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Socio-geographic Factors for Southwest Airlines

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Socio-Geographic Factors
Choose a national organization and then write a paper that describes the following:
a) Identify and define classes (not job classification) within the organization and how each class is determined.
b) What are the work values displayed by those classes?
c) How is the organization affected by geographic mobility?
d) What regional variations exist within the organization? How does this affect planning?
e) What impact has changing family definitions had on management of the organization?


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Socio-geographic Factors for Southwest Airlines

Organizations that will succeed in the twenty-first century will be those that embrace the diversity of their workforce, enabling them to compete in a global, competitive landscape. Developing cultural sensitivity is vital to future success of organizations in recruitment and retention of the best possible workforce. Cultural sensitivity is about becoming accepting of the values and beliefs of others. It means developing a sincere and deep understanding of the differences between various people and working past them by also seeing and appreciating the similarities between those same people. Cultural sensitivity is difficult to develop especially for national organizations of large size. Three factors that can affect an organization's strategic plan to effectively understand and utilize diversity toward sustained growth are classes of employees working within the organization, regional variations that exist within the organization and the impact of the changing family definitions in today's world. These three factors each have a bearing on the successful recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. Southwest Airlines is an example of a national organization that demonstrates the impact of these three factors beginning with class.

The Role of Class

Class is a determining factor in developing an organization's strategic diversity plan because an open class system within on organization is essential to enabling upward mobility for all employees based on personal merit. Such a system would utilize individual achievement as the measure for determining an individual's rank within the organizational rank. The organizational status of each employee would be achieved through personal effort in an open class system versus the social class to which each employee belongs (Kottak & Kozaitis, p. 223). Guaranteed merit based upward mobility is a factor that can motivate top candidates to come to work for a given organization. Furthermore it will go on to motivate them to stay and continue working there because they see that their efforts are being recognized and rewarded with upward mobility within the organization. Another motivational benefit of an open class system within an organization is that it will inspire individuals to work in a dedicated and efficient manner toward achieving organizational goals.

At Southwest class differentiation between employees exists as determined by the ranges of income that the employees earn from the company, but Southwest has reduced its potential negative effects through established human resources management policies that have succeeded in promoting equal respect for all employees and promotion policies that fill 80% of higher echelon Southwest positions from within ranks of existing employees. 84% of Southwest's employees are unionized .In addition the company pays its employees wages at mean industry levels and offers them good benefits by industry standards (Hallowell, 1996). The following table shows a chart of airline industry average wages compiled by the Aviation Research Group/US (ARG/US) for the year 2005.

Legend for Chart:

B-Captain: Salary
C-Captain: Benefits
D-First Officer: Salary
E-First Officer: Benefits
F-Maintenance Technician: Salary
G-Maintenance Technician: Benefits
by Aircraft Category
Class 1
$59,367 $18,623 $43,200 $12,900 $43,906 $11,063
Class 2
$69,216 $16,753 $50,636 $11,975 $52,223 $12,854
Class 3
$77,973 $21,175 $51,556 $12,690 $53,750 $15,383
Class 4
$88,829 $22,881 $66,533 $18,738 $61,175 $17,380
Class 5
$105,270 $25,229 $79,224 $21,260 $69,376 $17,228
Class 6
$126,412 $25,609 $88,920 $22,730 $78,213 $18,325 (Mason, 2005)

Since Southwest's entire fleet consist of Boeing 737 jets (Hallowell, 1996), and 737s weigh ...

Solution Summary

This is a discussion of Socio-geographic Factors for Southwest Airlines as related to HRM.