Southwest Airlines is in the top ranking US Corporation in terms of profits and reputation. This airline has always applied strong strategies in order to be on the top in terms of profits, innovation, and image. This constitutes the culture of this company, which matured over the last quarter–century, and enabled the company to support its mission both to the customers and the employees.
This essay will be divided into three stages which characterize each organizational culture. Firstly we will deal with the action of the top management, secondly, we will develop the process of socialization, and thirdly we will develop the process of selection.
In each of these parts, we will demonstrate the link between the stage of organizational culture, the forms or ways through which this culture is transmitted (i.e. the specific language, rituals, symbols, or stories specific to the company); and eventually, how both can match the mission statement of the company (which is to provide a stable work environment to employees, encourage creativity and innovation, and ensure a high customer service).
According to an article written by Bryant Elizabeth (Dec 2007, p.36-39) Gary Kelly, the actual CEO of SWA talks about “investment in people”, they usually meet leaders and ask them about their professional situation, their view and their expectations for the future.
[...] Socialization brought also unanimity of purposes among members, cohesion and organizational commitment (thanks to this socialization) related in another story of the company given in the extract of the Quick's and Campbell's Academic Journal. The firm chose the Ronald McDonald Houses as their primary corporate charity. They were financially generous but also time giving, i.e of the employees came as volunteers to spend their free time cooking, playing or helping the organization themselves in other ways. They even won an award for this and, during the Christmas holidays, the message on television read: “From the house that love built and the airline that luv built, have a Merry Christmas”. [...]
[...] and help people integrating the company's culture. Yet the company could not act in a better way in what concerns the use if these mateirals symbols in their strategy. The employees aren't stressed, they come to work smiling and do their job more than correctly because they are enjoying being there, and this is again one of the mission scope. People are enjoying their work environment, so as they can voice their opinion. Creativity and innovation is encouraged, there are no strict rules but freedom and this imporoves the effectiveness of the company. [...]
[...] They usually meet leaders and ask them their profesional situation, their view and expectations for the future. These meetings can be compared to rituals which are the evidence of their strategy to reinforce the coaching component as well as goals for leaders. This will then influence the achievement of the operational objectives. What is more, this rule of organizational culture helps achieveing one of the mission of the company, i.e providing a stable work environnement to employee, giving them equal opportunity for personal and profesional fulfilment. [...]
[...] They are conveying the idea of Southwest as a “dear careful company” using any means they can to monitor the employee's life. Nevertheless, culture has played an overwhelming role on that sucess because it seems it was shaped especially to match the mission statement. It brodely consisted in assuring high customer and employee satisfaction, in a dynamic, innovative and easy going work environment which would be the right way of improving effectiveness and quality of work. Nevertheless, it has not always been so obvious, and at each obstacle, the company managed to break down barriers erected by external difficulties in order to overcome chalenges. [...]
[...] One of the last corporate values is altruism. Kelleher wanted the company to be seen as a family where you care for one another, Quick's and Campbell article demonstratres that he especially looks for people who are focusing on other people and are devoted to help them. Consequently, workers are really willing to back their Shouthwest counterpart, for the collective's sake as well as for the well-being of each one. Inconsciously, people are caring for their surrounding colleagues and many anecdote of the company proves us this spirit. [...]
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