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Southwest Airlines Case Study

… The company respects its employees and allows them to freely express their ideas, suggestions and concerns. The results of this strategy could not be any more admired. Southwest has earned the lowest employee turnover rate in the industry as well as the highest levels of customer satisfaction while keeping operating costs at a bare minimum.


One weakness that was identified was the lack of an effective customer loyalty program. After trying many variations in different systems, many of the loyal customers were confused and at least slightly irritated in the changes (Richardson, 2011). Furthermore, the brand perception of Southwest is responsible for a large portion of the loyal client bases and award winning customer satisfaction levels. Southwest previous model as "radically egalitarian" because it…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines. The Case Case Study

… ¶ … Southwest Airlines. The case is set in 2010, and Southwest has emerged as one of the leading U.S. airlines (#1 by passenger volume) through a combination of unique culture, sound management practice and focus on the consumer. While most of the legacy airlines have struggled, Southwest continues to succeed. This case examines why the company has been so successful, and what it should do going forward.

The biggest issue facing Southwest is its purchase of AirTran, another discount carrier. AirTran was a good fit in terms of its route networks because it was based out of Hartsfield, the largest airport in the U.S. where Southwest did not currently operate. There are challenges, however, in that AirTran was never run as well as Southwest,…. [read more]

Case Analysis Social Media Case Study

… Southwest Airlines Social Media

Using Social Media to Optimize Marketing Efforts for Southwest Airlines

Competition in the airline industry is tough as companies scramble to attract and retain their customer base. The rise of social networking as an important tool in customer relationship managing cannot be ignored. Social networking has integrated into nearly every corner of every sector of the business world. The airline industry is no exception and social networking is now an important element in the marketing mix.

Costs in the airline industry are fixed. Profitability depends on the ability to use resources efficiently, as well as obtaining favorable fuel and labor costs. Often, small airlines survive by serving only local or regional routes, leaving the larger market and bigger routes to the…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Value Chain Case Study

… From 1998-2004, this practice resulted in Southwest saving 4 billion dollars, but "prices in late 2008 and 2009 resulted in reported losses of $408 million on the fuel hedging contracts that the company had in place during 2009" (C-294). Hedging is always a gamble, and Southwest cannot count that this gamble will pay off year after year


The downturn in the economy makes offering budget flights an ideal way to ingrate Southwest into the hearts and minds of consumers. Southwest has always been an airline that serves the needs of the 99%, rather than the one percent of flyers. Southwest traditionally offered no first class seating to passengers, and instead focuses on offering a high-quality experience to all flyers (C-294). The streamlined, budget approach…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Effectiveness Case Study

… This leadership style was established by the airline's co-founder. This motivates employees and makes them feel that they are playing a critical role in the airline's decision making processes. The Southwest Airlines has also identified its competitors' strong and weak points (Scott, 2012). This has helped them work on their weaknesses. The airline flies Boeing 737 across 32 states in the United States of America which are low cost. They fly same type jet to the same places by the same people all the time. This has made them one of the consistent airlines from 1971.

Southwest Airlines offers free luggage, good snacks, great flying experience, and great reward program for its customers something that few of its competitors do (Scott, 2012). For people who…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Case Analysis Article

… This is the strength of the company and something that the other carriers, with the exception of Jet Blue which was set up the same way as Southwest, have not been able to match.

Financial Analysis

Recently, Southwest Airlines has been in the red for the first time in company history. Even as other airlines were folding, Southwest was able to maintain a profit because of its no frills approach. However, the financial crisis finally produced the first non-profitable years Southwest had ever seen. Despite that, the company has tried to grow revenue by doing the opposite of what every other carrier does, namely no bag fees and even more low cost flights, which has increased the number of people per flight even while numbers…. [read more]

Business Studies Southwest Airlines Case Study

… , 2011).

The potential to increase the spread of the airline and fly to international and well as domestic location has a great deal of potential, especially as this is not a sector developed in the low cost market in the U.S. Internationally, the low cost carrier market has been well established, firms such as RyanAir and Air Asia have demonstrated this in the short haul and middle distance markets. The acquisition of Air Tran has included some international flight to close foreign destination, such as Mexico and the Caribbean, with nearly three years experience gained flying internationally it may be argued it would be a natural progression to increase the flight routes further, which may appeal to existing customers as well as new customers.…. [read more]

Sw Airlines Company Background Southwest Case Study

… SW Airlines

Company Background

Southwest Airlines is a U.S. based airline carrier and the world's largest low-cost carrier. It was formed in 1967 and, as of 2012, had almost 50,000 employees operating about 3,500 flights per day. The company grossed $17.1 B. In 2012 with its fleet of Boeing 737s, resulting in net income of $620M, or 36% (SW Airlines, 2013). The company is the world's largest operator of the Boeing 737s with over 550 currently in service. The company has an outstanding safety record, and is considered to be one of the 10 safest airlines globally (in Depth, 2012).

