Case 25: Southwest Airlines in 2016: Culture, Values, and Operating Practices, by Arthur A. Thompson and John E. Gamble

Case 25: Southwest Airlines in 2016: Culture, Values, and Operating Practices, by Arthur A. Thompson and John E. Gamble (page C-311)

Read the case and then respond to the case questions given below.

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In addition to using the Southwest Airlines case study provided in the textbook, research the company further to find any relevant events that have transpired since the writing of the case study. Use the company’s website, Internet search engines such as Google, online data services, or other sources to locate the latest articles about the company including press releases and current financial information. Be sure to cite all sources according to APA guidelines.

Note: For assistance with analyzing any financial data in this case, Table 4-1 (Key Financial Ratios: How to Calculate Them and What They Mean) in your textbook is a useful reference.

Please limit your writing to 4 pages (1000 to 1100 words), double-spaced.

Students please note: Feel free to bring in any recent news or current events concerning this company into your answer.

Case Questions
One could say that former CEO Herb Kelleher was eccentric, given his public affinity for Hawaiian shirts, whiskey, and pranks. Review Kelleher’s leadership tenure at SWA as CEO, and determine whether he was the “right person at the right time” to lead SWA. Be sure to explain your perceptions.
It is important for a company to achieve good execution of its strategies. What are the two best indications that a company is meeting or beating its performance targets? Does SWA exhibit these signs? How?
It seems apparent that SWA senior leadership has established and maintained an organizational culture that directly supports SWA organizational goals. Do you agree/disagree with that assessment? Provide the rationale behind your response.
The text states that “Well-conceived policies and procedures aid the task of strategy execution” and goes on to provide three efforts that can provide such support. Describe one of these efforts utilized by SWA. Has the use/application of the effort you’ve selected been successful? Why or why not?
What are the defined company values for SWA? How do these values influence the achievement and realization of SWA strategies? Detail the nature of the influence as well as an example of the influence in action.

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