Organizational Structure of Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is one of the most successful airlines. It is located in the low cost market segment which makes it even better. It is a role model for many other low-cost airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet. I was interested in finding out what their formal construction and organizational structure that makes it such a successful airline.

The mission statement of Southwest Airlines which explains its strategy is: “The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.” They also have a separate mission statement for their human resources management: “We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. A few other strong characteristics that make their strategy so strong are creativity and innovation. Over all, employees of southwest as well as southwest customers will be provded with the same concern and caring attitude.

The main goal of this airline is to be a domestic airline operating direct flights on short-haul routes with a high frequency and with low fares. The main operational strategy is based on six traits which include: 1. limited passenger, 2. frequent reliable departures, 3. short-haul, point-to-point routes between mid-sized cities and secondary airports, 4. very low ticket prices, 5. lean, heavily productive ground and gate crews, and 6. high aircraft utilization.

The organizational structure of Southwest Airlines is known for being functional. There are three layers of management. The values are considered as the core of their organization which include quality, reliability, action, informal communication and feedback. Job specialization doesn’t go as far with other airlines like it does with Southwest. An example of this is in order to reduce the turnaround time, pilots help to clean the aircraft which rarely ever happens.

I was very impressed with the organization of southwest. I have flown with southwest before and it has always been a smooth and enjoyable flight. My questions for Southwest in regards to their organization would be:

1. How do they solve a problem with an unhappy customer on flight?

2. How do they deal with emergencies?

3. What are some statistics from their flights?

Amber Oprean

http://www.aerlines.nl/issue_26/Knol_SWA.pdf

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One response to “Organizational Structure of Southwest Airlines

  1. Thank you I needed some facts for a paper and I cited your work.

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