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Management - Southwest Airlines - Term Paper Example

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Southwest Airlines has been an exemplary example of success, even during recessive time. It has been able to identify various elements of change management and effectively exploited them to maintain its leverage against it rivals. The paper would be analyzing its various components of success…
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Management - Southwest Airlines
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"Management - Southwest Airlines"

Download file to see previous pages Southwest Airline is one of the most popular low cost American domestic airlines which was incorporated in Texas and commenced operation in 1971 with three Boeing 737 aircrafts serving 3 cities. Today it has nearly 400 Boeing 737 series of aircrafts and operates in more than 59 cities across America. In 2011, it completes 40 years of its existence. Its mission is to provide the customers with highest quality of personal services (company). It has been able to sustain its profitability through the turbulent phase of post 9/11 period and current recessive economy even though the rest of the important airlines like Pan Am, Eastern etc. were struggling to survive. Situation analysisAfter deregulation in 1978, the airline business had become highly competitive. It had used various mechanisms to enhance its operational efficiency. While its human resource strategy was its major organizational coup to maintain its customer centric image, its efficient use of air routes, cost effective strategy in operation became critical to its success. As such main reasons that have contributed to its continued success are: human resource; customer service; and innovative cost effective strategy of operation. Schwenk (1997: 4) claims that ‘employee’s absolute commitment to a shared vision of change is seen by many leaders/ change agents as so important for their organization’s continued survival’. The organizational culture of the company is highly encouraging which believes in empowering its workforce. It also provides a facilitating environment of continuous learning and most importantly it encourages share in profits through stock ownership. After the 9/11 tragedy, the operations cost of SW Airlines as well as other airlines had considerably increased. The key reasons being: tighter security had required more rigorous screening; increase of overheads expenses vis-a-vis security screening, changes and reprogramming of its tracking of passenger information details and management strategy etc; drastic reduction in the number of passengers due to terrorist threat. These were major challenges that required highly creative inputs to not only maintain trust of the customers but also the confidence level of the employees. In the tough times, Southwest airline maintained high degree of employees’ morale by not laying off any employee. Most importantly, the management initiative was able to inculcate tremendous confidence amongst its workers by ensuring that there was no cut back in the number of flights also. This was a hugely important factor which sent a positive feedback to the public and greatly boosted the confidence of employees. Addressing the problem Maintaining the confidence of the customer was major problem which was mainly met by its human resource policy and organizational culture. It was also a key element that led to the firm’s continues success. It retained its policy of non attrition and did not lay off any staff. The company’s strategic plan was to improve customer service by increasing the number of customer service agents. This helped the passengers to get more personalized service. The empathetic attitude of staff, emotional ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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