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Changes in South West Airlines - Assignment Example

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From the paper "Changes in South West Airlines" it is clear that once the new leadership has focused on the business performance, there will be growth through delegation after the second step through direction and this can help to save the autonomy crisis…
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Changes in South West Airlines
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At south-west Airlines, the type of change that has taken place in this organization is evolutionary. The type of changes that take place in most organizations is evolutionary. This includes gradual, incremental and minor changes. Examples include; total quality management where the organization focuses on small but constant refinement to increase efficiency and improve productivity. They should also have flexible work teams that ensure that workers are trained broadly in all aspects of production (Jones 123). This will ensure that workers can be gradually between various activities and keeps them motivated. Evolutionary change is beneficial for both workers and managers. This type of change is slow and will give people time to see how the organization will react.
2) The types of changes that deal with a restructuring that this company has undertaken include, changing task and authority relationships, It has also been involved in redesigning the organizational structure and the culture to improve organizational effectiveness.
3) The forces for change include the following;
Competitive pressure – when competitors increase the quality, efficiency and customer service, there is pressure to change.
Economic, political and global forces – this tends to affect where the firms produce the goods and services like political instability. For example, political instability has been shown to depress the GDP and foreign investment (Jones 138). As the firm moves its operation elsewhere, it will lead to fewer work opportunities and a continued cycle of instability.
Demographic and social factors – the organization must adapt to handle substantial knowledge loss and cope with workforce issues. For example, 77 million baby boomers are projected to retire in the next 20 years. This means that organizations have to rearrange their workforce.
Ethical issues –the trend in social responsibility can lead to changes in how organizations obtain supplies. For example, in 2008 Gap learned that one if is suppliers was suing forced child labor on one product batch. This led to the entire batch being pulled out of the store and destroyed.
Obstacles of change occur at different levels
At the organizational level, power and conflict can resist change especially when there is too much resistance. Some of the resistance can be beneficial. For example, those workers who form Unions can help the organization to retain knowledge that is helpful in the long run. However, too much resistance can inhibit the change needed. Functional orientation, this makes people become overspecialized (Jones 140). For example, the HR team can be highly cohesive with the marketing team but may not be cohesive with the sales team. This makes it difficult to coordinate changes across several functions. The mechanistic structure and culture can also hinder change. High mechanistic units like production may be tough to change. Organizational culture takes time to develop and this creates an expectation about how the workers are to behave.
At the group level, the things that can hinder change include group norms and group cohesiveness which expect the people to work or behave in a certain manner. This can be compared to organizational culture. Group thinking can also be an obstacle to change. More cohesive groups have stronger norms and this can be quite difficult to change.
At the individual level, the uncertainty about change such as fear of job loss or pay cuts can be factors that lead to change resistance. Common habits can also be an obstacle of change.
The strategy for change this organization has adopted is the Lewin’s three steps for change. This includes unfreezing the organization, making the desired type of change and then refreezing the organization to the in a new desired state.
1) South West Airlines C0. was founded in 1967. It was founded by Gary c. Kelly who is the Chairman, Rollin King who is a co-founder and Herb Kelleher who is also a cofounder. It was founded mainly to exploit domestic flight as most of the airlines handle international flights.
2) This organization faced certain demands and pressure in the organization life cycle. During the organization birth, South West Airline saw operating losses. So the mangers had to sell one of their aircraft to cover other expenses. During organization growth, this organization felt the competition from American Airlines and Dallas Ft. They needed to grow in order to maintain legitimacy. The managers had to register another aircraft in Houston and look for other flight destinations. Greiner model of growth, with respect to this organization, was shown through creativity. Southwest Airline has to put new airplanes. The second stage of growth was shown through direction as they were able to focus on the business performance since they had established other aircrafts apart from the headquarters in Texas (Jones 130). The third stage in the model perceived growth through delegation of duties to other managers in the top-level and lower level. Stage four that entails growth through coordination, the employees seemed to have been overspecialized in their duties. The managers had to train them in other fields to make them motivated (Jones 135). The last stage is growth through collaboration, in order for the manager to move past this, they have to adopt a collaborative culture. This will enable them to remain in control.
Since there is a possibility that creative entrepreneurs can lose their autonomy and control over a new commodity, the leaders should resolve this crisis by the delegation more entrepreneurs and allow for entrepreneurial creativity. Read More
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