Premium Essay

All About Southwest

In: Business and Management

Submitted By juici88
Words 1147
Pages 5
Integrating Culture and Diversity in Decision Making: The CEO and Organizational Culture Profile

Jalisa Williams

Dr. Erica Gamble

BUS 520

Leadership and Organizational Behavior

November 6, 2013

All about Southwest

Southwest Airlines (SWA) was founded by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher in 1967. Southwest got its start in Texas and has since become one of America’s most admired companies. The road of establishing Southwest was not an easy one. The company who first wanted to service within the state of Texas had to fight for 3 years against 3 other airlines in the area for rights. After a judgment by the Texas Supreme Court in 1970, Southwest was cleared to take the air. Southwest lives by their mission statement of its dedication to the highest quality of customer service to be delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride and company spirit ( With the idea of good customer service will make you money, Southwest Airlines is by far the most profitable airline even in this trying time.

Southwest’s Culture

Happy Employees=Happy Customers

At Southwest, they believe that a happy employee equal happy customers. They strive to make every customer experience a great one and by doing this they know the employees play a huge role in customer satisfaction. The core of their being consists of having a warrior spirit, leading with a servant’s heart and having a fun-luving attitude. These three components are what Southwest Airlines work hard daily to keep alive. In an interview, Southwest chief executive Greg Kelly stated that” From our earliest days there was an understanding that people were the most important, and we needed to work really hard to get the best people we could and get people who had a passion to serve others” (Helsing, 2006). They have a committee set up just for culture events. Employees are given…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Southwest Airlines

...Southwest Airlines: In a Different World - Team 3 1.) Why has Southwest Airlines been more successful than its competitors? Herb Kelleher and Rollin King established Southwest Airlines in 1967. For the first few years, Southwest Airlines battled illegal lawsuits from larger airlines that did not want Southwest to enter the market. After many years in the courts Southwest Airlines was able to offer flights to customers. Starting a new company with large expenses is not an easy task. Southwest Airlines had to find a way to stand out to customers so they could sell their airline tickets. In the beginning Southwest offered a low fair price to fly. One of their promotions was a one-way fare for only $20. Southwest wanted to expand their flights to more cities and needed more revenue. In order to increase their prices and not lose customers, Southwest promoted free alcoholic beverages with airfare. Many customers had no problem paying more for flights and Southwest expanded. Southwest did not charge for additional luggage, which helped out those who had an abundance of luggage on trips – giving them an advantage and separating them from other airlines. Southwest also used many promotional schemes to attract new customers. One of them was “long legs and short skirts” for stewardesses on board the flights. The same person who hired hostesses for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy jet hired many of Southwest Airlines stewardesses. Southwest has always hired interesting employees......

Words: 1923 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Corporate Culture / Leadership Actions

...Nwagbaraocha September 9, 2010 1. Discuss the corporate culture at Southwest Airlines and how it leverages its culture to achieve a competitive advantage. Southwest Airlines was incorporated in Texas in June 18, 1971. Southwest started with only 3 Boeing 737 aircraft and they only serviced Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Today Southwest operates 541 Boeing 737 aircraft and they service 69 cities. Southwest became a major in the airline industry in 1989 when it exceeded the billion dollar mark in revenues. Southwest is the US most successful low fare high frequency airline. Southwest operates more than 3,510 flights a day coast to coast making it the largest US carrier based on domestic passenger carried. Southwest maintains the third largest passenger fleet of aircraft among all of the commercial airlines. According to the Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics Southwest carries more passengers than any other US airline. Southwest profitability business model led to a common trend called the Southwest Effect. The Southwest Effect is to show that it is less expensive to take a flight than driving between to points. Southwest entered the airline market at rates that allowed the airline to be profitable only on the basis of lean operations and high aircraft use. The main ides of the Southwest Effect is when a low fare airline enters the market, the market changes, and......

