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Southwest Airlines; Leadership and Communication

In: Business and Management

Submitted By DoubleLLBlack
Words 1510
Pages 7
Southwest airlines originated in 1971 by its founders, Herb Kelleher and Rollin King. The airline focused on short flights with customer service that was “delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual price and company spirit.” (Anonymous, 2005, p.16). Since it’s origination, the company has won multiple prestigous awards for it’s leadership, employee satisfaction, and outstanding customer service which can always be found in their coorporate environment, which is filled with non traditional humor. How does a company stay successful in the notoriously volitile airline industry for so many years? This paper will discuss Southwest’s leadership, sources of power, motivational theory and workforce. How communication is impacted in each of these areas will be the topic of focus.
Leadership
Southwest screens individuals carefully in their interview process. The company looks for the traits in people who have “a sense of humor, a fun loving attitude and don’t take themselves too seriously”. (Hardage, 2006, p.2). “The company hires not on skill, but on the basis of attitudes and belives that skill can be taught in the classroom but they can’t change attitude.” (Bunz & D, 1998, p.2). “Trait theories focus on personal qualities and characteristics. The search for personality, social, physical, or intellectual attributes that differentiate leaders from non-leaders goes back to the earliest stages of leadership research.” (Beebe, Masterson, 2009,). “The University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center concludes that traits of leaders (are) related to performance effectiveness.” (West, 1995, p.1). Leadership traits and styles are defined by “two behavioral dimensions: the employee-oriented leader which emphasizes interpersonal relationships by taking a personal interest in the needs of employees and accepting individual differences among them; the...

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