|Type of paper:||Research paper|
|Categories:||Uber Organizational behavior|
In March 2009, business partners Garret Camp and Travis Kalanick founded Ubercab. The company was created with the aim of providing an on-demand transport service that would be afforded by wide varieties of clients who were fed up with using the expensive yellow cab services. Garret and Travis decided to make their mission possible by giving drivers an option of splitting their cost. In splitting costs, Uber cab drivers were to share costs with other people and the company thus making services affordable to the public and not affecting the earnings of the driver.
Garret and Travis have been successful in their previous businesses as the founders of the popular website and application StumbleUpon and the co-founder of the file-sharing website termed Red Swoosh respectively. It was at San Francisco that the company managed to launch the UberCab service in 2010 in the presence of small feet of drivers. The drivers were armed with smartphone applications that gave their users the ability to call drivers to the location in which they were and with a simple click of a button, the driver arrived.
A year after the launch of UberCab, the management changed its name to Uber and had their services expand to other major towns in America. According to McAlone & Hartmans (2016), Uber's financial documents were linked showing an increase in ridership revenue to about 1.5 billion dollars. However, since 2015, Uber has been trending but for the wrong reasons. In focusing on the quick growth of Uber, one would be misled to focus on the positive factors that have rapidly increased the pace of the company. Being all over the news in the past three years, Uber Company has been attached to a wide range of scandals. The decline in Uber's performance is mainly because of issues to do with organizational behavior and company management. Uber's biggest problem is a culture of dishonesty, being overly aggressive and reports of sexual assault. In a study by Luthans (2010), organizational behavior can be defined as the study that understands, predicts and manages human behavior in organizations. Organizational behavior studies the way people interact in groups. The study of organizational behavior is usually applied with the aims of creating more efficient organizations.
Organizational behavior issue at Uber
Earlier in the development of Uber, the main concern for customers was that their drivers were potential sexual predators who posed a threat to those using the service. Other than drivers sexually harassing clients, former employees at Uber have also filed lawsuits in at least two countries alleging verbal abuse and sexual harassment at the hands of managers. While there have been cases against Uber, the focal points of cultural issues have been linked to organizational behavior. In an article by Isaac (2017), new employees joining Uber as forced to subscribe to 14 core company values which include entering into bold bets with the customer, being obsessed with clients and always in a hustling mood. The ride-sharing service emphasizes that its employees operate within 'meritocracy'; a belief that only the brightest and the best of workers will rise to the top basing on their efforts. With this belief, Uber employees can do anything to rise to the top, even if it means stepping on people's toes to get there.
The focus on best results to get to the top has fueled what both former and current Uber employees' term as the Hobbesian environment at the organization. According to Uber employees, the Hobbesian organizational behavior causes workers to be against each other thus making the company turn a blind eye to top performers. After researching for reasons behind Uber's negative headlines, Weissman (2018) identified an issue with the company's communication patterns. In the midst of Uber issues, the company seemed to have been having a problem with its organizational culture. Weissman provides a list of many incidences over the years that may point towards the company has developed a culture that promotes predatory and overly aggressive culture among its employees.
In the occurrences he mentions, an instance of a former site reliability engineer who shares her profound experiences at the firm is mentioned. In short, the female worker made complaints about sexual harassments to the human resource, and her charges were brushed off because the employee in question has a strong history of better performance. Adding to the complaints, the female worker also showed how the department dropped the female employment rate from 25 percent to 3 percent. As she finishes her experience, she illustrates how the manager later warned her not to report another case in the future. All these experiences performed by employees at top management and those wishing to be at the top are just a couple of illustrations of rogue organizational behavior in team management.
One reason why these issues qualify to be problems with organizational behavior is that Uber is analyzed from employee attitude. From the above instances, one can tell the position of Uber employees towards the organization, clients, and colleagues. Findings from the organizational behavior body of research show how business culture can be used to facilitate the understanding of organizational behavior. The fact that human resource management does not respond to accusations done by other employees makes it clear that Uber has poor employees' organizational behavior of employees which is as a result of weak business culture. It is a business culture that facilitates employee retention, productivity and customer satisfaction. Uber issues fall under problems of organizational behavior because the business culture has failed to assess the right ways to manage employee misbehavior thus proving that other employees acting similarly can also get away with it. Theories around leadership analyze organizational behavior from what leadership looks like. Leadership in organizational behavior is viewed to be connected to management. The theory understands employee behavior as a result of an interaction with management. For the reason of bad behavior in Uber's leadership, these issues qualify to be organizational behavior problems because of the element of management and bad behavior.
Stanley (2017) recommends a perfect fit strategy for a modern company like Uber. The author claims that modern companies should wrestle with improving hiring practices. Uber should implement hiring training and in these training conduct interviews where new employees are made aware of the consequences of unconscious biases. These hiring practices should also apply to top management officials. MacDuffie (2017) discusses the future of Uber by revealing how the company should strive to change its toxic workplace. To him, Uber needs to make changes to the lousy workplace culture as fast as they could. In turning their culture, the company should strive to create a healthy working environment with the intention of gaining the trust of investors, employees, and customers.
In regaining confidence, Uber could fire all employees with charges of inappropriate behavior, discrimination, and sexual harassment to show that they are in dire need of change. Culture is a tough concept to change but changing it would be a measure to help regain its top position in the ride-sharing industry. To many employees, stakeholders and customers, the perception that Uber does not treat those well hurts and not taking responsibility for their problems would make things worse than they already are.
Isaac, M. (2017). Inside Uber's aggressive, unrestrained workplace culture Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/technology/uber-workplace-culture.html
Luthans, F. (2010). Organizational Behavior. McGraw-Hill Education; 12 edition.
MacDuffie, W. (2017). How Uber can reset its corporate culture Retrieved from http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/uber-can-reset-corporate-culture/
McAlone, N. & Hartmans, A. (201). Uber lost a whopping $1..27 billion in the first half of 201 Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-2016-losses-2016-8?IR=T
Staley, O. (2017). The official recommendations for reforming Uber describe the perfect modern company Retrieved from https://qz.com/1005316/eric-holders-recommendations-for-uber-describe-the-perfect-modern-company/
Wissman (2017). This is what caused Uber's broken company culture https://www.fastcompany.com/3068475/this-is-what-caused-ubers-broken-company-culture
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