Organizational Characteristics Of Southwest Airlines

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Register to read the introduction… Organizational culture is defined as actions and attitudes of individuals and groups toward one another and towards the organization as a whole, and its effect on the organization's functioning and performance. It is the careful selection of tailor-made organizational culture features suitable to the organization and its people that ensure a win-win situation for the organization, its people and valuable customers.
Southwest was established in 1967 by Rolling King and Herb Kelleher as an intrastate airline. It is now the fourth largest major airliner in USA and is trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The organization religiously reminded themselves that "airplanes don't make money on the ground." Flights have to be maximised with the least number of fleets to profit. They even researched a NASCAR pit crew to gather the best turn-around strategy. Above all, Southwest banked on its human capital as the most valuable asset.
The practice of Southwest’s organization culture as put by Dan Oswald, ‘oozes out from every employee’. This has rendered its success copy-proof as not everyone has the same outlook and priorities for organizational
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This gives the employees a sense of belonging, thus, job security. Keeping employees, satisfied, excited and happy about their job is the core factor that kept happy passengers coming back, besides the low cost fares. In 1974, Southwest implemented its first profit sharing plan in the U.S. airline and this policy has never changed since. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the whole airline industry in the US faced incredible losses. To counter this, flights were cut by 20% and 16% lay-offs were materialized within weeks. but Southwest held on to its no lay-offs promise. This promise is only made possible through the past organizational culture practices that resulted in strong sustainability, especially, financially.

• Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, noted that they are always building a “supportive, active and fun” culture. The importance of this culture is evident in the creation of its Local Culture Committees and a Corporate Culture Committee .The success of this culture is evident since Southwest has received the least customer complaints since 1987. In 2005, the Department of Transportation's "Air Travel Consumer Report." ranked Southwest first in customer

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