Issues at Uber Debunks Study that Social Responsibility is Bad for Business

It’s time for Uber to move out of the line of fire or risk losing the company. There’s a reason that I used that phrase in the title of my book, From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire. Too often when companies install a culture of bullying and personal harassment they need to get rid of the bullies at the top in order to survive. 

Uber has given me no end of issues to write about recently and today isn’t any exception; the New York Times reports that 20 employees have been fired following a sexual harassment investigation. The outside law firm Perkins Coie was hired to look into 215 allegations of harassment, discrimination and bullying and found reason to take action in 58 cases. According to the Times, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is also looking into workplace culture as part of a larger investigation.

When you add these firings to the massive exodus of top executives, including the company president, the heads of finance and product, the East Coast general manager and high-level engineers, Uber begins to look like a car wreck. This news follows shocking revelations about sexual harassment revealed by a former female engineer and the suicide of an African-American engineer.

Uber’s troubles directly contradicts studies such as the one conducted by Florida Atlantic University College of Business that report corporate social responsibility as bad for shareholders. Consistent malfeasance and bullying in the workplace doesn’t seem to be doing much to bolster Uber. Isn’t it time to set aside the teachings of Milton Friedman and Harvard Business School that only shareholders count and start building psychologically healthy, safe, fair and productive workplaces?

Illustration credit: MMM