Final Written Research Proposal

Final Written Research Proposal

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Introduction

 Transport industry in the UK has experienced numerous changes over the past years. Companies are using digital technology platform to offer convenient services to customers. Uber uses its app to have a direct connection between drivers and customers. This has changed how taxi industry operates. Since its launch, Uber has been able to attract more customers associated with the increased profits. In the UK, Uber was launched in 2012. This led to a new business model that challenged traditional taxi industry. The introduction of Uber services in the UK has changed how passengers choose to travel. Studies show that many passengers are shifting to Uber as opposed to night buses and traditional taxis. The research seeks to study reasons why people in the UK prefer Uber over traditional taxis.

The research is important because, ever since Uber was launched in the UK, passengers have been presented with a variety of choices on transport means. Passengers have been given an opportunity to make quality choices. Previously passengers in the UK has been considering traditional taxis as their transport means due to the convenience. However, this trend has changed to seeking Uber services. Through the research, motives behind the shift will be identified. Survey research design will be used in primary data collection. Proportionate sampling will be used in selecting the sample population. Qualitative data analysis will be used in data analysis. Data interpretation, conclusion, and recommendation will then be provided.

Rationale

Ever since Uber was launched in the UK, various issues in the taxi sector have been raised. Traditional taxi drivers have occasionally protested against the app. This has even led to considerations of regulating Uber services in an attempt to promote a leveled playing field for taxi services in the UK. However, even with the protests, and regulation changes, more people are changing their preference to Uber. Taxi services in the country have improved with the enhanced customer experience and regarding convenience. Therefore, conducting the research will be useful in identifying specific reasons why passengers prefer Uber over traditional taxis.

Literature Review

Researchers have conducted various studies about changes in the taxi industry in the UK and across the world. The studies have shown that digital technology platforms have changed the way the taxi industry operates. Passengers have different experiences from what traditional taxis have been offering. Current services are characterized by direct communication between drivers and employees. This is associated with improved customer experience. In the UK, passengers have changed the preference of taxi services from traditional services to Uber. Information on Uber success is widely available as studies have been conducted since it was launched.

Gyodi (2017) argues that online-based businesses are currently strong competitors of traditional firms. Connectivity has enhanced online platforms potential transforming various sectors including taxi industry. The author argues that Uber has completely changed the taxi industry. While traditional taxi companies operate under strict restrictions, Uber has eased the restrictions. Drivers can provide taxi services without the need of complying with the expensive regulations. For the consumers, they can access affordable transport services. Research shows that online platforms are succeeding over traditional firms.

According to Shaw (2014), the introduction of Uber in London raised concerns with drives of the traditional taxis to the extent of fuelling protests. In the first five years of operation, Uber managed to expand its operations in over one hundred cities in over 30 countries. This raised concerns with traditional taxi associations especially due to the expected competition. The fact that Uber allowed any driver with Private Hire Vehicle license to sign up with the company provoked controversy. Through the strategy, Uber was able to attract many drivers within a short time. Introduction of Uber in the transport market led to conflicts that required law intervention in the UK.

Wood et al. (2017) while assessing digital innovations impact in the transport industry in London suggested that introduction of Uber disrupted the transportation industry in the UK. The app made it easy to travel. It changed how people interact with the transportation network. Allowing customers to have a direct connection with drivers enables Uber to attract more passengers as compared to traditional taxis. Uber has affected the transportation industry considering that people are moving from night buses to its services. While there are benefits associated with the app, suggestions have been made to regulate Uber operations in the UK. Wood et al. suggest that there is a need to have networks linked allowing passengers to move easily.

Gloss et al. (2017) argue that apps are enabling passengers to pay for taxi services through their phones changing livelihood. In London, taxi business is divided into black cabs free to pick up passengers on streets and mini-cabs that are given jobs by despatch companies. Black cab drivers are required to pass difficult regulations. City authorities regulate the cabs. This is associated with the charging of higher fees. In 2012, Uber entered London to take advantage of the market (Kooti et al., 2017). The authors argue that Uber app has promoted new co-ordination between passengers and drivers. The research study shows that Uber has affected how transport sector specifically taxi sector operates.

Passenger experience has changed, and competition over passengers has also increased in the UK transport system. Uber uses technology to distinguish its services from traditional business models. Its rapid expansion has massively disrupted the taxi industry across the world. It is the most visible online labor platform. Disruptions in the taxi industry have been witnessed over time. For example, in the early 1980s, taxi industry changed from employee-employer relationships to independent contracts. In the US, Americans were replaced by immigrants. Uber is, however, the latest disruption in the taxi sector. Customer experience is one of the reasons why Uber services are so popular not only in the UK but across the world. Additionally, the high number of taxi operators traditionally makes it hard for passengers to make quality choices (Zickuhr, 2016). This is a major challenge for traditional taxi sector that Uber addresses today.

Research topic: Preference of Uber over traditional taxis in the UK.

