British Airways Case Study

735 Words3 Pages
This paper will discuss the challenges and changes that occurred within British Airways during the 1980’s. It will explore the relevant methods used to re-energize the organization during this period. As a matter of history, included in this paper are the change-resistant elements of the British Airways culture prior to the 1980s challenges. Next, it will identify the critical success factors and several of the steps that leaders took to transform the company. Finally, there is a personal element, considering what I may have done differently in the same situation. Key Words: change, restructuring, culture, customer service, innovation, Changing British Airways A contributing factor to the struggles at British Airways during the 1980’s…show more content…
However, it did not take long for poor customer service and external changes to create a decline in profit. With an attempt at transitioning from governmental to a private organization, it became clear that the organization was frozen into inflexible business practices and cultural norms. This resulted in a stalled organization that teetered near the edge of bankruptcy. It had focused on building infrastructure but neglected to envision the need for market development to sustain growth. The organization endeavored to innovate, being the first to offer jet passenger services, but did not plan for innovation’s high cost. At the same time, the organization lost sight of longer term employee and customer needs. Employees were united by culture but not by a common goal focused on customer satisfaction. Lower level leaders were neither empowered nor…show more content…
King was influential and understood many of the elements of the “Organizational Life Cycle and Change Challenge” (Beatty & Ulrich, 1991, p. 38). His restructuring began with drastic improvements to the financial strength of the organization by a total reduction of a quarter of the original staff by 1983 (Jick & Peiperl, 2011, p. 29). Also internally, he focused on cultural change and employee empowerment by taking actions to change the perception of the workforce that they were inconsequential to highly valuable and able to make decisions. He executed internal training that helped employees and managers understand the service industry’s mission to satisfy customers. A 1985 study found that the impact of the “Managing People First” training for managers resulted in 60% of those interviewed being fully committed to the training goals (Poulet & Moult,
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