Words: 3057 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay


...The Culture of Southwest Airlines Ashley Foster Leadership and Organizational Behavior Dr. Jelena Vucetic August 22, 2014 What does organizational culture mean? Organizational culture is the system of shared actions, values, and beliefs that develops within an organization and guides the behavior of its members.(Schermerhorn, Osborn, Uhl-Bien, and Hunt, 2012) So, between the choices of picking an organization, I chose Southwest Airlines. In this paper, I will discuss Southwest Airlines, what they are trying to accomplish for their company, and what their culture means to the company. So the question is who is Southwest Airlines and why does the culture there make them from other airlines around the United States? Who is Southwest Airlines? Southwest Airlines was created in the 1971 by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King. Kelleher is legendary in the airline industry for doing things differently than the competition. Before he found himself Southwest's pitchman, Kelleher was a lawyer retained by the airline to get it off the ground - a fight that took him all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It seemed the last thing Southwest's competitors wanted to see was a low-cost upstart doing nothing but flying around Texas in and out of Dallas Love Field.(CBS News, 2007) CEO James Parker feels that it is all about the people and it starts with finding and hiring the right people. We at Southwest put a lot of effort into our selection process. We received over 100,000......

Words: 1779 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Organizational Culture in Theworkplace

...give the description of Southwest Airlines, including the organization’s philosophy, mission, vision, values, and structure, an analysis of the relationship between the design and Southwest Airlines and its organizational culture, and the effects of organizational culture on Southwest Airlines workforce will be reviewed. An evaluation of the effects of change within Southwest Airlines will also be discussed. Description of Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines is an airline that provides many services in different destinations around the United States. Southwest Airlines believes in being devoted to each of the communities that they serve by having their employees, customers, neighbors being a part of a loving family. Southwest philosophy is that happy employee’s equal happy customers and happy customers keep Southwest flying. They believe in providing a one of kind culture within their organization that means having fun-filled events like Halloween and spirit parties to keep their employees motivated and make it worthwhile to work hard for the company they love. It all started 38 years ago when Rollin King and Herb Kelleher got together and decided to starting a different type of airline on the simple notion: “If you can get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, at the lowest fares, and makes sure they have a good time doing it, they will be sure to fly your airline (Southwest Airlines Co., 2012, pg 1).” Within Southwest Airlines culture......

Words: 2362 - Pages: 10

Free Essay


...Southwest is an impressive organization because it’s the most flown airline within the United States and has been consistently profitable (Northouse, 2009). Southwest is ranked 205 in the Fortune 500 and their profits in 2011 were 459 million which exceeded their 2009 profits of 363.6 million (CNNMoney, 2011) Against industry problems and business pressures-air-traffic congestion, merger of rivals, stricter government regulations regarding aircraft safety and maintenance, and mounting customer dissatisfaction with airline service, Southwest has managed to continue climbing to the top. The company strategy from day one was to be an airline that pursued a low-cost/low-price/no-frills strategy. This strategy opened their market segment to a larger portion of the U.S population and gave the company their tag line “The Freedom to Fly” (Northouse, 2009). Southwest also known as “the love airline” first took flight in 1971. Herb Kelleher, initially a lawyer retained by the airline to get it off the ground, was running the place by 1978. The airline was initially known for sexy flight attendants in hot pants to gain attention before it became the leader in low cost fares. "You can have a low-cost carrier and people still don't fly it because they don't know about it," Kelleher said. "And so, the schtick kind of fit in with getting known" (CBSNEWS, 2012). The airline now employs 34,000 people, services 64 different facilities, owns 500 planes, and is the nation’s sixth largest......

