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Essay about Changing the Culture at British Airways

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Changing the Culture at British Airways

Changing the Culture at British Airways The British Airways case study was a very interesting case to read. It proves that not all people can be leaders, especially the chairman, board and chief executives of British European Airways (BEA) and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC.) According to the case study of British Airways, the life at the “old” British Airways was “bloody awful” (Changing the Culture of British Airways, 1990, p. 1). There definitely was a crisis happening in that airline. They didn’t seem to have a cohesive culture and it seemed as if they continued down this path they would no longer have a business either. British Airways had this divide between BEA and BOAC.
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And another mindset was,
“If you’re providing service at no cost to the taxpayer, then you’re doing quite well” (Changing the Culture of British Airways, 1990, p. 3).
If you had to compare this philosophy to Kotter’s book, The Heart of Change, this company was in huge trouble. There was definitely no leadership—just really greedy chairman, in my opinion. There was definitely no sense of urgency and such a lack of vision. The unfortunate this was it still remained the same even when reorganization occurred in 1976, by Sir Frank McFadzean. According to the study, divisional loyalties prevented the carrier from attaining a common focus (Changing the Culture of British Airways, 1990, pp. 3-4).
It was not until February 1981, where things began to look up for British Airways. It was when Sir John King became chairman. Sir King made radial steps by reducing staff significantly, freezing pay increases, closing several airline routes, online stations, and engineering bases. In addition, halting cargo-only services, and selling the fleet, and inflicting massive cuts upon offices, administrative services and staff clubs (Changing the Culture of British Airways, 1990, p. 4). Although you would think this would have caused a lot of fear and negativity with employees—my impression of what I read, Sir King alleviated this by
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