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Southwest Airlines, Case Study

1313 words - 5 pages

1. What are the SWA mission, vision and goals? Are they well defined?Southwest Airlines is dedicated to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. As stated from their web site. Southwest Airlines (SWA) began June 18, 1971; SWA first operated its first routes between Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. Rollin King and Herb Kelleher founded the company, there goal was to create an environment of care, commitment and unparallel service to customers and employees alike. At the end of 1971 SWA immediately began to expand. In 1972 all Houston service was transferred to Houston's Hobby Airport form Houston Intercontinental, this route made it more convenient for people to fly. During the first year of operation the customers were the Southwest's first priority. They also show a true commitment to their employees - By providing a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines.2. What management theory, in your opinion, does SWA follow?Due to SWA culture and the nurturing of their CEO Herb Kelleher; SWA management serves the company best using a participative leadership style. SWA places great emphasis on productivity and customer service. To be successful they must have buy in of this concept by all employees. Kelleher stated that Southwest's biggest competitive advantage is its culture, which positively affects customers and employees. Southwest airlines expects feedback from within its ranks, this concept eliminates the bureaucracy and paperwork normally coupled with large organizations. Kelleher states, "I don't think I'm the primary motivator. I give people license to be themselves and motivate others in that way." Southwest employees not only feel comfortable about talking to management about improvements, they're encouraged to.3. How has SWA excelled in planning and organizing? Examples?With the exception of Southwest, all major airlines today operate through hub-and-spoke networks. In such a network, passengers are flown from surrounding spoke cities to a central hub airport, where they transfer to the next leg of their flight. Travelers, of course, prefer point-to-point service, and Southwest is able to satisfy that need by primarily operating in short haul routes. The air travel industry is capital-, labor-, and technology-intensive. Airlines are subject to intense competition, which produces falling yields and razor-thin margins. To succeed, airlines must quickly employ any new process or procedure that can reduce costs; Southwest was able to succeed in this endeavor.4. What are the key management elements that have allowed SWA to remain so successful in their industry?In 1979, SWA introduced self-ticketing machines; making it even faster and more convenient for people to fly. Moreover, in 1988, SWA becomes Sea World of Texas' official...

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