Words: 3391 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay


...Background info of Southwest Southwest Airlines Report The Southwest’s Secret "What happens if you have mechanical irregularities?" said Herb Kelleher, chairman of the board of Southwest Airlines. "With only one model airplane in your fleet, you can substitute one for the other."(Boeing News, 2002) Due to its target of domestic flight and it is not necessary to own long-distance planes which more fuel storage needed, for it is not profitable for low-fare airlines. Therefore, single type of aircraft plays an important part in its success. (The Economist, 2012) Most importantly, according to Chris Wahlenmaier (2012), the vice president of ground operations of Southwest Airlines, he stated that all the on-board crews and ground crews are familiar with the replace situation even in the last minute because of the same shape and size of all the planes. Besides, training all the mechanics in one model of planes is one of the cost-efficient secret to make Southwest be the 40 consecutive years of profit operation (Yahoo finance, 2013). Overall, the secret derives from the training method of internal elements. Job security After the establishment of the Southwest Airline in 1971, there was a dilemma for Herb Kelleher whether to sell one of the four Boeings or lay off people. Instead, Mr. Kelleher chose another way to solve the problem, which is to shorten the turnaround time from 55 minutes to 15 minutes. (Donlon, 1999) Time saving rather than cutting people......

Words: 1764 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Hr Analysis in Southwest Airline

...Introduction to Southwest Airlines 3 1.1 Overview 3 1.1.1 History 3 1.1.2 Southwest Airlines’ offerings 4 1.2 Reasons for choosing Southwest Airlines as a case study on HR practices 5 2 Literature review 5 2.1 HR strategies 5 2.2 Training and development 7 2.3 Compensation 8 2.3.1 Financial compensation 8 2.3.2 Non-financial compensation 10 3 Human resource practices in Southwest Airlines 11 3.1 Human resource strategies in Southwest Airlines 11 3.1.1 Southwest Airlines Strategies 11 3.1.2 Role of HR Strategies in implementing Southwest Airlines’ strategies 12 3.1.3 Southwest Airlines human resources strategies and tactics 14 3.2 Training and development in Southwest Airlines 20 3.2.1 Southwest offer the employees the freedom to learn and grow 20 3.2.2 Safety and security training and outreach 21 3.2.3 Environmental and sustainability training 22 3.2.4 Diversity and inclusion education and outreach 23 3.2.5 University for people - leadership 23 3.3 Southwest Airlines’ Compensation and Benefits for People 27 3.3.1 The Freedom to Travel 28 3.3.2 The Freedom to create Financial Security 29 3.3.3 The Freedom to pursue Great Health 30 3.3.4 The Freedom to Learn and Grow 32 3.3.5 The Freedom to Work and Have Fun 33 3.3.6 Employee Recognition Programs 34 3.3.7 Distributed Leadership 35 CONCLUSION 37 REFERENCE 38 Introduction to Southwest Airlines Overview History Southwest Air was......

Words: 9022 - Pages: 37

Premium Essay

Leadership Style: What People Do When They Are Leading

...1. Provide a brief background of the CEO. Founded March 15, 1967 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines is currently the biggest domestic carrier by number of passengers serviced (Southwest Airlines, 2014). As of May 2013, the company has a market cap of approximately $9 billion (Forbes Magazine, 2013). Gary Kelly, who joined Southwest as controller in 1986, is the company’s current chairman, president, and CEO. Gary was born and raised in Texas and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas as Austin. Gary originally wanted to study oceanography but changed his mind and decided to study accounting simply because his father was an accountant. Before joining Southwest’s team, Gary worked as a CPA for Arthur Young and Company. He and Carol, his wife of 38 years, have two adult daughters. 2. Analyze the CEO’s leadership style and philosophy, and how the CEO’s leadership style aligns with the culture. Gary Kelly’s leadership style fits most closely with the servant and ethical styles of leadership. Schermerhorn (2012) defines a servant leader as one who “helps others discover their inner spirit, earns and keeps the trust of their followers, exhibits effective listening skills, and places the importance of assisting others over self-interest” (p. 322). Ethical leadership has a very high focus on interactional transparency, fairness, and awareness of others (p. 323). Gary is a relaxed and playful leader and believes that "good......