Research Questions:

1.    Why do people prefer Uber over traditional taxis in the UK?

2.    What is the suitability of Uber services compared to traditional taxi services?

3.    How effective is Uber compared to traditional taxi?

Research Aims and Objectives:

1.    To determine the preference level of Uber over the traditional taxi.

2.    To assess the suitability of Uber over the traditional taxi.

3.    To examine the improvement of transport services since the launch of Uber.

4.    To examine Uber effectiveness over the traditional taxi.

Hypothesis

Uber has changed the transport industry in the UK. The taxi industry in the country has been disrupted by the introduction of digital platforms. Passengers in the UK has shifted the preference to Uber services because of the affordable services, and convenience. Passengers prefer Uber due to the improved customer experience with the digital platform technology.

Intended Methodology

Research philosophy

Researchers and policymakers have raised various issues on the changing taxi industry in the UK and across the world. Details on the success of Uber in other countries are widely available. It is also known that Uber has massively changed the taxi industry in the UK. However, information on the preference level of Uber to traditional taxi is scanty. Limited attention has been given to the suitability of Uber in taxi industry in the UK. This means that there is limited available information on the preference of Uber over the traditional taxi in the UK. This paper will contribute to the available literature by studying the preference level of Uber over the traditional taxi in the UK. It will also examine the suitability of Uber services, the effectiveness of the digital platform, and the improvement the system has brought in the transport industry in the UK.

Primary Data collection

In collecting primary data, survey research design will be used. The research design will involve collecting information from target population by asking questions. Interviews will be dome face to face and others through a telephone to collect information regarding the preference of Uber services over traditional taxis in the UK. Through the design, the characteristics of the UK passengers will be studied. Interviews and questionnaires will be used to collect information from the target population. The selected population will be asked about the preferred means of transport, reasons behind their choice, and advantages of the transport system. The questionnaires will require short answers related to taxi preference. However, interviews will require explanations from participants aimed at acquiring accurate information. The questions will be based on categorical data which involves using specific names as part of answers. The names include use ease, effective customer service, and quality.

How to conduct sampling

Collecting information from all passengers and drivers would be helpful in make conclusions of the research. However, this would be time consuming and expensive. Therefore, only some individuals will be sampled and question to collect the required information. The target population for the research is 1,000 passengers and drivers. 20% of the target population will be used as the sample size. Therefore, the sample size will be of 200 participants. A simple random sample will be conducted in selecting the sample size. Proportionate sampling will also be applied in conducting the research. This will involve dividing the sample size into passengers and drivers. The ratio will be 1:2. This means that 66 participants will be drivers while 144 will be passengers. The number of passengers is higher compared to drivers because research focuses on the passengers and their preference of Uber services over traditional taxis in the UK.

Data analysis

 For the categorical data, the share of the responses will be calculated then the number in each category will be divided by the total. Dividing the number of responses with the total will provide the percentages. The analysis will be done by participant segment. This means that the responses of the drivers and the passengers will be analyzed differently for accuracy. For the interviews, qualitative data analysis will be used. The analysis will involve making sense of the collected data and shedding light on the research problem. This will involve condensing the collected information into key themes by developing a code framework. A fixed coding framework will be used in analyzing the data. The codes will then be used in clustering the responses into basic themes that will help in shedding light on the research question. The final stage of the research will be interpreting the findings, concluding, and making recommendations.

Conclusion

Digital technology platforms have changed the way taxi industry operates. In the UK, Uber has changed the operations of the transport industry. Passengers are seeking Uber services as opposed too traditional taxis. Available research shows that Uber has changed taxi operations in the UK and across the world. Researchers have also proven that the preference of transport means about taxi services is changing. Studies show that more people, especially in the UK, prefer Uber services over traditional taxis. However, there is limited information on the reasons why people prefer the service. This research focuses filling this information gap. The topic of the research is the preference of Uber services over traditional taxi services. The research question is why passengers prefer Uber services over traditional taxis in the UK. Survey research design will be used in primary data collection. Proportionate sampling will be used in selecting the sample population. Qualitative data analysis will be used in data analysis and finally data interpretation, conclusion, and recommendation will be provided.

References

Gloss, M., McGregor, M., & Brown, B. (2016). Designing for Labour: Uber and the On-        Demand Mobile Workforce, pp.1-12.

Gyodi, K. (2017). Uber vs Licensed Taxi Drivers: A War between Technological Standards.       Working Paper DELab UW | No. 2, pp. 1-11.

Kooti, F., Grbovic, M.., Aiello, L., and Lerman, K. (2017). Analyzing Uber’s Ride-sharing                Economy. International World Wide Web Conference Committee, pp. 574- 582.

Shaw, D. (2014). Uber versus black cabs: Battle lines drawn. BBC. Retrieved on 1 May 2018       from http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27733971

Wood, Z., Parry, G., Carruthers, J. and Rose, K. (2017). Assessing the impact of digital          innovations in the London transportation network. Project Report. UWE Repository.

Zickuhr, K. (2016). When Uber Comes To Town: The Impact of Transportation Network          Companies On Metropolitan Labor Markets. Georgetown University. Thesis, pp. 1-        54.