Use of the 7 S Model on Virgin Airlines

Topics: Richard Branson, Virgin Group, Virgin Megastores Pages: 5 (1258 words) Published: March 30, 2011

According to Waterman and others, 7-s model is a framework for change identifying seven key factors that adversely affect change in an organization. Virgin Group can be analyzed according to this model as follows:


The staff of Virgin Group is highly motivated. Richard Branson, the owner of the group serves as a good example to the employees as he leads by example by not living an extravagant life which may make the employees emulate him hence losing focus. There is a communication system in the company which increases transparency. The hiring system also relies on empowering the employees. This makes them feel appreciated and will make them work hard towards attaining their own set objectives. The fact that Virgin offices are extremely informal may make employees increase their productivity as they feel ‘at home’ while at work. Branson has broken the operations down into smaller companies of between 50 and 100 people. Each company occupies separate offices and employees take ownership of ‘their’ own company. This will make employees be proactive in their work and be goal-oriented. However, this may challenging as the employees can deviate from the company goals.


Virgin Group is a collection of different companies in different industries and this can be a bit challenging when it comes to management. The Group has more than 100 companies in 15 countries which deal in products ranging from airplane services, sell of CDs, videos, games, publishing, hotel chains to a model agency among others. This calls for an efficient structure to ensure that the different companies are run effectively. Branson has broken operations down into small companies of between 50 and 100 people with each company occupying separate offices. This will lead to delegation of duties and specialization which will make work more efficient. The structure Branson relies on entails his heavy involvement which he does by taking a hands-on approach. Virgin offices are also informal creating a good environment for employees to work in.


Branson’s business strategy places him at the forefront as the company’s most effective marketing tool. He is described by London analyst as an ‘underdog’ and an ‘actor’. He makes the most of publicity through headline-grabbing adventures such as crossing the Atlantic Ocean by speedboat and balloon. This is essential for his business to grow and attract more customers. Such ventures have served to define Virgin’s organization culture. This has enabled the company to compete effectively with its competitors.


The system within the company is very supportive of empowerment. For instance, through the strong communication system, budgeting is explained to employee, with daily graphs that display performance by area in comparison to area budgets. They also have a strong hiring system which relies on the empowerment of employees. This system ensures that employees take responsibility of their work.


Branson as the owner of Virgin Group has taken a hands-on approach in managing his business empire. This will enable him have a first hand experience of how the market is reacting to the various strategies implemented. Involvement of the company in headline-gabbing adventures may serve to increase the publicity of the company. The fact that Virgin offices are informal and that employees are allowed to dress casually may also be a big motivation to the employees as they enjoy doing their jobs. This style may however be difficult to maintain as it calls for a lot of involvement by the owner.


Virgin Group deals in products which are rapidly changing and operates in volatile industries which require high skills and heavy involvement. Branson respects his employees and leads them by example. He has also developed systems which are very supportive of empowerment. Junior...
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