Historical Perspective

Southwest has the fewest complaints in the airline industry, the award for the most on-time flights, and best baggage handling. For these achievements,…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Originally Began Operation Term Paper

… The main concerns of any HR department are: improving performance, lowering costs plus motivating and satisfying employees.

Human Resource is responsible for recruiting, promoting and training employees. The company itself aims to provide the best quality service with a warm, friendly attitude. Southwest's company philosophy is that customers come second to employees- the most important members. They believe that if the firm takes care of the employees will take care of the company and in Southwest employees introduce creative, innovative ideas and a 'fun culture' that has helped increase profitability. The aim of the airline was to maximize profits and they have their own pocket in the market that is affordable air travel to people who did not afford it in the past. The airline…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines' Culture Continues to Serve Case Study

… Southwest Airlines' culture continues to serve as the foundation for the company's ability to respond with agility and profitability to drastically changing conditions in the airline industry. Many of their competitors resist change, while Southwest, through the factors mentioned in this analysis, have been able to turn change management into a corporate advantage. The two areas Southwest has successfully transformed the turbulence in the market to their advantage are in operations (Rhoades, 2006), and unique human resources practices that provide freedom to employees to do their jobs while also instilling an intense company spirit of loyalty and performance (Kochan, 2006). What makes the Southwest culture so unique is the ability to translate unique leadership styles and management practices into operational efficiency and profitable growth. These…. [read more]

American Airlines/U.s. Airways Merger Issues Case Study

… This tendency has the possibility of increasing the volume of fares to the consumers thus ability to reduce the value and satisfaction of the needs and preferences due to increase in the cost of travelling.

Strategic Issues:

There are various strategic issues that might arise because of the integration of the American-U.S. Airways. One of the strategic issues in relation to the merger is the decrease in the level of competition. The proposed merger will have the ability to reduce competition for 1,665 flight choices thus affecting approximately 53 million passengers. The size of the new entity will be above the current operators in the market and industry thus the tendency of eliminating the trust of effective, free, and fair treatment and competition in relation…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Company 2004 Term Paper

… Southwest airline is one of the major airlines operating these days. Starting from the scratch Rollin King and Herb Kelleher joined hands to build an airline company which would be a totally different from then airlines. They started the company with one simple thing in mind which was to get the customers to their desired places on time and at the lowest possible fare. They had one vision in mind i.e. To provide customers with suitable and affordable ticket prices with satisfactory air travel. On February 20, 1968 King and Kelleher created the infamous Southwest Airlines. The Texas Aeronautical Commission gave them the permission to fly between three cities in 1968. From 1968 the company has never stopped expanding and is expected to grow further…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Before 1978 Term Paper

… Short-Term Liquidity Ratios

To measure Southwest's ability to meet its short-term financial obligations and to assess the ability of the company to convert current assets to cash to reduce current liabilities, we must look at the company's short-term liquidity ratios. The short-term liquidity ratios are used in the evaluation of short-term liquidity to convert current assets into cash in order to reduce the financial obligations of the company as they arise (Horngren, 1996). These ratios are particularly significant to the creditors and investors of a company because they determine the ability of that company to pay off their debts.

In addition, investors focus on the company's definition of current assets and current liabilities since these factors have a direct impact on the amount of available…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Organizational Culture Analysis Essay

… Moreover, in attempt to motivate its workforce, Southwest Airlines was the first airline to initiate a profit-sharing plan with its employees. In this program the concept of performance related pay was introduced which lead to an introduction of stock option plan in 1991. Based on research stocks that rose up to a thousand fold after the financial year 1972, have resulted in many millionaires throughout the company (Nocera, 2008). Despite the September 11 stock market crash down, the investments worth U.S.$10,000 in 1984 would be worth U.S.$200,000 in the financial year 2003 (Freiberg, 1996).

Organizational Culture as an Important Determinant of Organization's Success

Southwest Airlines is recorded to have generated U.S.$278 million in revenue in the year 2011 and the company has experienced 39 years…. [read more]

Southwest Is a Strong Performer Essay

… The company has worked hard to create positive associations with its branding, and in general has been successful in doing so, leading to a high level of success over the course of the past four decades.


