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Uberisation is a transition to an economic system where agents exchange under-utilised capacity of existing assets or human resources (typically through a website or software platform), while incurring only low transaction costs.

The term is derived from the company name "Uber". The company developed a mobile application that allows consumers to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars.[1][2] The term refers to the utilisation of computing platforms, such as mobile applications, in order to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions between clients and providers of a service, often bypassing the role of centrally planned corporations. The model has different operating costs compared to a traditional business.[3][4]

Background[edit]

Uberisation has been made possible by the development of digital technologies developed in the 20th and 21st centuries. Business organisations such as Uber, Grab, Lyft and Airbnb enable potential customers to be put into direct contact with potential providers of a service. The phenomenon of uberisation is characterised by the elimination or quasi-elimination of middle man roles.[4]

Uberised business formats are characterised by the following elements:[5]

  • The use of a digitalised platform enabling peer-to-peer, or quasi-peer to peer transactions
  • Minimising the distance between the provider and customer of a service
  • The use of a rating system for the quality of the service provided by a provider.

Prevalence[edit]

Uberisation has, as of yet, taken place in a limited but growing amount of industries. For example, with the advent of Airbnb, the hospitality industry has been transformed to a large extent, estimated by industry analysts to have a total annual value, just in New York City, of over US $2.1 billion.[6] While uberisation has been criticised as potentially catalysing a chaotic shift by undermining existing corporate models in the hospitality and taxi industries, existing companies in industries such as marketing can use the phenomenon to reduce expenses and provide more specialised services for customers.[3]

Examples[edit]

Notable examples of uberisation include:

Ethical concerns[edit]

Uberisation has been criticised for its role in facilitating the decline of labour-intensive industries, and hence for threatening jobs.[13][14]

Uberisation has also raised concerns over government regulations and taxation, insofar as the formalised application of the sharing economy has led to disputes over the extent to which the provider of services via an uberised platform should be held accountable to corporate regulations and tax obligations.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rusli, Evelyn (June 6, 2014). "Uber Dispatches trips". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ Goode, Lauren (June 17, 2011). "Worth It? An App to Get a Cab". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. 
  3. ^ a b "Taking uberization to the Field - Disruption is coming for Field Marketing". 9 May 2016. 
  4. ^ a b M. Lazo, Kristyn Nika. "Execs wary 'disruptive tech' to heighten biz competition – IBM". Manila Times. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  5. ^ Pichère, Pierre (29 April 2016). "Les artisans face au choc de l'ubérisation". Le Moniteur. pp. 12–15. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "New study confirms Airbnb's negative impact on hotel industry". 
  7. ^ "Taxi operators must pick up the challenge". AsiaOne. 
  8. ^ "Uber rival GrabTaxi plans carpooling service in Singapore". The Straits Times. 
  9. ^ Daniel Roberts (19 August 2015). "Uber Rival Grabtaxi Scores Funding From Uber Rival Didi Kuaidi - Fortune". Fortune. 
  10. ^ Victoria Ho (4 December 2015). "Lyft makes big play for Asia by partnering with 3 main Uber rivals". Mashable. 
  11. ^ Newcombe Tod (21 September 2017). "A growing number of cities are benefiting from sharing economy". Fortune. 
  12. ^ Evan Schuman (18 April 2016). "Need more proof of mobile's impact? Look to AMC CEO's statements". Computerworld. 
  13. ^ "The 'uberisation' of the workplace is a new revolution". EurActiv.com. 
  14. ^ Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (21 March 2014). "The Uberisation of Talent: Can the Job Market Really Be Optimised?". Forbes. 
  15. ^ "'Uberisation' of economies pinching state tax revenues". Business Insider. 27 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of uberisation at Wiktionary

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