Southwest Airlines is an American low-cost carrier whose mission is to connect people to what matters to them through low-cost, friendly flights (Purpose, Vision, and The Southwest Way, n.d.). Their vision is to become the most efficient, profitable business while maintaining all of the original values (Purpose, Vision, and The Southwest Way, n.d.). The secret of successful company management lies in encouraging an innovative approach among the personnel, the transparent management of resources, and the clarity of the designated goals.
The company uses the servant leadership approach within the organization, which implies an attentive and sensitive attitude toward its employees. Employees feel essential and involved in vital processes in the company, and management, taking care of them, gains authority and confirms its values. Thus, the vision and values are demonstrated internally through actions. These actions are aimed at optimizing internal processes for the comfortable work of employees who must provide comfort and professionalism of the same high level for their customers. In this unconventional approach, the success of the strategic management decision is manifested: the company is the leader in air transportation in half the states (Purpose, Vision, and The Southwest Way, n.d.). Delegating certain managerial strategies vertically down gives the freedom to employees to make decisions based on a better vision of the immediate situation. Employee happiness and satisfaction are prioritized over customer satisfaction, but both are extremely important.
Naturally, in such an environment of caring for employees, the company considers equality and inclusiveness critical values. The organizational culture created by management based on the servant leadership approach is one of the best in the entire country, as it is recognized that Southwest has the highest standards of ethics (Cote, 2018). For example, the values embedded in the organizational culture primarily affect the social responsibility of the company’s employees. Southwest Airlines also employs a variety of supervisors to oversee professional quality and ethics in the workplace. They help new employees adapt by accelerating their integration into achieving goals, which is in line with the Parsons model proving the impact of organizational culture on performance (Guskova et al., 2020). Decision-making is also based on the company’s core values: for example, to protect investors, an additional audit of control systems is undertaken, or a particular group of employees whose activities are aimed exclusively at creating innovative solutions (Cote, 2018). The stability of dividend payments attracts more and more new investors who contribute to the growth and expansion of the company.
The principles of ethics in the company’s functions can be traced when decisions are aimed at maintaining prices in the face of inflation and rising fuel prices or at the costs of automating processes to improve working conditions for employees. The use of management functions in this area is also ethical, as the company strives to maintain the number of jobs even with the automation of specific processes (Sørensen & Carroll, 2021). Therefore, employees are beginning to trust the company more, synchronizing their accomplishments with new heights for Southwest Airlines. Efficient human resources allow the company to make more than 4,000 flights every weekday, while management also creates economic efficiency (Cote, 2018). The company has developed a reserve fund to support the growth of the network. Human resource management in this company does not have a formal connotation: solving problems and seeking advice are not overloaded with the additional bureaucratic burden (Sørensen & Carroll, 2021). Moreover, an approach based on respect implies higher responsibility of senior managers even in simple matters, without frightening fines and reprimands of junior employees, contributing to their progress as the original task of the company. As a result, the company’s business processes are unloaded, and many of the emerging issues are resolved without the participation of senior management.
Optimal performance is achieved through high levels of employee satisfaction and performance. A careful approach to improving working conditions helps retain valuable staff. The whole company is an interconnected system: top management positions itself as the central management body; however, with servant leadership, absolutely every employee feels involved in any company activity.
Cote, R. (2018). Leadership Analysis: Southwest Airlines-Herb Kelleher, CEO. Journal of Leadership, Accountability & Ethics, 15(1). Web.
Guskova, N. D., Erastova, A. V., & Krakovskaya, I. N. (2020). Methodological approaches for assessing the link between supply chain and organizational culture. International Journal of Supply Chain Management, 9(3), 826-834. Web.
Purpose, Vision, and The Southwest Way. (n.d.) Investor Relations. Web.
Sørensen, J. B., & Carroll, G. R. (2021). Why Good Arguments Make Better Strategy. MIT Sloan Management Review, 62(4), 47-53. Web.