BA460 Discussion Question

Need help with my Management question – I’m studying for my class.

In 2016, Southwest Airlines was the world’s second largest airline in terms of total passengers boarded (144.6 million in 2015), trailing only Delta Airlines, which boarded just over 180 million passengers in 2015 (counting those on flights operated by Delta’s regional and international joint venture partners). However, based on the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of originating domestic passengers boarding Southwest flights exceeded those of Delta and its other two biggest rivals—American Airlines and United Airlines (see Exhibit 1). Southwest also had the enviable distinction of being the only major air carrier in the world that had been profitable for 43 consecutive years (1973-2015). In 2015, Southwest was named to Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies for the 22nd consecutive year, coming in at number 7.

This case sets forth Southwest’s strategy, then describes in some detail all the various policies, practices and operating approaches that management has employed to implement and execute the strategy. Southwest’s values and culture are also covered in some depth.

  1. What are the key elements of Southwest’s culture? Is Southwest a strong culture company? Why or why not?
  2. What problems do you forsee in sustaining the culture that was created by the company’s long-time leader, Herb Kelleher.

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