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Leasership Analysis Of West Jet Airlines

3372 words - 13 pages

A. WestJet Airlines Case Study 1. The Use of Leadership Theory toExplain WestJet's SuccessWestJet Airlines was the result of Clive Beddoe, Tim Morgan, Don Bell and Mark Hill realizing an opportunity to satisfy the need in Western Canada for a low cost, customer service oriented airline. They built the company through the mid 1990's and are still successfully operating and expanding.Transformational Leadership Theory is a relatively new theory based on a leader having a vision for the organization, inspiring and stimulating others in the organization to work towards the vision and using coaching and team-building skills to assist in the success. The first attribute associated with Transformational Leadership behavior is Visioning. The vision describes the ultimate outcomes of the company and transformational leaders lead by example. The official corporate vision of WestJet is: WestJet will be the leading low-fare airline that: People want to work with... Customers want to fly with... and Shareholders want to invest with. The low-fare airline aspect of the vision is communicated, understood and promoted by all members of the corporation. Examples include employees working together in cleaning the airplane, and having to justify to the cost of an annual company Christmas Party, and barbecues. Throughout the case, WestJet executives indicate repeatedly that their corporate culture is the most important strength of the organization - it is their competitive advantage. This vision of being an airline that people want to work with and customers want to fly with is communicated from the hiring of the employees, to the peer pressure of co-workers to adapt, to the ability of the ticket agents to deal with all customer issues including offering discounts. The vision is further shown through the leaders displaying the vision themselves, from Clive Beddoe putting on coveralls and changing an airplane tire in -30 degree weather to Don Bell helping out the representatives in the Super Sales Centre. The success of being a company that people want to work for is borne out by the statement that WestJet receives between 3,000 and 4,000 resumes every week largely in the Alberta marketplace where many companies find the ability to attract skilled workers to be their current greatest concern.Another attribute of Transformational Leadership is Inspiring. There are a number of examples where the leaders are "inspiring" in the organization. For example, Bell and Beddoe " were credited with creating the carrier's bottom-up management structure and energizing the staff". Another example of inspiring is found in the 2002 annual report in the President's message where in large bold, colored lettering, Clive Beddoe states: "Without the commitment of our people, the achievement of these financial results would not have been possible".The Transformational attribute of Stimulating the organization is also shown in the WestJet case. Stimulating is defined as the arousal of...

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