British Airways - Organizational Structure

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School of Management and Economics

Business Administration (FE3101/IB3101)


Basic Organization Theories Module

Paper – Fall 2009

Structural Perspective: British Airways

André Costa Choi Sin Man Jiyun Baek


1 – Introduction In different working fields, companies face the pressure of globalization, and they must find new ways to overcome this challenge. The following example, introduces the case of British Airways, which needs to deal with the globalization issue trying to reduce the operational costs, increase profits and provide suitable services to customers. According to British Airways annual report from 2008/2009, the airline carried more than 33 million passengers. It earned nearly £9 billion in revenue, a 2.7 percent increase from the previous year. At the end of March this year, it has 245 aircraft in service. It shows that the BA financial performance is improving after the financial crisis and the fluctuated oil fuel prices changes (British Airways – Annual Report and Accounts 2008/2009). However, it is a unfortunate fact that in the 2008 report of scheduled international passengers carried, which is based on International Air Transport Association, indicated that British Airways was ranked in the fifth place while the Ryanair, Lufthansa, EasyJet and Air France ranked above the BA. It was shocked to them because they were always first ranking to investigation about airlines. This figure pointed out that BA needs to plan long-term strategies in order to compete with those four airline companies in Europe and in the all world. The British Airways now tries to establish itself as a high-performing, marketfocused and global premium airline. In this paper, we focus on the structural perspective of the BA‟s company in these recent years. Depending on the three different CEOs in BA, they are the Robert Ayling, Rod Eddington and Willie Walsh respectively, this paper divided into three periods of analyzing the structures of BA. Thus, this paper it is about the basic information of the theoretical perspective. Then, it is about the History of British Airways. Thirdly, it is about the analysis part. At the end, we will have the conclusion and discussion part about every subject that we mentioned.


2 – Purpose of the paper When you begin a business or start working, you begin your own projects, your own challenges, your own fights and you give your first steps in a new way of life. Organizations are where you will start your steps. They mean today, but also mean tomorrow and future, wherever we are. Nowadays it is very important for organizations to develop a deep self-knowledge. People and human activities need to know how to make the most from their global presence. The main goal of this paper is to analyze how organizations work according to its Structure, Human Resources, Symbol and Political perspectives and define what challenges and threats are faced daily. The company‟s history can be acknowledged by everybody, but the tricky part of the analysis is to define the cause of the company‟s profits and losses, to point out the key success factors and build new goals and strategies based on this analysis. Thus, the paper is a good way to get more knowledge about basic organizations theory to know more about one real world company and to learn more about the various subjects connected to theoretical perspectives as well as to improve our ideas, written and oral.


3 – The theoretical perspective – Structural Perspective Stuctures are formal and informal framework of policies and rules, within which an organization arranges its lines of authority and communications, and allocates rights and duties. Organizational structure determines the manner and extent to which roles, power, and responsibilities are delegated, controlled, and coordinated, and how information flows between levels of management.1 The structural view has two creators: Frederick W. Taylor (1911) and Max...
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