British Airways in the 1980-1990 Period

Subject: Company Analysis
Pages: 2
Words: 611
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master

British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was a British state-owned airline created in 1939. British European Airways (BEA) merged with BOAC to become British Airways (BA) on 1 April 1972. The forming of the BA was a direct result of recommendations of the 1969 Edwards Report.

The BA change from 1980-to 1990 is an example of how transformational power can affect almost every company’s area. In particular, BA improved its customer service, established a relationship between the leader and staff, and promoted positive emotions and behaviors. There is no doubt that these steps contributed to the overall change in company culture, and the following paragraphs will comment on this process in detail.

The “old” BA was an example of an unprofitable and poorly managed business that suffered from numerous issues. Firstly, an old fleet was a significant problem that led to many issues. On the one hand, such air vehicles resulted in constant delays. On the other hand, they did not meet passengers’ expectations of comfortable journeys. Consequently, customers were not satisfied with the given company and its service. Secondly, BA suffered essential financial losses, and its productivity was lower compared to its international rivals. Thirdly, industrial disputes were typical for BA before the 1980s. These factors resulted in the fact that employees and customers were dissatisfied with the business, which placed it in a dire state. This situation made it clear that the company required a change, but it was not easy to implement one. It was so because the image of the unprofitable company with low-quality service had become connected to BA. That is why businesses need to take specific steps to force clients to change their attitudes.

The BA’s impressive and successful transformation relied on critical factors, and the gap analysis allows for identifying the most significant of them. Heinz (2020) explains that this approach is simple since it focuses on identifying the company’s current position and the desired goal. As for BA, the business determined that it lacked customer satisfaction as well as employees’ excellence and team-working to improve its performance. That is why it was decided to focus on achieving these factors to perform the change.

In turn, the transformational process implied key steps and risks. Firstly, the company invested in the Putting People First (PPF) training program to improve customer-employee contacts and experience. Secondly, the scholarly article titled “How Organizations Can Successfully Navigate Change” (2019) admits that change significantly depends on employee motivation. That is why managerial bonuses were introduced to promote productive professional behaviors. Simultaneously, Dumas and Beinecke (2018) demonstrate that leaders’ interpersonal skills influence change. Consequently, Collin Marshal, the company’s CEO, actively engaged in the PPF program and cooperated with employees. This scenario implied the risk that the leader would lose his authority. However, a biblical principle that greatness is in serving mitigates this probability. Marshal did not lose his leading position because even “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Holy Bible, People’s parallel edition, 1996, Mathew 20:27-28). This fact explains why Marshal’s engagement in the program improved employee performance.

The information above explains why the BA change process was impressive and successful. It was so because the company implemented a comprehensive approach to the issue, identified the lacking factors, and took specific measures to achieve them. Since such positive results were obtained, it is possible to mention that I would not have done anything differently. The change process under analysis can be considered a gold standard for other companies that want to improve their performance and culture. However, a slight improvement could have referred to investing more in team-building activities to create good relationships among employees.


Dumas, C., & Beinecke, R. H. (2018). Change leadership in the 21st century. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 31(4), 867–876. Web.

Heinz, A. (2020). Leading Organizational Change (1st ed.) [e-book]. McGraw Hill. Web.

How organizations can successfully navigate change. (2019). Human Resource Management International Digest, 27(6), 10–12. Web.

Publishers, T. H. (1996). Holy Bible People’s parallel edition: Kjv/tlb. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.