Southwest Airlines organizational structure, culture, and leadership
As per in-depth research, the Southwest Airlines follows a divisional organizational structure. A divisional organizational structure usually consists of several self-directed units. Each of the units has different functional specialists. The modus operand of each of the unit is different from each other. Such units are called Strategic business unit or SBUs. Each of the SBU is usually monitored by a central officer. In case of Southwest Airlines the monitoring corporate officer happens to be Mr. Gary Kelly.
There are six divisions such as marketing and communication, finance, customer care, operations, HR and admin and regulations. The divisional organizational structure allows Southwest Airlines to develop strategy for each of the business unit. Each of the SBUs is given profit responsibility and freedom of decision making. Also it allows the company to have right people at the right places i.e. specialists. (De, p. 101)
Each SBU has its own business strategy. Divisional organizational culture also allows the employees to have a clear understanding of the job description. Despite of having different business strategy each of the divisions strive to achieve the ultimate business objective: To deliver the quality of service to the customer with a sense of friendliness, company sprit and pride (Austin, p. 45).
Organizational culture can be defined as balanced mix of human psychology, actions, attitudes and beliefs to develop a feel of pleasure and joy among employees that is often reflected in the way the end product is delivered to the customers. A strong organizational culture accompaniment set of norms and values that reflect the modus operand of an organization. Employees belonging to a strong organizational structure usually passionately engage in business activities with a sense of empowerment and confidence. Anyone travelled on a Southwest flight has had the good fortune to taste the vibrant culture of the brand. According to experts the most important factor that has helped the company to formulate competitive business strategy and become a consistent winner is the organizational established by the top leadership. (Parikh, p. 129).
The Southwest Airlines is quite famous for the unique fun oriented organizational structure that helps the employees to keep the morale high. Southwest Airlines’ founders and following leaders did not want to establish just another airline. The leaders wanted to create new experience not only for the passengers but also for the employees. One of the key components of the business model of the company is people. However, unlike other companies the people aspect includes both employees and the customers. The relaxed organizational culture of the company can be linked directly to the vision of CEO and co-founder Herb Kellerher. The organizational culture is often characterized by the enjoyable organizational environment. (Martin, p. 135)
Based on the above analysis it can summed up that the organizational structure and culture helps the company to formulate effective business strategy. Probably die to such factors the company has been able to remain one of the reliable and profitable airlines even during the testing times of 9/11 and the economic down turn. The fun and relaxed organizational culture and divisional organizational structure leads to a happy bunch of employees and a healthy organizational environment. (Henry, p. 90).
Martin, Joanne. Organizational Culture: Mapping the Terrain Foundations for Organizational Science. UK: SAGE, 2002. Print.
De, Barun. Strategic Management. India: Matrix Educare, 2011. Print.