Mission Statements That Put Action Over Thought Lead to Discrimination Complaints, Study Finds

When CEO Dara Khosrowshahi began his revamp of Uber’s troubled corporate culture, he started with the company’s stated core values. The result: …

When CEO Dara Khosrowshahi began his revamp of Uber’s troubled corporate culture, he started with the company’s stated core values. The result: Gone are phrases like “always be hustlin'” and “principled confrontation” from the startup’s early days. In their place, Uber now promotes values like “do the right thing” and “ideas over hierarchy.”

While it’s tempting to see such statements as corporate window dressing, new research suggests they may actually have real effects.

Dana Kanze, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at London Business School, with Stockholm School of Economics’ Mark Conley and Columbia University’s E. Tory Higgins, studied the impact of companies’ mission statements on discrimination claims made by employees. They found a strong connection: companies that define themselves overwhelmingly by language Kanze describes as fitting within the “act first, ask questions later” attitude of some startups were more likely to have Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints filed against them by workers. Companies that lean toward thoughtfulness or balance the act-first language with some more measured verbiage were subject to fewer violations. The research was published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

“We found that the language of corporate mission statements can predict organizations’ involvement in EEOC cases of discrimination,” Kanze explains. The cases in the dataset include gender, racial, and age discrimination.

The act-first language that leads to those discrimination complaints is referred to by researchers as “locomotion,” or statements that “prioritize urgent action.” According to a dictionary the professors developed, words that fall into the category include “act,” “dare,” “can’t wait,” “fast,” “change,” and “momentum.” Locomotion’s counterpart is called “assessment” language. Examples include “observe,” “question,” “thorough,” “truth,” and “consider.”

While Kanze cites Uber as a compelling real-world example of a company where that language prioritizing action overwhelmed the organization’s values, the study itself didn’t evaluate the ride-hailing giant. Rather, the academics examined franchises with thousands of workers, such as McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, Cinnabon, and others—which together employ 6% of the U.S. labor force.

Like Uber, McDonald’s has faced a public reckoning over sexual harassment; 25 women who worked in its restaurants filed sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaints with the EEOC in May. The researchers found a high level of “locomotion” language in the McDonald’s mission statement. In 2017, its growth plan said the company would “move with velocity to drive profitable growth.” Move, drive, and speed are all part of the researchers’ action-language dictionary.

7-Eleven had equally stark findings. Its “locomotion” score was well above the average for companies in the study, thanks to a mission statement that promises to “give the customers what they want, when and where they want it.” 7-Eleven had two EEOC incidents in 10 years, with other examples not included in the data because the EEOC didn’t directly file suit.

Companies with no EEOC violations were inclined toward the more thoughtful language of assessment. GNC, the health and nutrition brand known for selling vitamins and supplements, “demand[s] truth in labeling,” and takes a “rigorous approach to ensuring quality.” That language, Kanze and her team determined, is more think-first than act-first; GNC had no EEOC violations.

In addition to evaluating existing company mission statements in light of historical EEOC data, the researchers ran an experiment in which participants acted as franchise managers and received company motivational messaging that was manipulated with bias toward one language extreme or the other. In those scenarios, they found a causation between whether someone would act in a discriminatory way and the language a company used to describe itself. The mission statements influenced decision-making in a way that at times counteracted companies’ nondiscrimination policies.

The lesson from both components of their study, the researchers say, is not for companies to strip act-first ideas from their core values. They point to Cinnabon as an example: a franchise whose mission statement is balanced between the two kinds of language—both “keeping true to values” and “only we can deliver”—and that has not received any discrimination complaints pursued by the commission.

“The takeaway is not to take out all locomotion in mission statements. Those things helped propel Uber to a meteoric rise,” Kanze says. Rather, companies should “[embrace] a more thoughtful approach to their motivational messaging,” the authors write. Move fast, but think deeply too.