Despite its successes, Southwest still has a few weaknesses that in all likelihood hold it back from maximizing its profit. The first of these is its relationship with government. The company's growth has long been constrained by the Wright Amendment (AP, 2006), one of the most egregious government infringements on the free market in the history of the United States. Brought in to protect American Airlines' monopoly at DFW, the Wright Amendment strictly limits flights in and out of Love Field, where Southwest sought to set up its…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Analysis Essay

… From the use of employee rankings and programs to indicate relative contribution to customer satisfaction (Walsh, 2004) to the development and fine-tuning of programs to create ownership of customer-facing processes (Nirenberg, 1997) Southwest is a strong supporter of Reinforcement Theory over the long-term. It is also evident on how thoroughly Southwest audits and evaluates the performance of customers service and customer loyalty (Laszlo, 1999). The ability to create more ownership, and in so doing open up opportunities for greater recognition, is exactly how Southwest's culture works. It looks to use Reinforcement Theory to create highly effective programs for strengthening and solidifying relationships, showing the value to employees of being loyal to the foundational elements of the company (Shumsky, 2006). Reinforcement theory plays a major role…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Essay

… Specifically, this attitude is promoted by more supervisors per frontline employee than any other company of its kind in the country. The work of these supervisors amounts not only to supervision, but also to coaching and listening. Supervisors have managerial authority, but also perform the same work as frontline workers. In terms of employee relationships, they function to coach and advise frontline workers (Gittell, 2005).

Another important component of the company's employee relationships is to hire people with what they have determined "the right attitude." Employee satisfaction is maintained by offering the opportunity to advance towards higher levels of responsibility and employment.

The company's conflict management policy is another important component of human resources. "Come to Jesus" meetings are, for example, set up to provide…. [read more]

Case Analysis of Southwest Airlines Term Paper

… Southwest airline has emerged as leading airliner with dedicated workforce and enthusiastic executives whose innovative minds are always willing to improve and experiment certain goals. The company has launched a strategy to survive travelers with possible reduced traveling fares; this is the policy that company formulated since its inception in 1970. The company has always subsidized its rate of profitability over the satisfaction and ease for the passengers. The company has been facing major threat from its rivals since its operations, legal suits and stay orders have created implications for the company and company's certain objectives were delayed.

The management of the company has been very sincere towards their commitment with the employees and customers of the airline. Due rights of the employees and customers…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines, Inc Term Paper

… Because planes spend less time at the gate, fuel costs are lower and it's easier to provide on-time performance. Also, these types of airports offer lower landing and terminal gate fees. Southwest's point-to-point flight model is also cheaper than hub-and-spoke models. The company operates a no frills airline that doesn't assign seats, provide airline clubs, meals or baggage transfer services. Southwest reduces fees paid to travel agents by encourage online ticket purchases at its web site. The airline also takes advantage of technology and has implemented software for optimizing its crew schedules.

Southwest is a very strong culture company. While most companies state that the customer comes first, Southwest believes that if the employee comes first, customer satisfaction will follow. Its core values emphasize treating…. [read more]

Nuts Southwest Airlines Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success Case Study

… Southwest Airlines

Since the early 1970's, Southwest Airlines began a mission of redefining the airline industry. Where, the founder and Chairman started the company off of the basic foundation of: low costs and offering a positive atmosphere. ("Southwest Airlines," n.d.) These two elements are important, because they would underscore a shift that was occurring in the airline industry. As there was more of an emphasis, on providing travelers with: low fares and great service. The problem was that this could pose a conflict in addressing the needs of employees, while maintaining its core business model. With many of the larger international and domestic carriers, following a standard formula that would keep costs in line with the industry average. As a result, Southwest would have to…. [read more]

JetBlue Airlines Case Analysis Case Study

… This lack of focus on customer needs in the midst of severe cost reductions has led to a passenger bill of rights (Waite, 2007).

The precipitous and rapid slide of customer service quality in airlines are more the result of a systemic understaffing and under-investing in key system and process initiatives than it is purely on the attitudes and work ethic of the employees themselves. Airline employees across the board are told to do exceptionally more than they have ever been required to before, often on much less sleep and for much less pay. Table 1: Domestic Airline Revenue Growth & Table 2: Domestic Airlines Forecasted Revenue Growth show the exponential rise in airline revenue, which is correlated to traffic levels continually increasing as well.…. [read more]

Business Southwest Airlines (Swa) Essay

… The airline, however, still has approximately 50 more destinations that it can expand to, many of them in countries that are serviced by other airlines that are overpriced and inefficient. One of these destinations is the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport that is over-priced and under-serviced. By redirecting their focus on costs, SWA can leverage its growth, amplify its strengths and shore its weaknesses. An example was given by the recommendation of redirecting its fuel costs elsewhere. The political and social situation is, no doubt, challenging to SWA in that it threatens one of its greatest strengths -- its ability to undercut prices. Nonetheless, SWA can take steps to deal with those challenges, mainly by continuing with their strategic focus and redirecting costs elsewhere. In this way,…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Analysis Established Essay

… Although over 80% of the workforce is unionized, many responsibilities are shared (e.g., pilots sometimes handle baggage and flight attendants clean planes). Work schedules are flexible, due in part to the extensive cross training of employees. Senior management allows employees to have a voice in the organization and is transparent with business objectives, goals and information which contribute to the unity and cohesion of the work culture (Enz, 2009). "The most effective teams -- those successful for the long-term -- are activated as a deliberate strategy" (Pryor et al., 2009).