Words: 2147 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay


...Southwest Airlines Operations – A Strategic Perspective September 1, 2014 by Airline Editor Southwest Airlines Operations – A Strategic Perspective By Mukund Srinivasan Background: Southwest Airlines is the largest airline measured by number of passengers carried each year within the United States. It is also known as a ‘discount airline’ compared with its large rivals in the industry. Rollin King and Herb Kelleher founded Southwest Airlines on June 18, 1971. Its first flights were from Love Field in Dallas to Houston and San Antonio, short hops with no-frills service and a simple fare structure. The airline began with one simple strategy: “If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline.” This approach has been the key to Southwest’s success. Currently, Southwest serves about 60 cities (in 31 states) with 71 million total passengers carried (in 2004) and with a total operating revenue of $6.5 billion. Southwest is traded publicly under the symbol “LUV” on NYSE. Facts: * The first major airline to fly a single type of aircraft (Boeing 737s) * The first major airline to offer ticketless travel system wide including a frequent flier program based on number of trips and not number of miles flown. * The first airline to offer a profit-sharing program to its Employees (instituted in 1973). * The first major airline to......

Words: 3255 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Southwest Strategic Audit

...Southwest Strategically Robert E. Woodward Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Abstract The following document will discuss and analyze how Southwest Airlines has become an industry leader in the air carrier business. How has Southwest Airlines adapted after the attacks on the Twin Towers of New York and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Where is the company headed in the future? Recommendations after a SWOT analysis will be made on how Southwest could remain one of the dominant leaders in the airline business. Southwest Airlines Corporate Stategy I. INTRODUCTION A. Executive Summary 1. Summary statement of the problem: Where did Southwest Airlines begin and how do they stay competitive in the air carrier industry since the attacks on America the morning of September 11, 2001. 2. Summary statement of the recommended solution: Southwest can stay competitive by reshaping its rewards program and trying to increase its customer loyalty. B. The Situation Southwest Airlines began business in 1971 offering flights between Houston, Dallas and San Antonio Texas. Now Southwest Airlines operates in more than 35 states. It offers shorter flights than other air carriers; that average less than 1.7 hours. Most of Southwest’s flights are non-stop. Southwest Airlines customer focused attitude helps them to become the leader in US flights, according to the bureau of transportation statistics (docstoc). On September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks shut down...

Words: 3700 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Business and Management

...Mission Southwest Airlines' mission statement reads: "The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedicated to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit." All these traits are what have made Southwest # 1 in fewest customer complaints for several years running. Southwest continues to thrive on its reputation from this # 1 ranking as well as reap monetary rewards that come with this distinction. Southwest’s commitment to their employees reads: “We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer” Objectives Strategy The strategy that Southwest Airlines should use in order to continue its success is also based on the “Short-Haul” strategy. The difference is that the strategy must be inter-converted. Southwest can try its best to duplicate its “Short-Haul” strategy globally. For instance, it can do exactly the same business with the same strategy once again. But this time, Southwest has to do it in every part of the world. For instance, Southwest can expand its business in France, Germany, Australia, Russia, China, Japan, Poland, Greece, etc. All......

Words: 4871 - Pages: 20

Premium Essay

Research Final Project Dana

...STRATEGY MBL 915P Southwest Airlines in 2008: Culture, Values and Operating Practices Repeater Assignment 2 By : Refiloe Mokebe (72542683) 9/6/2011   Table of Contents Introduction 3 Question 1 – What is impressive about South West? 3 Question 2 – Benchmarking against the best practices 4 Question 3 – Key drivers for low cost / no frills strategy 6 Question 4 - What are the key elements of Southwest’s culture? 9 Question 5 - What grade would you give Southwest management? 13 Question 6 - What problems or weaknesses do you see at Southwest Airlines? 15 Question 7 - What recommendations would you make to Gary Kelly? 16 List of References 17 Introduction The objective of this assignment is to apply analytical methods on how Southwest Airlines strategy is executed. Various Strategic models will be used in analyzing how Southwest Airlines is applying and executing their strategy. In late 1966, Rollin King, a San Antonio entrepreneur who owned a small commuter air service, marched into Herb Kelleher’s law office with a plan to start a low cost/ low-fare airline that would shuttle passengers between San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Southwest Airlines was founded as Air Southwest Company in 1967, it incorporated as Southwest Airlines in Texas and began customer service in 1971. The airline was founded on King’s simple business concept “attract passengers by flying convenient schedules, getting them to their destination on time with good......