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The batch of companies IPOing in 2019 is the least profitable since the tech bubble, Goldman …

Uber IPO Dara Khosrowshahi AP Photo/Richard Drew. This year’s class of IPOs is expected to be the least profitable of any year since the height of the …

Uber IPO Dara KhosrowshahiAP Photo/Richard Drew

  • This year’s class of IPOs is expected to be the least profitable of any year since the height of the tech bubble in 1999, according to Goldman Sachs analysts.
  • Only 24% of 2019’s newly tradable companies are expected to report positive net income in their first year on the market, compared to 28% in 1999, the peak of the tech boom.
  • Biotech companies make up more than a quarter of the year’s IPOs so far, and none of them are expected to reach profitability over the next three years, the analysts wrote.
  • Though investors prefer positive income sooner than later, first-year profitability had “no discernible impact” of IPO outperformance for a company’s first three years on the market, the analysts found.
  • Visit the Markets Insider homepage for more stories.

More than 75 initial public offerings have taken place in 2019 so far, but the newly tradable companies are set to be the least profitable class in more than two decades.

Only 24% of companies that went public this year are set to report profitability before 2020, according to Goldman Sachs analysts. The figure falls below the 28% of companies that reported profitability within a year of going public in 1999, the peak of the tech boom.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Uber will study Dallas as its possible next self-driving car market

… has been a hub of innovation for our platform,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a press release earlier this month distributed by Texas Gov.

Forget Silicon Valley, many of the latest and greatest of Uber’s advanced technologies are headed to Dallas, Texas.

The company announced this week that it will begin collecting data manually — with a human driver at the wheel at all times — on downtown streets in November, in order to fine-tune computer simulations that could eventually power self-driving cars in the North Texas metroplex.

“The data we collect will inform our next steps,” Austin Geidt, head of strategy for Uber’s Advanced Technologies Unit (ATG), said in a blog post Wednesday. “We may not look to test our self-driving system in Dallas immediately following this first round of data gathering. While we are certainly excited by this possibility, we are also committed to ensuring that every mile we drive on public roads contributes meaningfully to our development work.”

Read more: Uber’s chief self-driving scientist reveals how different the world will look when autonomous cars eventually roll out

Uber’s self-driving expansion into Dallas will be its ATG group’s fourth location for the work the company is doing on autonomous software and hardware, following San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Toronto. The company also recently announced plans for a massive new office in the city that may eventually house another high-flying division.

Uber’s lofty plans for Dallas

Earlier this year, Uber unveiled plans for a network of urban air-taxis zipping from city centers to airports, with Dallas as one of the first test markets. Additionally, Uber hopes to also be delivering Uber Eats meals via drone to hungry customers in select markets beginning as soon as this year.

“Dallas became the first city in Texas where the Uber app was available in 2012, and since then Texas has been a hub of innovation for our platform,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a press release earlier this month distributed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

It all comes down to the “Uber for Everything’ model.

Lke Uber Eats, one of the company’s fastest-growing segments, Uber hopes it can expand its technology platform beyond taxi rides and food delivery, to everything from groceries to drones. So far, it’s experimented with Freight — and recently announced a massive new investment in Chicago to grow that business— and helicopter rides in New York.

“The Uber network is a powerful thing. It brings people closer to the things they need, and self-driving technology has the potential to create even more value to our users,’ Geidt said. “In order to arrive at that future, we must approach building this technology thoughtfully and with a strong sense of responsibility to the communities where we operate, which our team is dedicated to doing everyday.”

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Uber Finally Acquires Rival Careem In Stellar USD 3.1 Bn Deal

“This is an important moment for Uber as we continue to expand the strength of our platform around the world,” said Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.

Uber, the San-Francisco based taxi-hailing platform that has dominated the US and East African region has finally come to a USD 3.1 Bn agreement to acquire its rival Careem, the largest tech deal to happen in the Middle East region and among the highest globally in ride-hailing mergers and acquisitions.

Uber has been known for its aggressive expansion and tactics to dominate the ride-hailing space and this agreement to acquire its rival does not come as a shock.

The transaction which is expected to close in Q1 2020 consists of USD 1.7 Bn in convertible notes and USD 1.4 Bn in cash where Uber reportedly had to sell USD 1.2 Bn in junk bonds to help fund the purchase. The acquisition will see Uber expanding in the larger Middle East Region market boosting the rapid expansion of both companies.

