Southwest Case Study

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Southwest Airlines is a low cost/low fare Airline that has been the market share leader in domestic air travel. It is the most traveled airline in the United States and offers a variety of flights for its travelers. The most important trait this Airline has however is the fact that they are the only airline to show profit consistently in an industry that, which has been almost impossible to achieve.

Southwest had the enviable distinction of being the only major U.S. carrier that was consistently profitable. The U.S. airline industry had lost money 15 of the 30n years from 1980 to 2009, with combined annual losses exceeding combined annual profits by $43.2 billion. Yet Southwest lad reported a profit every year since 1973, chiefly because of its zealous pursuit of low operating costs, low fares, and customer pleasing service. (Thompson, pg.220)

Southwest Airlines as had great success throughout the course of their existence. Having a rough start in 1967 seemed to be no match for the drive and tenacity of Herb Kelleher. Kelleher was an extremely smart man with a degree in philosophy, as well as, a law degree, both he achieved with honors. Southwest Airlines was led by man who believed in the true meaning of leadership and success through treating people well, employees and customers.

Leadership styles affect every aspect of your business. From the way the organization functions to interaction with employees, customers, and business partners. Southwest Airlines has enjoyed many years of success due to Herb Kelleher and his successors. Since the start of Southwest Airlines, Rollin King and Kelleher created an atmosphere that relied on participative managing and leading. The result was an open and candor environment that employees exceled in, customers were responsive to, and management became accustomed to. Communication is crucial at Southwest and Kelleher realized that from the beginning. Kelleher’s style was motivating to employees and gave them a...
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