IntroductionUber, a ride sharing multinational company, which has achieved meteoric growth since its upstart in 2009. It has since achieved an infamous reputation for successfully disrupting the taxi industry, providing a better alternative to private transport customers, offering a more efficient and interactive experience for their journeys.Although Uber achieved monumental success initially, they have been subjected to poor profit turnover, and a plateau in 2017 due to an unstable leadership and management style. Its disruption in the industry has led to backfires and internal complications, causing a murky reputation for the company worldwide.Uber's rise and fall in their management have led the company to success but may ultimately lead them into their demise, if the issue is not solved in time. This case study will reveal how an aggressive management style has carried the company, and how utilising Mintzberg's "Craft" approach will help sustain it.BackgroundThe company, Uber, came to fruition 9 years ago, and is considered the biggest threat to taxi industries across the globe. With 30,000 employees under the company, and around 350,000 drivers contracted around the world, the company is mainly male-dominated, especially those in managerial positions. Less than 40% of employees are female.Travis Kalanick, The Co-founder and ex-CEO of the company, implemented an aggressive and win-at-all cost attitude to the business, which may have enabled them to achieve initial success, but in the year of 2017, they were yet to turn a cent of profit. A former product engineer has reported the work environment to be highly hostile, favouring male staff members.The culture within the company was also described to be lacklustre, as Kalanick's focus was on his incredible vision. He was tenacious and hell-bent in his success, disregarding rules and people. His poor leadership and management lead the company to turmoil and resulted in his resignation.Identification of issues and problemsThe problem with Uber stemmed from Kalanick's reliance on his team, and his tunnel visioned approach to management. This was portrayed with his free-wheeling approach to workplace harassment, as the company protected managers who harassed female subordinates and penalised those who tried to stand up for themselves. The male superiors in the company were always ready to take advantage of their colleagues in a pursuit of advancements. The competitive environment Kalanick mustered with the founding of his company, has now backfired and he is the basis of it. The bureaucratic style characterised by Max Weber's Theory defines that technical efficiency leads to humanised workforces; redefining employees as cogs in a machine with no concern for ethical behaviour, which is a very similar situation to which Uber is currently in.Another problem with the management of Uber, is their "Laissez-faire" style of governing, and the company's lack of participation in Corporate Social Responsibility. This was especially shown, when Uber were actively aware of the recalled Hondas they rented out to drivers in Singapore but chose not to act upon the faults. Regarding Mintzberg's managerial style, Uber requires a balance of all three aspects to succeed. They excel in the "Science" and the "Art" aspect, but extremely poor in the "Craft" aspect. Showcasing that Uber operates in a heroic and dispirited management, resulting in a disconnected management, which would be evident in the decrease of employee morale. Possible solutionsChanging Uber's employee interactionAdvantagesAs Uber emphasises less stress on scientific work culture through more personal interactions, their employee will start to have an uprise in moral and organisational culture. This will increase motivation, therefore improving workplace culture, and enabling workers to become more innovative. This will allow a more sustainable workplace within the company and ultimately, healthier employees. DisadvantagesA caveat in changing the interaction style to a more personal one, is that executive staff would increase their travelling time in order to have more, for example, face-to-face meetings. Start investing into Corporate Social ResponsibilitiesAdvantagesAllows for the company to build in a fashion that may interest society and the environment, which in turn could increase the positive reputation of the company. Companies with a solid corporate social responsibility may also find it easier to recruit and retain employees as the company holds a more 'humane' approach to doing business. This may also hold true to attracting capital inflow from various sources. The company's image may become one that is trusted, and so may draw investors from all over. DisadvantagesThe main purpose of a business is profit making, but as the company starts to invest into corporate social responsibilities, it starts to shift away from this purpose and may decrease its profit. This would also lead to an increase cost in production, which further the expenditure of the company. The initiative to align itself to follow corporate social responsibility may make the business more cumbersome to run.Changing managerial workplace policies and valuesAdvantagesReduces internal conflict, keeping everything manageable as these policies may create procedures and methods to uphold the policies and values. It provide the workers with the knowledge about what is expected of them, such as behaviors and performance standards. It creates a more fair and unbiased methods for dealing with complaints and misunderstandings, which in turn may demonstrate the good faith that the workers will be treated fairly and equally.DisadvantagesThere would be a risk of turmoil in the firm and added cost for the firm. As these policies and values are adjusted into the firm, it may take time and resources to establish these changes. Training may be incorporated to ensure that the employees are fully informed and equipped with the knowledge required to implement these new policy changes. In circumstances such that the employees may disagree with the new policy adjustments, further cost of time and resources may be required to reach an agreement, or that corrective actions may be required if an employee fails to act accordingly to these new changes in policies and values.Proposed solutionsIn order for Uber to be successful in the forthcoming years, the culture of the organisation would have to change. Given the resignation of Travis Kalanick, things may already be heading into the right direction, but the newly appointed CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi would need to implement drastic changes in policies and values from deep within the corporation. The established policies would have to improve liaison between lower ranking staff, decreasing self-aggrandisement between managers and their subordinates; allowing for a more homogenous relationship. The new policies will also have to address the sexual harassment allegations Uber was infamous for, drawing a distinct line for the human resources department, helping them differentiating between what is acceptable in a professional work environment.Introduction of the new policies will pave newgrounds for the company's values, changing the fundamental belief of each individual. The guiding principles will assist people in understanding what is beneficial or detrimental in Uber, moving everyone towards a common goal. As Uber has also struggled with diversity, this unified belief will help merge all the differences from different cultures and genders.RecommendationsStrategy 1 - Organising training sessions and meetingsHuman resources will designate specific training sessions or meetings every month for all managers and staff, regarding the new policies, reminding them what the company's values stand for. This will ensure all members of Uber will be informed on all their decisions, and will accept the consequences if they don't comply. If these training sessions or meetings cannot be carried due to time constraints, emails from the CEO should be sent out to everyone under the company, though this should not substitute monthly meetings, as face-to-face meetings are priority.Strategy 2 – Allowing females to hold a high positions in the companyDue to the company being the focus of sexual harassment claims in the media, introducing more female members into the board or senior leadership positions would help mend their sexist image to the public. This would also illustrate to the members within the company, that females are as valued just as highly as males. Creating a form of deterrence for misogynistic men trying to perform unorderly conduct.Reference Listhttps://www.recode.net/2017/3/28/15087184/uber-diversity-numbers-first-three-millionhttps://prkessler.wordpress.com/2010/https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/11/organizations-sexual-harassment/546707/
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