Southwest Airline

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Southwest Airlines in 2010: Culture, Values, and Operating Practices Assignment Questions
1.Is there anything that you find particularly impressive about Southwest Airlines? 2.What grade would you give Southwest management for the job it has done in crafting the company’s strategy? What is it that you like or dislike about the strategy? Does Southwest have a winning strategy? 3.What are the key policies, procedures, operating practices, and core values underlying Southwest’s efforts to implement and execute its low-cost/no frills strategy? 4.What are the key elements of Southwest’s culture? Is Southwest a strong culture company? Why or why not? What problems do you foresee that Gary Kelly has in sustaining the culture now that Herb Kelleher, the company’s spiritual leader, has departed? 5.What grade would you give Southwest management for the job it has done in implementing and executing the company’s strategy? Which of Southwest’s strategy execution approaches and operating practices do you believe have been most crucial in accounting for the success that Southwest has enjoyed in executing its strategy? Are the any policies, procedures, and operating approaches at Southwest that you disapprove of or that are not working well? 6.What weaknesses or problems do you see at Southwest Airlines as of mid-2010? 7.Does the AirTran acquisition make good strategic sense for Southwest? 8.What strategic issues and problems do Gary Kelly and Southwest executives need to address as they proceed to close the deal with the AirTran acquisition and contemplate how best to integrate AirTran’s operations and AirTran’s employees into Southwest? 9.What recommendations would you make to Gary Kelly and Southwest executives as the company heads into 2011?

1. Is there anything that you find particularly impressive about Southwest Airlines? There are several things about Southwest Airlines that are impressive. Their history has been highly eventful with their start up business heading to the court , competitors trying to shut them down before the business even started they surpassed all the odds and not only succeeded but excelled as well . By thinking outside the box they saw profit opportunities by flying direct instead of the typical hub-and-spoke method. Also conventional airlines would want to fly into airports with the highest traffic. Throughout the past decade fuel prices has gone up and all airlines changed their prices and added multiple charges; southwest airlines refused to add extra charges and maintained their low prices. Southwest also keeps fairs low by doing many things. Keeping employees on and happy reduces training costs. The company negotiates fuel deals to keep costs low. They only fly 737 to keep maintenance costs down. Southwest airline believed in a philosophy where you take care of the internal customer (employees) first so they can satisfy the external customer. Management treated workers as family and encouraged them in every way since the company’s establishment. 2. What grade would you give Southwest management for the job it has done in crafting the company’s strategy? What is it that you like or dislike about the strategy? Does Southwest have a winning strategy? Southwest Airline deserves an above average grade. Southwest has an extremely comprehensive strategy. Everything that they do works cohesively. They have a great employee development program. They emphasize the culture of the company and hire employees congruent with that culture. They partner the culture of the company with a low-cost business strategy. They are a low-cost airline that makes the customer feel like they are the priority and not the profit. I believe that Southwest has a long-term, sustainable, consistent and redundant winning strategy. 3. What are the key policies, procedures, operating practices, and core values underlying Southwest’s efforts to implement and execute its low-cost/no frills strategy? There is several...
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