Changing the Culture at British Airways Essay

990 WordsFeb 21, 20134 Pages
Changing the Culture at British Airways Question #1 Life at “old” British Airways lacked a unifying corporate culture. The 1971 merger of British European Airways (BEA) and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), by the British Airways Board, only succeeded in putting an umbrella over two separate mature entities. The focus of the BEA had been to build a European airline infrastructure. BOAS was an innovator and pioneered the first jet passenger service. Neither company was concerned with cost or profit. British Airways was government run and according to Jick & Peiperl (2011) “success had less to do with net income and more to do with ‘flying the British flag” (p.26). This inefficient government structure was bogged down with…show more content…
While working on the inner structure of the company, a huge hurdle was the airline’s image, the proverbial “elephant in the room”. This was an airline that handed out food boxes as you boarded the plane. They had a “bloody awful” image Jick (2011), that needed an overhaul to appeal to the consuming public. Question #3 The critical factors in the successful transformation of British Airways were changing the culture of the organization for the employees and the consumers. British Airways embarked on an aggressive media campaign that helped change the “face” of the airline. Their new tag line was “The worlds favourite airline”. Customer service became the number one priority for all employees. Lead by Colin Marshall, “an enabling culture (was put) in place to allow customer service to come out, where rather than people waiting to be told what to do to do things better, it’s an environment where people feel they can actually come out with ideas, that they will be listened to, and feel they are much more a part of the success of the company” Jick (2011)(p.30). A “Putting People First” (PFF) program was instituted for all front line employees. This helped to unify the employees with the new vision of customer service first for the company. During these two day mandatory meetings, all front line staff interacted with all levels of managers and leaders on an even playing
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