Southwest Airlines

1674 Words7 Pages
Assessing Corporate Culture: Southwest Airlines

Q Organizational Philosophy, Mission, Vision, Values
Southwest Airlines clearly outlines their values in their corporate mission statement: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit ( This mission both describes the company 's approach to its workforce, and the customer at large. Rather than focusing on the financial side of the business, Southwest has been successful in creating an organization centered in fostering positive relationships with its employees and customers. The airline is also known for its ‘zany corporate culture ',
…show more content…
A striking statistic emphasizing Southwest 's devotion to its employees is the fact that since the company 's inception in 1971 Southwest has never made any layoffs. In this, employees understand that they are valued, even more than the company 's bottom line. Vice President Ron Ricks described in an interview with Jody Gittel for Harvard Business Review that: "We invest in our people. We have competitive, if not superior, wage and benefits packages. That looks like it may pose a high cost up front, but it is cost effective in the long-run, with good people (p.28)". With full insurance benefits packages, free flights, and stock options and incentives, employees receive more incentive to work hard for the company. These material incentives are in addition to the benefit of working for a company that invests in its employees, spending "more money to recruit and train than any other airline (Gittel, p. 28)". Southwest Airlines primary focus is on its employees, and it shows.

Q Stories, Legends and Myths

There are many stories that support Southwest Airlines dedication to its core values of humor and altruism. Herb Kelleher has appeared as the Easter Bunny while passing out pretzels on flights and dressed up as a leprechaun on St. Patrick 's Day to entertain customers.
At Southwest, altruism is a corporate value that begins at the top and filters down. One way

More about Southwest Airlines

Get Access