SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CASE STUDY ASSIGNMENT – SUGGESTED STRUCTURE
INTRODUCTION (150 WORDS)
Purpose of the report
What does Southwest Airlines do?
What is the background to the organisation?
What industry does it operate in?
What are its geographical markets?
What products and services does it offer and what are the market segments?
What are Southwest Airlines’ mission, vision and values?
What generic strategy is it following? (E.g. cost leadership or differentiation?)
Who are the key stakeholders?
These questions are indicative – you don’t need to answer every part in detail or to create sub-headings; just provide a short succinct summary; that is the challenge!
Draw your information directly from the case
PART ONE – EXTERNAL ANALYSIS (600 WORDS)
Briefly state the purpose of the analysis.
MACRO – ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS
Refer to your PESTEL model (appendix?)
Discuss the main points it reveals
Refer to your PORTER’S FIVE FORCES model (appendix?)
Discuss the main points it reveals and draw conclusions regarding the competitiveness within the industry. You may like to highlight who the main competitors are (you may need to carry out a little additional research on the web)
Southwest Airlines and its competitors are continually aiming to win customer loyalty. So, the next task in this section is to Identify and list the CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS valued by customers in this industry
OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS
Finally, discuss the overall opportunities and threats to Southwest Airlines. Derive these points from your PESTEL and Five Forces models.
NOTE: There is some information in the case study relating to external factors but not much. Therefore, you will need to carry out some additional research (online) in order to find the information to build your models
PART TWO – INTERNAL ANALYSIS (600 WORDS)
In the same way as for the external analysis
Discuss and analyse Southwest Airlines’ strategic capabilities. Refer to your VALUE CHAIN model (appendix?) and your COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK model (appendix?)
You don’t necessarily have to write about the value chain first and then the competency framework; you can provide an integrated analysis if you want to. How you present the analysis is up to you but you may want to consider the following points:
• What are the key value chain activities?
• What are the important links between value chain activities?
• Discuss the distinctive resources and competences – why have you selected them? Why do you believe they are distinctive? How do they help Southwest Airlines to achieve sustainable competitive advantage?
• How do they re-inforce the chosen generic strategy?
• In addition to the strengths you have identified, are there any weaknesses evident?
Now, put your assumptions to the test: Select at least 5 or 6 key resources and/or capabilities and grade them using the VRIO framework (appendix?)
Analyse your findings. Which resources and capabilities are really contributing towards sustainable competitive advantage? Are there any areas which need to be addressed?
Now, discuss the financial performance of the company
• Refer to and interpret your FINANCIAL RATIOS (appendix?)
• Quote some key phrases and statistics from the case
• Draw conclusions
• Undertake additional calculations and trend analyses if you want to
Finally, compare the internal capabilities against the critical success factors for the industry (identified at the end of your external analysis) – how well is Southwest Airlines performing?
PART THREE – SOUTHWEST AIRLINES’ ‘ISSUES AND CHALLENGES’ DIAGNOSIS
Provide a summary of the issues from the...
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