Case study page 600: Question one: What has sustained Southwest culture? Southwest Airlines has a strong culture that lasted for 32 years. The organization’s core values are intensely held and widely shared by the whole organization, meaning that all employees believe in and stick to the organizational culture which makes sense why it’s regarded as having a strong culture. Which is reflected through their performance, loyalty and commitment, even when others competitors rose in the market, employees still never left the organization although they demanded better pay.
Other reasons might be: Selection: workers were selected on the basis of having a sense of humour and other qualities but sense of humour has been a basic criterion. Top management: always motivated employees by portraying the airline as the underdog. Also allowing a large portion of the compensation to be in the form of stocks ,therefore sharing profits. Finally the provision of job security. Socialization: as mentioned in the case study that the company encouraged it’s employees too work hard and at the same time have a good time.
Question two: Do you think upstart airlines can successfully duplicate this culture? It might be able to duplicate part of the culture but not all of it, since they already penetrated the market with their competitive edges as offering reserved seats, free live-satellite TV, more fuel-efficient planes and younger lower paid workers. Which makes sense why they can hardly see themselves as the underdogs, since they are likely to win being the top dogs of the market. Question three: Now that the company is no longer the underdog what can Southwest’s anagement do to retain it’s high-productivity culture? The organization should motivate employees to work as hard as they were before. The case now is that part of their compensation is cut due to the decrease of their shares’ value and dividends. Which justifies their aggressive demand for having higher wages and less working hours. Southwest should try to enhance it’s service and attract new customers through the provision of in-flight entertainment, purchasing new jets and other benefits that would make them competitive in the market place.
At that, time employees would be able to work harder. Question four: What dose the case imply about sustaining culture in a changing environment? Any organization should constantly evaluate the market for new technological developments and customer’s needs, because changing organizational culture is the hard way. As it involves changing people’s behavior; how they think, how they act and interact with one another in order to achieve the organization’s objectives.