Uber and the Sharing Economy: Global Market Expansion and Reception

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: February 19, 2016
Length: 20 pages
Product ID#: 1-430-479

Core Disciplines: Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Ethics, Information - Technology & Management, International Business, Marketing/Sales, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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Alexander Cooper is gearing up to lead an expansion strategy for the scrappy and super successful car sharing service, Uber. While the company has not been without its controversy, it is making headway in far off places like India. It is looking to scale its model in India, China, and the rest of Southeast Asia, but is increasingly running into regulatory hurdles. Cooper is forced to think hard about what Uber’s expansion strategy should be and how it will impact the company’s operations. Uber currently markets itself based on word of mouth, but in markets like China where two companies dominate 99% of market share, this may be unrealistic. What path should this sharing economy company take?

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Explain the benefits of and challenges to the sharing economy.
  • Compare and contrast the sharing economy as an alternative to the existing system.
  • Describe the challenges involved in implementing a U.S. business model on international and global scales, and predict whether or not Uber can generate a profit by expanding globally.
  • Compare and contrast Uber’s business model and strategy with its competitors.