Type: Management
Pages: 4 | Words: 1095
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Southwest Airlines is the company that positions itself as the American low-cost airline; the company was founded in 1971. Southwest Airlines is the largest airline company by amount of passengers (1 place in the U.S. and in the world) in the United States and the world. The company is based in Dallas and operates only Boeing with 737s. Its fleet consists of 547 Boeing 737s of various modifications, which make more than 3,100 flights a day. Organisational culture is untouchable value of the company, it creates service and atmosphere of the company, it helps to feel oneself as a part of big corporation, like a little pin in a huge system. Organisational culture refers to the component that builds company’s image and reputation in the human resource sector.

Throughout this paper the topic of the Southwest Airlines organisational culture and its dimensions will be discussed. This paper also contains discussion of the person who is responsible for Southwest Airlines’ organisational culture creation. The cultural processes of this company are also discussed in this paper. The relationship between Southwest Airlines success and its culture was analysed.

Question 1. Which are the dimensions of the Southwest Airlines organizational culture, using the OCP model (Organizational Culture Profile)?

Organisational culture is a set of behaviours that are formed by a process of adaptation to the external environment and internal integration of the organisation and its main aspects are shared by the majority of organisation’s members (personnel). Organisational culture can be also defined as the set of shared assumptions, truths, beliefs and values within the organisation. Organisational culture consists of leadership style and system, conflict solving strategies, communication system, personnel position in the company, adopted special organisational symbols: slogans, rituals and taboos of the organisation.

Southwest Airlines Company is proud of the organisational culture they build. They are certain that their human resource strategy is the best working one, and it brought them to such high results. Organisational culture profile of Southwest Airlines relates to two dimensions: innovative culture and team oriented culture. These two components supplement each other and build win-win culture for both the company and personnel. Innovative culture in the company can be seen as the one that makes company flexible, adoptable and able to experiment with its services. On the other hand, company’s culture is team oriented. Southwest company practices collaboration and cooperation among employees; all problems are solved by the working team, so everyone has opportunity to help one another when it is needed. Company spends a lot of money for trainings and team building.

It is very important to organise successful organisational culture, because it determines how people interact in day to day life, it impacts events and conflicts that can occur within the organisation.

Question 2. Who is responsible for creating the Southwest Airlines organizational culture?

Organisational culture is glue that keeps together employees and company. It creates special relations among them making both to work for success of another.

Southwest Airlines is the company that has specific organisational culture that exists for more than 40 years and was firstly established by the Mr. Kelleher. Mr. Kelleher is the one of the cofounders of the Southwest Airlines. He is an extraordinary man who is rather flexible and open to communicate. He tries not to rule his employees but make them work together under the company performance. He has built the team-oriented organisational culture in order to make employees make decisions, lead situation and help/support each other. Kelleher thinks that the best asset that company has is its personnel, he always encourages them and puts them into the top of hierarchical pyramid of organisation, because he believes that these ordinary workers are the ones that make things happen. Kelleher uses supportive and participative leadership style that makes him hero in the employees’ eyes. He made every employee to feel the organisational culture and responsibility to own it. Southwest Airlines created two cultural committees: Local and Corporate, they are responsible for keeping focus on the company’s culture and control it.

Extraordinary personality of Herb Keller made Southwest Airlines quite different from others, because of the specific organisational culture that is performed in the organisation. This culture is based on the team collaboration and support with flat hierarchy, which made company the best place to work.

Question 3. How is the culture maintained and fostered at Southwest Airlines?

Organisational culture is the one that surrounds the employee during working day and even after it; it is like environment and anyone can escape it. Culture develops common ground for team members and creates the sense of unity.

There are different ways to create the culture that would always work for the company. The Southwest Airlines has created the most liberal and flexible organisational culture in order to motivate personnel to work better and to improve their performance. One of methods which are used in this company is to encourage employees to have fun with on individual and corporate holidays. Company starts to worry if its employees are too serious. Personnel are able to take discounts for the flights or to travel for free; that makes employees the customers of the company, otherwise they can look and find what should be improved and how to increase the service quality.

Team-oriented culture gives a lot of benefits for the company. People there do not worry about problems, they know that they will receive 100% support and help from the managers and colleagues.

Question 4. Do you think there is a strong relationship between Southwest Airlines success and its culture?

Organisational culture influences the company performance, it can make the company more effective or vice versa. Southwest Airlines does not full relay on culture effect, it sets objectives that should be implemented through the organisational culture. Through the successful culture company provides its employees with work stability; employees do not want to leave the company, where they are comfortable and happy. When employees feel stable, they are willing to develop themselves and to grow in order to be promoted. Every promotion in the company means that it is growing. Team-oriented culture is beneficial because all goals, knowledge and mutual respect are shared within the company. Southwest Airlines believes that improving labour productivity, the services’ quality will be also improved and will give the company competitive advantage.


Organisational culture plays important role in the effectiveness of company’s performance. It is well known that culture connects people (employees) by shared values, goals, making them struggle for the company and live through about it. Southwest Airlines is a great example to follow; the company shows how important organisational culture is and how much can be done with its use.

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