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Case Study: SouthWest Airlines

Case Questions
1.
Is there anything that you find particularly impressive about Southwest Airlines?
2.
What grade would you give Southwest management for the job it has done in crafting the company's strategy? What is it that you like or dislike about the strategy? Does Southwest have a winning strategy?
3.
What are the key policies, procedures, operating practices, and core values underlying Southwest's efforts to implement and execute its low-cost/no frills strategy?
4.
What are the key elements of Southwest's culture? Is Southwest a strong culture company? Why or why not? What problems do you foresee that Gary Kelly has in sustaining the culture now that Herb Kelleher, the company's spiritual leader, has departed?
5.
What grade would you give Southwest management for the job it has done in implementing and executing the company's strategy? Which of Southwest's strategy execution approaches and operating practices do you believe have been most crucial in accounting for the success that Southwest has enjoyed in executing its strategy? Are the any policies, procedures, and operating approaches at Southwest that you disapprove of or that are not working well?
6.
What weaknesses or problems do you see at Southwest Airlines?
7.
What recommendations would you make to Gary Kelly?

Notes: Reference book is Crafting and Executing Strategy: The quest for Competitive Advantage by Arthur A. Thompson, Jr. A.J. Strickland III. John E. Gamble 17th Edition. Page C-401 -C-431. ISBN: 978-0-07-353042-0
Case 23 Southwest Airlines in 2008: Culture, Values, and Operating Practices.

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Case Study Questions on SouthWest Airlines
Case Questions
1.
Is there anything that you find particularly impressive about Southwest Airlines?
2.There are several things that I like about Southwest Airlines The first is its large fleet of 547 aircraft, all of which are Boeing 737. In addition, I like the implementation of the strategy of the low cost airlines. The company has been able to understand the cost structure in the Airlines industry, has been able to understand customer needs, and has been able to deliver a remarkable value based product to its customers. I have been impressed by the manner in which the Airlines has been able to implement the low cost model of airlines. Southwest Airlines airlines has also shown flexibility in addressing the needs of its customers. It has now decided to go in for 737-800 because they would improve scheduling. Southwest Airlines has been successful because it has eliminated services that were not valued by the customers and instead provided customers with a relatively lower cost option.
What grade would you give Southwest management for the job it has done in crafting the company's strategy? What is it that you like or dislike about the strategy? Does Southwest have a winning strategy?
3. Southwest Airlines management deserves to be given an A grade for developing a winning strategy. Southwest Airlines strategy begins with its HR strategy of recruiting personnel that are high quality, are trained well and their performance is well managed. In addition, the strategy focuses on improving high level of employee productivity and aircraft productivity to reduce costs and make profits at the same time. The strategy also includes strategic code sharing with other airlines.
I like this strategy because it is a ...

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