“This is an important moment for Uber as we continue to expand the strength of our platform around the world,” said Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi. “With a proven ability to develop innovative local solutions, Careem has played a key role in shaping the future of urban mobility across the Middle East, becoming one of the most successful startups in the region. Working closely with Careem’s founders, I’m confident we will deliver exceptional outcomes for riders, drivers, and cities, in this fast-moving part of the world.”

Much speculation had arose over whether the deal would go through. The deal initiated in March this year had taken several months to come to a conclusion due to many stampedes trying to suppress the transaction including being banned from operating in Egypt.

Photo Courtesy: Uber

Under this agreement Careem will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, operating under the Careem brand and led by its founders. Uber will acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, ranging from Morocco to Pakistan, with major markets including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Careem which plans to be the ‘super app of the Middle East’ is a Dubai-based ride-hailing platform founded in 2012 that has operations in around 100 cities in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey. It has been in the news recently for its expansion across the region as well as into tier two cities. What’s more, it has delved into the food delivery space and has introduced P2P instant credit transfers for Careem rides.

“Joining forces with Uber will help us accelerate Careem’s purpose of simplifying and improving the lives of people, and building an awesome organisation that inspires. The mobility and broader internet opportunity in the region is massive and untapped, and has the potential to leapfrog our region into the digital future. We could not have found a better partner than Uber under Dara’s leadership to realise this opportunity. This is a milestone moment for us and the region, and will serve as a catalyst for the region’s technology ecosystem by increasing the availability of resources for budding entrepreneurs from local and global investors,” said Careem CEO and co-founder, Mudassir Sheikha.

Featured Image Courtesy: Reuters

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Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) Director Dara Khosrowshahi Sells 50000 Shares

Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) Director Dara Khosrowshahi sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, …

Expedia Group logoExpedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) Director Dara Khosrowshahi sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $132.98, for a total value of $6,649,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 477,677 shares in the company, valued at $63,521,487.46. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website.

Shares of EXPE stock opened at $132.69 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $129.92 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $126.44. The company has a quick ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71. The company has a market capitalization of $19.80 billion, a PE ratio of 27.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 1.06. Expedia Group Inc has a 12-month low of $108.11 and a 12-month high of $144.00.

Expedia Group (NASDAQ:EXPE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The online travel company reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $3.15 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.13 billion. Expedia Group had a net margin of 5.36% and a return on equity of 14.20%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.45 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts expect that Expedia Group Inc will post 5.8 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 22nd were issued a dividend of $0.34 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 21st. This is a boost from Expedia Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.02%. Expedia Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 28.27%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. WealthStone Inc. bought a new position in shares of Expedia Group during the second quarter worth approximately $27,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC bought a new position in shares of Expedia Group during the second quarter worth approximately $28,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC bought a new position in shares of Expedia Group during the second quarter worth approximately $41,000. Glassman Wealth Services increased its holdings in shares of Expedia Group by 404.3% during the second quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 353 shares of the online travel company’s stock worth $47,000 after purchasing an additional 283 shares during the period. Finally, Parallel Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Expedia Group by 95.2% during the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 406 shares of the online travel company’s stock worth $48,000 after purchasing an additional 198 shares during the period. 80.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have recently commented on EXPE. Cleveland Research began coverage on Expedia Group in a report on Wednesday, June 19th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada upped their price objective on Expedia Group to $177.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 26th. ValuEngine downgraded Expedia Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. TheStreet raised Expedia Group from a “c+” rating to an “a-” rating in a report on Thursday, July 25th. Finally, Citigroup set a $140.00 price objective on Expedia Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 26th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $152.57.

Expedia Group Company Profile

Expedia Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an online travel company in the United States and internationally. It operates through Core OTA, Trivago, HomeAway, and Egencia segments. The company facilitates the booking of hotel rooms, alternative accommodations, airline seats, car rentals, and destination services from its travel suppliers; and acts as an agent in the transactions.

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Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Expedia Group (NASDAQ:EXPE)

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