However, while Southwest Airlines has created a satisfying work atmosphere and carved out an envious position in the market, there are still opportunities for improvement. For instance, as times change, the mission, direction and values…. [read more]

One Time Airline Case Study

… ¶ … Airline Case Analysis

Explain the key competitive forces in the airline industry (10)

Defined by the need for exceptional asset and process efficiency, in addition to standardization to reduce operating costs, the airlines industry continues to be one of the most challenging to operate in at a profit. Figure 1, Profitability of Selected Industries Analysis by Dr. Michael Porter (Porter, 2008) shows where the Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) of the airlines industry is relative to other industries he has included in his five forces model analysis. The data in Figure 1 are from industry comparisons from 1992 to 2006 ranking ROIC by industry. This data is U.S.-based yet applies globally due to the use of the five forces model Dr. Porter invented.…. [read more]

Major Airlines Going Green Research Paper

… ¶ … Airlines Going Green

Major Airlines are Going Green

The airline industry has been through many ups and downs. One of the latest concerns for airlines is the protection of the environment (Burleson & Maurice, 2006; Waitz, et al., 2004). Because so many of their patrons are interested in environmental protection today, and because more and more people are responding to companies that are interested in caring for the environment in various ways, airlines are finding more reasons to go green. Doing so is not without difficulty and compromise, of course, but that does not mean there are more cons than pros for a majority of airlines. Each airline must make its own individual decision as to whether going green would be cost effective…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Analysis Discuss the Corporate Culture Research Paper

… Southwest Airlines Analysis

Discuss the corporate culture at Southwest Airlines and how it leverages its culture to achieve a competitive advantage.

The nature of Southwest Airlines' culture is one predicated on creating as much transparency and trust as possible, as the company has learned that this is critical for overcoming resistance to change and meeting the many challenges it faces going forward. As a result, the company's continued successful, profitable performance in one of the most challenging industries globally shows that creating clear, easily understood links between decision making styles, supporting accurate and honest communication, and a bias towards minimizing the negative effects of politics and internal power struggles all can contribute to greater long-term profitability. Because the Southwest culture is so firmly rooted in…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines Internal Analysis SWOT

… First, the lack of consistency in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) processes and lack of coordination with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was glaringly seen when the top of a jet fuselage broke open in a flight earlier in 2011. This event shows a more systemic problem throughout the company, of not staying vigilant enough to external safety standards for inspection, relying instead of the relationships with NTSB and FAA auditors to quickly move through the evaluation process of a jets' records and audits (Michalisin, Karau, Tangpong, 2004).

Another weakness is the lack of oversight for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) processes and procedures throughout the company today as well. There is no audit oversight function or team to…. [read more]

Airline Industry Analysis Term Paper

… Top 3 "Players" Of The Industry

When deciding who the industry leaders are, economic indicators go a long way in dictating success and failure. These indicators suggest that success can be measured by carriers that have reduced fares and focus on eliminating waste in an effort to be cost efficient. They also suggest that success entails fuel efficient planes and taking advantage of load factors which help capacity utilization. Success also entails understanding the new economy and the cost of money as well consumer friendly services with technologic advantages.

In other words, to cover the top three industry players entails a clear definition of what "top" means. One could approach it as the largest or the most profitable or the most socially accepted. With these…. [read more]

Session Long Project Case Study

… economy class?

First class targets passengers can afford to pay more money for greater amenities such as more comfortable seats (or seats that totally recline on long flights), food, and bonuses like specialty drinks. Comfort, luxury, and privacy are prioritized by first class travelers. Business class is often a second-tier class and its name implies it is populated by businesspeople traveling on the company dime. These travelers fly frequently and want additional amenities, particularly those that speed their travel time and waiting in line. "International airlines are locked in a technology-led competition to provide the best business class seats and win the largest share of big-spending corporate travelers" (Rothman & Jasper 2011). Economy class is the cheapest of all three, and is populated by travelers…. [read more]

Southwest Airlines in 2008 Assessment

… Southwest Airlines (LUV)

Discuss the corporate culture at Southwest Airlines and how it leverages its culture to achieve a competitive advantage.

Southwest Airlines is a culture-driven enterprise. Management has established a tradition for charismatic, tactically innovative leadership that facilitated the company's evolution from a somewhat scrappy operation with an unproven business model into one of the top U.S. carriers. Flexibility and engagement are rewarded; strategic planning and committee-based procedures are discounted as a form of "navel gazing." While an early "warrior mentality" has mellowed somewhat over the decades, efforts to codify the "legends" surrounding the company have helped to preserve a surprising amount of entrepreneurial spirit at all levels of the organization.

Rank-and-file employees are considered central to the company's performance and are hired for…. [read more]

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