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Southwest Airlines In 2008 Culture Values And Operating Practices Case Study

2 Southwest Airlines  What you found impressive about Southwest Airlines.  How you would grade Southwest management for developing the airline’s strategic vision.  The key policies, procedures, operating practices, and core values underlying Southwest’s efforts to implement their low-cost/no frills strategy.  The key elements of the culture created at Southwest.  Gary Kelly’s leadership style.  Any problems or weaknesses in Southwest Airlines strategy.  The acquisition of AirTran  Any recommendations to Southwest executives for the company going forward. Company History -1966 Rollin King approached Herb Kelleher’s law office with plan to start low-cost/low-fare airline -Ran into legal problems, rival airlines in Texas did everything they could to block new airline -Herb Kelleher was determined to start up airline -1971 – Lamar Muse Southwest CEO, background in industry to get it up and starting -Raised $7 million in capital and private investors to purchase planes and equipment -Flights started between Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston known as the “Golden Triangle” -2014 – market share leader in domestic air travel in US, consistently profitable even during down turning economy, profit every year since 1973 What you found impressive about Southwest Airlines? One of the most impressive characteristics about Southwest Airlines is their fun, loving, determined company culture that believes first in making employees happy which then results in happy customers. Southwest Airlines has an impressive value for its employees. The low employee turnover rate and large number of applicants is a strong indicator that this value is real and not lip service. Another interesting fact in regards to employees at Southwest is that in 40 years there have only been four CEOs, with 20 of those years being one individual. How you would grade Southwest management for developing the airline’s strategic vision? One of the most important concepts that Southwest developed and grasped in their strategy was that it was not enough to be a low-cost provider; they needed to have a sustainable competitive advantage. The company addressed this by stressing that through the low-cost provider strategy,

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