Southwests Airlines culture and management style

Southwest’s Airlines culture and management style



Course Instructor


Southwest Airline is very loyal to her employees and this has led to “no layoff policy” which has forced it to keep the employees regardless of operating losses. The company is also engaged in expansion strategies which have seen it acquiring more flights and new flight destinations. Southwest airline has established her operations in various cities and even acquired some companies as a way of expanding her operations (Rothkopf 2009, p. 98-104).

The company has acquired even some of her competitors such as ATA airlines as a way of boosting her expansion strategies. Furthermore, the company trains her flight crews a way of increasing customer satisfaction. It further operates cost effective It also operates self-service 24 hour online check in kiosks to increase customer convenience The company has led the Airline industry in innovations by introducing the first ticketless travel and website (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson 2009, p. 367-375).

Moreover, the company has set itself as a low cost leader especially in the domestic market and this has weakened most of her local competitors such as Skybus. Regarding marketing strategy, Southwest plans to differentiate herself from her potential competitors through the use of peculiar and comical driven advertising. It further enjoys quantitative as well as qualitative characteristics which differ from her competitors (Rothkopf 2009, p. 98-104).

Southwest airline has standardized her airline flight as a way of saving both time and expense by being the first airline company to introduce one model fleet technique. It has always used Boeing 737 which is considered the workhorse of the airline industry and further enjoys lead in cost effectiveness and flexibility. This helps in minimizing cost in various ways such as lowering of inventories, technical manuals and proper management of service crew (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson 2009, p. 367-375).

As part of lowering cost, the company has always maintained fuel hedging of almost 70% of her fuel consumption which has seen it saving a lot in fuel cost annually. It also employs blended winglets on her 737-700 to enhance performance through extension of a plane’s range, saving fuel and reducing engine’s maintenance cost. In addition, the company has a short turnaround time for aircraft in the airline industry as well as boarding procedure which has unassigned seating (Rogovsky & Sims 2006, p. 66-70).

Southwest also believes in creating good customer satisfaction by ensuring employee satisfaction to facilitate high quality delivery and hospitality towards passengers. The company really values her employees and has even adopted profit sharing plan which has minimized employee turnover. Moreover, Southwest organizes for reward programs such as accelerated check in process and hotel which increases customer loyalty although the effect is not that much (Rothkopf 2009, p. 98-104).

Gary Kelly is actually the right person to head up Southwest Airlines because of his ability to maintain low cost as well as his capability to avoid excess capacity. The company has also maintained positive revenues and maintained minimal debt level over time under Kelly’s leadership. Garry further plans to facilitate growth of the company not only locally but also overseas. Despite of challenges that emerged recently, there is more success than downfall under Kelly’s leadership which proves his competence.


Hitt, A., Ireland, R. & Hoskisson R 2009, Strategic Management Competitiveness & Globalization, South Western, Cengage Learning.

Rogovsky, N., & Sims, E 2006, Corporate Success through People: Making International Labor Standards Work for You, New Delhi, Academic Foundation.

Rothkopf, M 2009, Innovation In Commoditized Service Industries – An Empirical Case Study, Berlin, Lit.

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