Words: 9704 - Pages: 39

Premium Essay


...competitive industries in the world. From its onset, Southwest Airlines has made significant inroads in pursuit of low fares. The organization has been determined to be the lowest cost airline in the industry for the selected routes that it flies. Considering their position, the question arises as to how they consistently remain more successful than their competition. The answer is not one that sheds light on one specific area, but a series of factors that, when combined, allow Southwest Airlines to shine above their peers. The goals of Southwest’s management within Southwest include keeping operations simple and consistent, maximizing assets, managing customer expectations, and keeping costs to a minimum. Management has achieved these goals by incorporating the following: 1. Using a One plane fits all philosophy. The competition operates many different jets to meet their missions. Southwest saves millions in inventories, training, maintenance, and other problems associated to non-commonality. This is in addition to having the ability to swap planes from one route to another. 2. Flying from one point to another. Other airlines use the common “hub and spoke” system, unlike Southwest, which flies from one point to another, non-stop. This reduces ground time and delays, while assisting with on-time performance. 3. Implementing a “no frills, no fees” policy. To keep cost to a minimum, Southwest sells seats in three price points. Prices are all inclusive and allow for up to......

Words: 2094 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Southwest Airlines

...THE AIRLINE DEREGULATION EVOLUTION CONTINUES The Southwest Effect [pic] Prepared by: Randall D. Bennett James M. Craun Office of Aviation Analysis U.S. Department of Transportation May 1993 Table of Contents Major Findings 3 Southwest 4 Industry Structural Changes 5 The Southwest Effect 6 The importance of new entrants 8 Appendix A: Charts 10 Chart 1 10 Chart 2 10 Chart 3 11 Chart 4 11 Chart 5 12 Chart 6 12 Chart 7 13 Chart 8 13 Chart 9 14 Chart 10 14 Chart 11 15 Chart 12 16 Chart 13 16 Chart 14 17 Chart 15 17 Chart 16 18 Chart 17 18 Chart 18 19 Chart 19 19 Chart 20 20 Chart 21 20 Chart 22 21 Chart 23 21 Major Findings: The principal driving force behind dramatic fundamental changes that have occurred and will occur in the U.S. airline industry over the next few years is the dramatic growth of low-cost Southwest Airlines: • A return to profitability hinges on developing lower-cost services in short haul markets and increasing fares in longer-haul markets: • Other major airlines are giving up competing with Southwest's low-cost service for market share. Southwest's continuing expansion will force other airlines to bring about a major change in their cost structures by developing new, low-cost services in......

Words: 3574 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay


...People make Southwest Airlines one of the world’s most admired companies. As our greatest asset, our People create a FUN travel experience; respond with compassion when travel plans change; generate innovative ideas that enhance the Customer Experience; and donate their time and LUV to those who need it. At Southwest Airlines, we’re a Family dedicated to our Employees, our Customers, and the communities we serve. Our unique corporate Culture, commitment to giving back, and putting Employees first contributes to our being recognized as a best place to work. Southwest Airlines offers our Employees the freedom to pursue good health, create financial security, travel, make a positive difference, learn and grow, create and innovate, work hard and have FUN, and stay connected. In return, our Employees respond with passion, commitment, and a rich diversity of perspectives that translate into better Customer Service and a dedication to doing the right thing. Our Customers fly Southwest Airlines not only for programs like Bags Fly Free,® but because they like us. Together, as the hometown carrier that cares, we aspire to make a positive difference by giving back to the communities we serve. Our commitment to giving back gives our Employees a sense of pride and purpose that Southwest Airlines does the right thing. With a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart, and Fun-LUVing Attitude, we strive to do what’s right by our stakeholders and each other. It’s the Southwest......

Words: 13128 - Pages: 53