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Counchsurfing Essay

2232 words - 9 pages

Introduction

Through globalization and the growing impact of technology and telecommunication have given rise to the assimilation of new social norms amongst the general public, resulting in an emergence of new subcultures that give way to innovation and opportunities to view in different perspectives. As the average man becomes more aware of his environment, he also becomes more intelligent; whether he knows it or not. Then, these perspectives and ideologies start to spread and new communities start to emerge, not solely in quantity, but also in quality. This newfound phenomenon is constantly reflected in the various organizations that have came to be.
Servas Open Doors was the first ...view middle of the document...

Secondly, their efforts in overhauling its founding core values emerged a success in keeping the company afloat, even with the emergence of similar business strategies formed by other companies. This is a story of the perpetuance of Couchsurfing despite all odds.

Background

Couchsurfing, also known as Couchsurfing International, is a hospitality exchange and social networking website with a wealth of communities that offer worldwide users opportunities for free accommodation at the homes of other users – quite literally, the opportunity to “couch-surf”. The website started as a small project in 2004, with four main individuals: Casey Fenton, Daniel Hoffer, Sebastian Le Tuan and Leonardo Bassani da Silveira. When on a low-budget trip from the USA to Iceland, Fenton sent a mass email to 1500 students from the University of Iceland to try to get accommodation during their travels.

The website gained popularity over the Internet, and the web soon saw similar companies such as Airbnb.com, Roomorama.com and Tripping.com arise. These websites, however, perform the role of a middleman to get financial cuts when successfully linking guests and hosts. This is something that Couchsurfing.com does not do. However, due to the ever changing demographics of the economy; many organizations find themselves having to adjust and readjust to the environment, just to sustain itself; for example, pressure from these other online companies have forced the website to switch from a non-profit to a for-profit company, calling out for investors for financial help.

Working & Management Structure

Change In Management
Couchsurfing.org’s employees are working on a product that is creating genuine, real-life connections between strangers (Glassdoor, 2013). This ideology was the core behind the Couchsurfing mission. In October 2013, then CEO Tony Espinoza announced that he was stepping down as the company laid off its staff members and refocused on mobile technology. Couchsurfing’s Director, Jennifer Billock, became the interim CEO as the company embarked on the search for a more permanent replacement (Lunden, 2013). Despite the drastic changes that occurred in the past few years, the company’s focus has yet to be shifted (Glassdoor, 2013).

Scientific Management Approach
Couchsurfing’s work ethic continues to fall under Scientific Management. The upper management have been nothing but transparent on their operations. The organization has high level of expectations of work performances from its employees; hence, they fire people who underperform. This is because they are building a company that consists of only the best employees in the city and believes that every team member has to perform astoundingly. This company encourages its employees to showcase their creativity by giving them the opportunity to work on interesting, unique and challenging projects (Glassdoor, 2013).

Human Resources Approach
Despite the high expectations of work...

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