Management Function

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Southwest Airlines Factors of Management
Andrew Carr
Charlie Minni
University of Phoenix

External / Internal Factors Paper on Southwest Airlines
In today’s employment world, having effective management skills are critical in a companies desire to breed success. Within the airline industry, competition and competitive practices would be a severe understatement. This paper will examine Southwest Airlines core management team by indicating the possible internal and external factors that impact the four functions of any successful management team, ((planning, organizing, leading, and controlling). The second part of this paper will identify how Globalization and Diversity impacts and at times redirects the four functions of management. The final portion of this paper will explain how management uses delegation as a tool within the four functions of management. Internal Strengths and Weakness

How the airline industry handles their own internal strengths and weaknesses, will affect the four functions of management including planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Airline industry is, first and foremost, a customer service organization. This belief is based on the fact that all airlines simply use aircraft to deliver their product. For instances, most all-major airlines companies use the 737s aircraft which are similar to and apply the same laws of physics as everyone else’s aircraft. What began as a small Texas airline has grown to become one of the largest airlines in America. Southwest Airlines knows and understands the vitality of proper management and has created a successful organization based on proper management techniques. Today, Southwest Airlines flies almost 100 million passengers a year to 63 great cities all across the country, and we do it more than 3,300 times a day. With over 500 aircraft, Southwest Airlines has one of the youngest fleets in the nation, with an average age of approximately nine years. Included in the fleet are three flying killer whales, the “Shamu” aircraft; “Lone Star One,” painted like the Texas flag, to celebrate Southwest Airlines' 20th Anniversary in a style and manner second to none. As of recent, the airline industry as a whole has counter some negative perceptions from their most important asset, the consumer. The FAA last month took the rare step of ordering the audit of maintenance records at all domestic carriers following reports of missed safety inspections at Dallas-based Southwest. The airline was hit with a record $10.2 million fine for continuing to fly dozens of Boeing 737s, which carried an estimated 145,000 passengers, that hadn’t been inspected for cracks in their fuselages. Southwest has said it will appeal the penalty. ( Herald, 2008 ) External – Opportunity

The greatest potential threats to Southwest Airlines would be the lack of meals provided to its customers during flight. In our obese society, other airlines such as Delta, United, American and other major airlines companies, offer full meals as part of their service, while Southwest Airlines are known for their bag of peanuts. Other threats that Southwest face is that other airlines have the capabilities to fly into and out of more cities and bigger airports. Southwest also doesn’t participate with any frequent flier mile programs that allow their customers to accumulate points and then qualify for free tickets to their destination like most of their competition. For this company many opportunities arise, in growth and profitability. Southwest Airlines could look at expanding the target market into overseas and into other parts of the United States. As for now, Southwest is mainly targeted towards the Southwest part of the country. Southwest being that their profitability has been increasing, could provide a separate market segment in the east coast. This would be beneficial now that the economy is in the shape that it is in to be...
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