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Southwest Airlines' Organizational Culture

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : HROB021 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Organizational Culture
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 1971 - 2001
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : South west Airlines
Industry : Airlines
Countries : USA


The case "Southwest Airlines' Organizational Culture" gives an account of the development of the organizational culture of Southwest Airlines. The case starts with the background of Southwest and its development over the years. The case explains the unique culture of Southwest, and how it has helped Southwest to face challenges. The case also describes how Southwest responded to the situation arising out of the September 11 terrorist attacks which dealt a severe blow to the airline industry. Southwest's response to the crisis was shaped by its organizational culture, which laid emphasis on taking care of employees and building relationships. The influence of the leadership of Southwest on its culture is also explained.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies


Role played by leadership in shaping an organization's culture


  Page No.
Testing Times 1
Background Note 2
Shaping Southwest's Organizational Culture 3
Operational Philosophy 3
Leadership 4
Building Relationships 6
Thriving Under Pressure 7
Replicating the Southwest Model 8
Exhibits 10

Key Words:

Southwest Airlines, Organizational Culture, culture, September 11, terrorist attacks, airline industry, crisis, taking care, employees, building relationships

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