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Airbnb: Scaling Safety With Rapid Growth

Beck, M., Foster, W., Kenney, C., O’Rourke, J. S. (editor
January 22, 2018
North America
Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
15 pages
crisis management, customer communication, customer relations, entrepreneurship, ethics, hospitality, social media
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

Airbnb, a rapidly growing peer-to-peer rental property platform, faces scrutiny and backlash for its actions after teenage guest, Jacob Lopez, claims to have been sexually assaulted by his host. The case discusses the struggles associated with a rapidly growing company in the sharing economy. To provide a proper framework for analysis, the case also details a brief history of Airbnb’s responses to similar previous incidents. How does Airbnb protect its guests from harm with little to no control over the behavior of its hosts? (Or, vice versa?) What communication should be implemented to respond to future incidents? 

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To discuss the challenges of a rapidly growing company in the competitive sharing economy.
  2. To describe the implications of Airbnb’s business model and associated safety hazards.
  3. To outline the company’s response to similar hazardous occurrences for purposes of problem solving and communication criticism.
  4. To explore possible ethical issues and how Airbnb should proactively proceed as it continues to grow.