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Southwest Case

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1. Southwest’s Strategy and its Business Focus

Southwest’s strategy involves: providing low airfares, short haul, point to point flight, only using Boeing 737, no international flights, one class seating, no meals or movies on flights, and fast turn around times for airplanes. Additionally, Southwest prides itself on delivering positively outrageous customer service (O’Reilly & Pfeffer, 1995). In fact, if Southwest were asked the question, “what business are we in” its most likely response would be, “we are in the business of providing excellent customer service.” For example, Southwest capitalizes the word “Customer” in all of its corporate communications in order to show how important their customers are (O’Reilly & Pfeffer, 1995). Another example is a Southwest employee offered to take care of a customer’s dog when the customer found out he could no longer take him on the airplane. The customer agreed, and the Southwest employee took care of the dog for two weeks so the customer could enjoy his vacation (O’Reilly & Pfeffer, 1995). These are just a few examples that show the importance that Southwest places on providing high levels of customer satisfaction.

1. Southwest’s Success

Southwest has been successful for so long for a variety of reasons. One is the strategy that Southwest has is very effective because it has been able to provide value to customers in ways that other airlines have not been able to easily match (Cummings & Worley, 2015). Secondly, Southwest continues to be successful because they meet most of the criteria for an effective change process. Southwest has breadth, simplicity, unity, empowerment, and speed. Having these characteristics allows Southwest to change themselves continually when the environment requires them to do so, and these characteristics improve performance and effectiveness over time…...

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