Southwest Airlines Organizational Culture

770 Words Feb 3rd, 2014 4 Pages
Southwest Airlines corporate philosophy can be credited to one of the founders Herb Kelleher. It is an airline company with a unique culture “goofiness”, which keeps the morale of its employees high (Smith, 2004), and is a company that welcomes fun, dedication, and effort. Southwest believes that a happy employee will create a happy customer, and will create loyal customers. Mr. Kelleher effectively implemented its style, culture and emphasis on quality in the daily actives at Southwest (Smith, 2004), and he did so without the help of outside consultants.

The Airline was founded in 1971 by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King, and in the 1980’s nine years after Southwest was established they adopted a mission statement (Smith, 2004):
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. Altruism is a corporate value that begins at the top and trickles downward (Quick, 1992). Southwest Airlines holds this value of great importance, because they believe in caring and giving to other people (Quick, 1992).

Communication at Southwest is a key factor for its success as a company, and will remain that way for the future. It is with effective communication that Southwest Airlines has been able to provide guidelines that their employees are able to follow. At any job, job descriptions evidently describe responsibilities between employees and departments (Smith. 2004). But at Southwest their philosophy is shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect, with the expectation that each person’s job includes helping fellow colleagues with their work any time necessary (Smith, 2004). Good communications skills are critical to a business’s success, and Herb Kelleher is renowned as an effective communicator and has gained the trust of his employees through the years.

Conflict is an important and useful part of communication, and can be a misconception in group communication, because it can often be viewed as bad and should be avoided. However, in the case of Southwest Airlines, it is a company who has an open door policy, “can do” and “let’s try problem solutions (Bunz & Maes, 1998). Employees are encouraged to generate ideas and then try them (Bunz & Maes, 1998). Conflict
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