Read the following case study and give your analysis on the stated questions.

Question no 1:


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When South West Airlines first taxied onto the runway of Dallas’s love field in 1971, industry gurus predicted that it would be short trip to bankruptcy for the Texas based airline. But the first short haul, low fare, high frequency, point to point carrier took a unique idea and made it fly. Today South West Airlines is the world’s most profitable commercial airline.

But it took more than a wing and a prayer for South West to soar to such lofty altitudes. It took a MAVERICK spirit. From the beginning, South West has flown against convention. South West’s fleet of 737’s the safest in the airline industry still makes only short hauls to 45 cities. The average flight distance is 394 miles. The airline does not offer baggage transfers or give seat assignments and the only food it serves passengers is a bag of peanuts. But what South West may lack in amenities it seems to more than make up for in what could be called positively outrageous service. FUN is the company’s mandate. Leading the way was the founder and CEO HERB KELLEHER (who passed away recently). “Herb Kelleher was definitely the world’s zaniest CEO in the world”, Libby Sartain, vice president of south West’s people department admits. Where else you can find a CEO who dresses like Elvis Presley, who was on a first name basis with 20,000 employees and who has a heart as big as the state of Texas. His style has fostered an atmosphere where people feel comfortable being themselves and where they can have a good time when they work.

Legendary for his love of laughter, Kelleher called his unique leadership style “Management by fooling around”. An important part of leadership, I think is enjoying what you are doing and letting it show to people that you work with, Kelleher always revealed, and he also stated that I would rather have a company that is bound by love rather than bound by coercion. Kelleher’s philosophy has been enthusiastically embraced by a work force that is 85% unionized. In the words of Libby Sartain, “South West’s culture is designed to promote high spirit and avoid complacency. We have little hierarchy here, our employees are encouraged to be creative and innovative, to break rules when they need in order to provide good services to our customers”. Rita Bailey, South West’s director of training ads, “If you create the type of environment that a person really feels valued and they feel they make a difference, than they are going to be motivated. That’s the type of environment we create here for our employees”.

Beginning with its employee orientation, the airline nurtures intrapreneurship by grooming a work force of future leaders. “You can do whatever it takes to keep this airline on top”, an orientation instructor tells his class of newly hired officers. At Southwest’s university for people, future managers and supervisors attended a course titled “Leading with integrity”. Through a series of role playing exercises employees learn that trust, co-operation, mutual respect and good communication are the components of success. “An organization that has a spirit that does things cooperatively and voluntarily, rather than through coercion, is the most competitive organization you can have”, Keller always asserted. These guiding principle have earned Southwest Airlines the distinction of being named one of the 10 best companies to work for in USA.

Employees are valued and recognized in many ways for their achievements. Perhaps the most prestigious is Southwest’s “HEROES OF THE HEART” award. Each year one outstanding department has its name tattooed on a Southwest jet. Southwest was the first airline to offer stock options to its employees. Today, employees own approximately 10% of the company shares.

In the lobby of Southwest’s corporate headquarters is a prominent tribute to the men and women of Southwest, it reads, “The people of southwest Airlines are the creators of what we have become – and what will be. Our people transformed an idea into a legend. That legend will continue to grow only as long as it is nourished by our people’s indomitable spirit, boundless energy, immense goodwill and burning desire to excel. Our thanks and our love to the people of Southwest airlines for creating a marvelous family and wondrous airline”.

Questions from the case study:(Dont copy paste write it unique)

  1. Critically analyze the policies and culture that have contributed to the success of Southwest and do you think other organizations should also incorporate such policies and culture? Why or why not? (App 150 to 200 words)
  2. What do you understand by the Southwest policy of making its ground staff lean but avoiding complacency? What advantages can be gained by this policy? (App 150 to 200 words)
  3. Do you think it is a wise strategy to encourage the employees to be innovative even to the extent of breaking rules when they need in order to provide good services to their customers? (App 150 to 200 words)
  4. What was the leadership style of Herb Kelleher and does this style of leadership suits in Pakistani culture and environment? Elaborate (150 to 200 words)

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