Southwest Airlines: Turning a Profit in Tough Economic Times Essay

Southwest Airlines: Turning a Profit in Tough Economic Times Essay

Length: 2487 words (7.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Many companies today are struggling to make a profit because of the explosive swings in the global markets. Leaders and managers are constantly asked to make tough decisions on how to keep their company in the black. Most turn to reducing hours or laying off personnel as a way to lower overhead costs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the nationwide unemployment rate is 8.8 percent. Over the past years, several large chains such as Circuit City closed their doors and others like Starbucks and Borders are closing some of their stores to reclaim profits. Despite these unsettling statistics, one company that seems to be bullet proof in an economy where more Americans are closing their wallets is Southwest Airlines. This unique and unconventional company is posting profits in the millions. Southwest Airlines continually modifies its organizational strategy and implements organizational change to meet stakeholders and consumer demands. This paper will explore Southwest Airlines' original business model, current changes within the company, and the benefits realized through current and future organizational change.
When Southwest Airlines opened the doors in 1971, their approach in this well-defined industry was anything but standard. They launched themselves into a class of their own through a radical business model. According to Spector (2009), "Business model innovation has become an increasingly common avenue for corporate growth. At its most basic level, a business model is the organization's approach to generating revenue and making a profit." (p.5). Southwest Airline's approach was to be a quality low-cost, high-frequency, point-to-point carrier. The low-cost flights competed not only with other airlines but they a...


... middle of paper ...


...her, H. (2004). A Culture of Commitment. Retrieved from http://www.hr-newcorp.com/articles/Herb%20Keller%20on%20Leadership-1997.pdf.
Kelly, G. (2011). The Happiest Place to Work. Retrieved from http://www.southwest.com/assets/pdfs/about-southwest/garys-greeting.pdf.
Leadership Now. (2010). Leading Thoughts. Retrieved from http://www.leadershipnow.com/changequotes.html.
Schlangenstein, M. (2011, Jan 6). Southwest Loyalty Program Gets First Revamp in 23 Years to Boost Traffic. Bloomberg. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-06/southwest-loyalty-program-gets-first-revamp-in-23-years-to-boost-traffic.html.
Southwest Airlines. (2011). Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.southwest.com.
Spector, B., (2010). Implementing Organizational Change: Theory into Practice (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780136074281.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Southwest Airlines : The Top Leading Airline Companies Essay examples

- Southwest Airlines is one of the top leading airline companies. It is also one of the top 10 fortune 500 admired companies according to Forbes Magazine. (Makovsky, 2014). Southwest which was founded in 1971 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher. They offered very basic services to their customers and employees. There were no incentives, frills and offered a very basic structure. Their flights only flew out of Love Field in Dallas and to Houston and San Antonio. (Srinivasan, 2014). Organizational Change In the 80’s, the new CEO, Lamar Muse, of Southwest changed its perspective and did an overhaul on their culture....   [tags: Southwest Airlines, Airline, ATA Airlines]

Research Papers
1363 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on southwest airlines

- Identify Current Strategy Southwest Airlines Co. is a major domestic air carrier that is “the world’s only short-haul, high-frequency, low-fare, point-to-point carrier” according to the President and CEO Herb Kelleher. Southwest has always been able to quickly seize any strategic opportunities whenever they arise. Southwest is the only company to ever hold the Triple Crown for annual performance. Some of the key factors that contribute to Southwest’s success are its conservative growth pattern, cost-containment policy and the commitment of its employees....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1519 words (4.3 pages)

A Report On The Airline Industry Essay

- Introduction Motivation After 9/11 many airlines company was facing financial troubles that will shape America banks, stock pricing and insurance company community. The airline industry financial issues will cause many changings to foreign policy and national policy, “the hardest hit business was the airline industry, which suffered major economic damage” (to, H. and Lee, D. (2005). I choose this because many Americans don’t know how 9/11 crippled airlines industry. The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 was a turning point in American history, which killed over 2,000 people and put fear in many businesses, “the terrorist attacks created a great deal of uncertainly for the industry” (...   [tags: Airline, Avianca, Southwest Airlines]

