The Rise of Uber and Regulating the Disruptive Innovator

Journal Article

The ride-hailing company Uber has achieved extremely rapid global expansion by means of out manoeuvring governments, regulators and competitors. The rise of the company has been based on a deliberate strategy of acting as a market disruptive innovator through a user friendly technology and making use of the ‘sharing economy’. These attributes are not unique, but are distinctively augmented by a relentless expansionary ambition and an ability to maintain the capacity to innovate. Uber has generated great political controversy, but the challenge for governments and regulators is to embrace the benefits of the disruptive innovator, while adopting an approach that takes into account the full range of impacts. For Uber, the challenge is to maintain its expansionary style as a disruptive innovator, while also redefining on its terms the political and public debate. The case study of London provides important insights into the dynamics of these processes.

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