Southwest Airlines Individual Case Analysis

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Business Strategy Since its inception in 1971, Southwest Airlines has continued to encourage its employees to deliver excellent customer service4. Through this strategy, Southwest has earned the reputation as the industry leader in service and support for its customers3 thus adopting a differentiation strategy. For instance, Southwest routinely spends 15 minutes or less on aircraft turnaround, while the competition averages 35 minutes. This creates a unique advantage over the competition. It has also been documented that Southwest’s employees will routinely volunteer and go above and beyond to help customers in need. Southwest also pursues a low fare strategy4 to offer its customers better rates than the competition. For this reason, Southwest Airlines also applies a cost leadership strategy in its business approach. Southwest charges approximately 7.1 cents per mile, while the competition usually charges the customer 10 or more cents per mile traveled. Southwest accomplishes this feat by minimizing inputs (such as using one type of aircraft to minimize maintenance and training costs, etc.) and increasing the efficiency of workforce and operations (such as implementing a point-to-point strategy to increase efficiency, etc.). Alignment Roles. The roles of the HR diamond consist of the job design and worker influence.2 Southwest Airlines has a strong emphasis on customer service. Each employee will have direct or indirect contact with a customer at some point. Also, recall that Southwest treats its employees as “internal customers”, therefore, customer service is a very critical part of the job for almost all of its employees. Teamwork and high-levels of productivity are also crucial roles at Southwest. Most of its employees will perform cross-functional duties at some point during their careers, as well. Training is also a significant role for each Southwest

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