The comparative analysis of organizational behavior is carried out by taking into account two companies namely Southwest Airlines, a leading American airline and British Airways which is United Kingdom’s leading international airlines in British Airways. Organizational Culture Organizational culture is an integral part of company’s internal environment because it provides common goal that gels the entire network within the organization together.
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The analysis of management and leadership style, employee empowerment degree, employee motivation, level of communication, human resource selection and training, organizational structures and conflict management resolution in both the originations will help us carry out the comparison. Management and leadership style: The management style of Southwest Airlines is a key factor which enables them to continue their journey of success.
It was the CEO of the company who has inculcated positive attitudes to cerate a unique environment which get reflected in within the organization in the shape of employee satisfaction and outside the organization in the shape of customer satisfaction. The management style that can be observed at Southwest Airlines is no one style but affine mix of balanced management approach. It works on the basic premise of behavioral approach, i. e. believe in the concept of strategy implementation as more important than strategy devising for higher success rate.
In this regard, acceptance theory by Chester Bernard is at a pivotal point which argues that no matter how well a strategy or a plan has been devised but it the executioners of the strategy which affect the success rate of the plan. Therefore top managers should identify the factors that affect their employees’ performance, morale and satisfaction (Bartol, 1999). The top management at Southwest Airlines believes in being friendly with employees, having a concern for employees who can make them feel wanted.
However, in adopting this approach the management does not ignore the need for results and hence can be at times very tough with employees to make them achieve the level of performance which they are expected of. Therefore the leadership style is again a mix of autocratic and participative. It has been kept in mind that the situations dictate the style of leadership which can produce the required results. Moreover the management at Southwest Airlines believes in future scenario generation which enables them to carry out a sensitivity analysis for the uncertain situations.
As a result, the leadership inculcates the need of being innovative and proactive into the organizational culture. Management style at British Airways highlights the management’s inclination towards instructions following and compliance with the rules. Autocratic style of leadership is observed in the history of British Airways organizational behavior. Their focus is mainly on the customers but do not hold high regard or family like concern for their employees like that in SW. the organizational culture at British Airways is regarded as authoritarian, technically biased and the relationships within the networks are formal.
This does not imply that the management does not value its employees’ services but unlike SW the informality within the networks is absent here. The management believes that instructions given and followed in the appropriate manner has to be the bottom line of successful managerial actions. Southwest Airlines management believes in not only creating a positive culture but sustaining it for the foreseeable future so that it translates into a competitive advantage. There are various tools that Southwest Airlines management has adopted to achieve a healthy and positive organizational culture.
The following text will briefly highlight those: 1. Employee empowerment: The management has decentralized system of decision making which allows the employees to take initiatives which are innovative without having the fear of being punished. However, the degree of freedom does not get into a shape of ignoring the strict airline regulations and limitations of the industry. Employees are encouraged to make on the spot decisions, particularly the managers and front line staff which is direct interaction with the customers that can result in positive benefits to the company and in turn to the company.
They keep their focus on the fact that a satisfied and delighted customer base is the success driver in this industry. Southwest practices POS policy that is Positive Outrageous Service which encourages the employees to go out of their way to help customers A great and worth mentioning example in this regard is the advent of September eleven, when the terrorists had brought planes down and SW plan had to land on emergency basis, the management decided to keep all the passengers in a hotel and the pilot took all the passengers out to the movie.
Examples like these fill in the organizational culture at southwest airlines to highlight the degree of employee freedom and empowerment. British Airways management however, does not support as high degree of employee empowerment as that in SW. Undoubtedly it encourages its employees to be innovative but the decisions have to be made in the board room with the three-fourth consent from the majority. Its management believes that the more standardized the processes are, the better the performance is. Unlike SW employees here are not highly supported to make abrupt or at the spur of the moment decisions regarding any issue.