Southwest Airlines Corp. Culture

Topics: Southwest Airlines, Airline, Avianca Pages: 5 (1681 words) Published: July 18, 2006
The topic chosen was Southwest Airlines because of its prevalent and lengthy history of successful entrepreneurship and presence in the airline industry. It has been successful in its ability to attain success in many facets of the economy. From implementing an innovative marketing structure to effectively managing its workforce, Southwest has been the pioneer in many forms of creativity and innovation in the industry. In addition, it is an excellent topic for the theme of the assignment: Assessing Corporate Culture. Southwest has implemented, enforced and practiced all 11 points of the discussion of this assignment. Mission Statement

A company hoping to instill a goal or direction should begin with a sound and well rounded statement of the company vision. The mission statement helps reinforce the goals, desires and foresight of the company and Southwest is no exception. Since its inception 32 years ago, its goal was to assure prompt flights at the lowest possible fares while assuring the customer had a wonderful experience in the interim. Since that time, Southwest has remained on that course and included their formalized mission statement that is "dedicated to the highest quality of customer service with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride and company spirit" ( The organization has a clear focus on its market with respect to knowledge management. It has implemented its statement in order to secure and retain its market share. Work Environment

At Southwest, the employee is the greatest asset of the company. The employee is above that of the customer. A common tune in the company is "customers come second... and still get great service"(Czaplewski, Ferguson & Millima, 2001, p. 2). This statement speaks for itself, in fact, Southwest encourages personality openness among its workforce in the form of communication, ideas and opinions. It accomplishes this by investing heavily in training as a continuous process during an employee's course of employment. Employees are cross-trained on numerous positions to enhance the work experience and for purposes of flexibility when needed. The training also includes ongoing preparation to improve work skills to enforce work ethic. The company rewards its staff through financial, promotion and non-financial rewards (Czaplewski, et al., 2001, p. 3). Southwest's successful work environment is practical, it heavily screens its applicants and only hires those that foster the most outgoing and friendly personality and flexibility. Once hired, the company places the staff in a friendly and thorough ongoing training during their term with the airline. The company feels this is the most effective way to increase profits while maintaining the lowest turnover. An internal strategy of this nature is the prerequisite for building employee capabilities and motivation, which leads to higher levels of service quality and ultimately a greater profitability for the company. The culture of the marketing strategy is effective by employing value of its most essential asset: human capital. Southwest has effectively implemented the open systems anchor. It has drawn from the experiences and practices of other airlines and effectively created one that has minimized its weaknesses and threats and launched an airline that is one the most successful in its history (Czaplewski, et al., 2001). Organization Slogan

From its inception in 1972, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher had a simple tune to the environment of the airline. It was to assure passengers their desired destination in a timely manner at the lowest possible price and assure that they had a wonderful time in the process ( The airline has an implicit motto. It has always exercised the importance of their workforce as the most essential tool and asset of the company. It is apparent in their infrastructure of training, hiring and personal...

References: Corridore, Jim. (2003). Southwest: A Bird of a Different Feather. Postgraduate Medicine,
Czaplewski, Andrew J., Ferguson, Jeffrey M., Milliman, John F. (2001). Southwest Airlines:
How Internal Marketing Pilots Success
Ellet, Bill. (March 2002). Media Review, 56(3)
New All-Leather Interiors near Completion (2004)
Southwest Airlines-A brief history (2005)
Southwest Airlines - The Hometown Airline (2004)
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