The meteoric rise of ride-sharing firm Uber illustrates how gig-economy firms can grow to prominence and disrupt older, mature industries. Yet Uber's trajectory has also been rife with nontrivial tensions and controversies. The company has struggled with labor issues for drivers, safety issues for riders, cultural issues for employees, and external costs imposed on communities. How do these frictions matter, and why? What are the implications for Uber going forward? What's the role of effective stakeholder engagement and value creation in organizational success?
This case is used at Darden in the first-year core Strategy course, often in conjunction with Chapter 6 of the book The Strategist’s Toolkit ("Stakeholder Analysis"), by Jared D. Harris and Michael J. Lenox. The case is also suitable for Darden’s first-year core Ethics course. It is appropriate for use in any course or module covering stakeholder management from either a strategic or ethical perspective. Students adopt the role of a female executive in a male-dominated corporate culture.