Research Papers
1586 words (4.5 pages)

The Organizational Culture Of Southwest Airlines Essay

- Southwest Airlines Company’s Culture Analysis In this segment of the paper, I will analyze the organizational culture of the Southwest Airlines. The airline, which is categorized as a regional airline is known for its profitability and excellent customer service within the transportation industry (SWA, 2015). What Are The Espoused Values and Beliefs of The Company. Values and beliefs of a company can attract investors to a company or deter investors from a company. Fortunately, the SWA has attractive values and beliefs....   [tags: Airline, Southwest Airlines, Customer]

Research Papers
922 words (2.6 pages)

Southwest Airlines : A Mission Statement Essay

- Southwest Airlines is one of the nations most successful airline travel companies. The company has implemented many measures to gain a positive public opinion. First of all at the foundation of Southwest Airlines is a fantastic mission statement its mission is “the dedication to provide the highest quality of customer service with a sense of warmth, friendliness, and upbeat business spirit.” By continuing with this mission, Southwest Airlines has achieved a stunning thirty-one years consecutive profitable years and many prestigious awards for the fewest complaints by many administrative organizations including the United States Department of Transportation....   [tags: Airline, Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher]

Research Papers
728 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Swot Analysis : Southwest Airlines

- In 1996, Rolling King, an entrepreneur who owned a small commuter air service, approached Herb Kelleher’s law office about a plan to start a low-cost/low-fare airline that would transport passengers between San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Southwest Airlines, Inc. (SWA), was founded in 1971, in Dallas Texas, flying Boeing B737 aircraft, is one of the largest airlines in the United States (Eroglu, O, 2015). Southwest together with AirTran and forty-one plus years of profitability covers more than ninety destinations throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, and Dominican Republic (Southwest Airlines Co, 2015)...   [tags: Southwest Airlines, Airline, Boeing 737]

Research Papers
1103 words (3.2 pages)

The Factors Affecting Southwest Airlines Essay

- Not all of the external factors affecting Southwest Airlines are helpful, however. In terms of threats, Southwest Airlines faces several challenges. The airline industry is a highly competitive market and costs are continuing to rise (e.g. rapidly increasing fuel costs and labor costs). Unfortunately, these factors greatly increase the risk of another company emulating the strategies and core competencies of Southwest Airlines (Ross & Beath, 2007). Ross & Beath (2007) mention this threat in regards to JetBlue rapidly approaching innovative, low-cost operations....   [tags: Southwest Airlines, Airline, Management]

Research Papers
1773 words (5.1 pages)

Essay Organizational Structure At Southwest Airlines

- Introduction “Your employees come first and if you treat your employee’s right, guess what. Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that.” This quote from Herb Kelleher, co-founder of Southwest Airlines, embodies the attitude of leadership at the airline. Southwest dares to be different from other airlines because their philosophy revolves around people both internal and external. Communication, culture, and leadership are the cornerstone of their success....   [tags: Southwest Airlines, Airline]

Research Papers
1125 words (3.2 pages)

History of Southwest Airlines Essay

- More than 32 years ago, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher got together and decided to start a different kind of airline. They began with one simple notion: If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline. And you know what. They were right. What began as a small Texas airline has grown to become one of the largest airlines in America. Today, Southwest Airlines flies more than 65 million passengers a year to 59 great cities (60 airports) all across the country, and they do it more than 2,800 times a day....   [tags: Voices of Southwest Airlines]

Free Essays
1181 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The History of Southwest Airlines

- The History of Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines (SWA) begins in June 18, 1971, when SWA first operated a first airline consul between Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. Rollin King and Herb Kelleher are the founders of the company. The end of 1971 SWA immediately began to expand. In 1972 all Houston service is transferred to Houston's Hobby Airport form Houston Intercontinental, that is make more convenient for people to fly. During the first year of operations the customers were the Southwest's first priority....   [tags: Southwest Airlines Aviation Airplanes Essays]

Research Papers
3808 words (10.9 pages)