, Asia and most countries in Europe making it the largest taxi in terms of market share and profitability (Hartmans and McAlone 21). The Uber’s model of business is unique because the company does not have cars and does not employ drivers as well. The customers are charged based on the distance covered. This has created a lot of rift between Uber and the traditional taxi association worldwide.

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Uber is a technology-driven curb and it continues to involve in a lot of innovation to improve the service provided to customers. Uber technology connects customers to the nearest uber driver despite the geographical position (Blystone 12). The app or the system used by Uber connect customer by using the GPS system and therefore, it makes it easier for Uber drivers and customers to get linked easily. The payment system is also good and it is normally done using a credit card. The company success has not been achieved without loses and struggle. In the beginning, Uber experienced several losses from the market and stiff competition from other market players as well. According to Blystone (15), Uber made loses in 2010 and turnout in 2011 when it started making profits. It also faced market rejection in some countries where Uber has not established itself until today. Despite the challenges, the company has grown and it is operating in more than 300 cities and in six continents. The graph below shows that the market share of Uber has been increasing constantly since it was started.

Uber practices traditional organizational hierarchical where the CEO is the final decision maker of the company. It has a board of directors, which is regarded as the highest decision maker for the company. After the board, the CEO is the senior most employee of the company followed by the head of departments such as chief financial officer, SVP of engineering and chief technology officer. The management team of the organization comprised of a group of directors who meet and make a major decision regarding the company (Dudovskiy 21). It is, therefore, essential to point that drivers of Uber are not part of employees and not listed within the organizational structure. It means that drivers are independent contractors and have an understanding with Uber.

Uber faces challenges related to motivation, trust and job performance. In recent years, the company has been faced with a strike of Uber drivers. The drivers raised complain regarding the low payment. The drivers went on strike complaining of low pay from the digital system compared to the competitors in the market. The drivers are also treated as self-employed drivers, the issue which many drivers are not happy with and therefore, they have raised several complaints with the company without any success. However, the drivers feel that the company does not care for their interest and this forces many drivers to abandon Uber for the rival in the industry.

Since Uber treats drivers as independent contractors, the company does offer any training or any motivation aspect to the drivers. This has impacted badly to the company performance due to several strikes. For instance, in London Uber drivers prefer customers who are paying in cash and this is practiced in other regions where Uber operates. It definitely results in loss of revenue and brand for the company and therefore, the management must address the issues, which are being raised by its drivers. The lack of motivation is a serious problem, and therefore, it should be addressed not only to drivers but the entire workforce of Uber. According to Dudovskiy (24), the promotion and reporting procedure is not clearly defined and therefore, it forces senior and skilled employees to leave the company. In most cases, employees receive a negative review from their managers forcing good employees to leave to other companies. The issue must be addressed through policy orientation to provide clear promotion and review process of employees.

However, since the establishment of Uber, several issues have been raised, which affect the performance of the company. These issues relate to organizational behavior and therefore, they are vital to the future growth of the organization. Some of the key issues are toxic culture, battened reputation, checks and balances, transparency and the backlash from the price surge. The toxic culture is an essential issue at Uber since it affects the performance of employees and drives away customers as well. As stated by Blystone (21) Uber has been accused of being silent over sexual abuses, which are taking place at its officers. A former employee claimed that sexual endemic and sexual assault has become part of the company policy and it has been happening over the years with little attention from the CEO Travis Kalanick. Research established that the company does not have a strict sexual offense policy and therefore, it creates a loophole for some employees to exploit, which has damaged the reputation of the company. So many tech companies try hard to avoid hiring toxic people even if it means letting go the best employee. It is, therefore, essential for the company to adopt a strict policy regarding sexual harassment at work to ensure that toxic people do not take advantage of other employees.

It is also established that there is a lack of transparency at the company. Blystone (12) pointed out that the review in most cases is not done in a transparent manner as required. This has made several high-performance employees to seek for transfer or leave the company to other organizations. For instance, a senior employee was given a higher review and then asked for a transfer and some left the company. The fact that employees can leave the company after scoring a higher review indicates a serious problem, which needs to be addressed. The human resource must, therefore, take an initiative and work closely with other departments to draft policy and implement as well so that it can establish a transparent way of conducting business activities (Yamaguchi and Cosenz 13). The company must review employees based on the policy established and the performance should be the yardstick of review. It would address the issue of poor performance arising from the lack of motivation due to lack of transparency.

The company is also facing issues related to battered reputation. In the last few months, the CEO Travis Klinck was accused of being a toxic person. He has been accused of utterances, which indicates that he supports the sexual harassment and abuses at the company. The utterances of CEO Kalanick when the allegation came out did not help in address the problem but it made it look like the CEO is part of the problem. The issue affects the performance of employees and it affects the market base of the company. It makes customers lose faith in the company and therefore, a serious facelift is needed for the company to keep its brand strong in the market. The company has also faced a series of a negative campaign from social media, which could make it lose its brand popularity. The social media campaign #deleteUber has been on social media for a while and this has caused a serious damage to the Uber. This happened as a result of negative utterances from the CEO and the allegation of sexual abuse against the company.

Uber prices are not constant and it depends on several market factors. The surgeon prices happened especially on bad weather and high traffic. The reaction of customers has been negative and many people calling Uber a fraud. The company must address the issue of pricing fluctuation so that customers do not view the company has a fraud. It is important to establish a clear pricing strategy, which does increase the prices more often. This can be done through collaboration between finance and IT departments. It would ensure that all customers are using credit cards, which eventually will help in preventing loss of revenue.

To conclude, Uber is a technology firm with a history of performance. It has grown within a span of a few years to become one of the profitable firms. Although it faces challenges such as toxic culture, price surge, lack of transparency and battered reputation, the company still remains profitable and it is expected to increase its growth in the coming years.

Works Cited

  1. Blystone, Dan. “The Story of Uber.” https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/111015/story-uber.asp (2018): 2-18.
  2. Dudovskiy, John. “Uber Organizational Structure.” Research methodology (2018): 2-14.
  3. Hartmans, Avery and Nathan McAlone. “Uber Successful Story: The Business inside.” International Business Journal (2016): 2-15.
  4. Yamaguchi, Yokai and Federico Cosenz. “Analyzing Business Dynamics of Ride-Hailing Services.” A DPM Approach Applied to Uber Inc (2017): 2-15.
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