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Southwest Airlines Using Human Resources For Competitive Advantage A Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1676 639 Words (3 Pages) Charles A O'Reilly III Stanford Business School : HR1B
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Southwest has been providing excellent service to its customers and progressing over time with no issues. However, sometimes a large firm can face problems as well. Seeing Southwest’s success, the competitors tried the same strategy by launching projects like Continental Lite and United Shuttle. Although they are not particularly succeeding because Southwest is successful because of its spirit and the family feeling that it gives to all of its employees.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What are the three or four key issues in the case?

  2. What would you advise Ann Rhoades to do on each?    

  3. How does Southwest’s compensation and rewards system help in achieving the firm’s strategy?

Case Analysis for Southwest Airlines Using Human Resources For Competitive Advantage A

They are still trying to provide the low cost advantage to the customers. Maintaining the culture has also become more difficult as the size of the company is growing and it’s expanding in other areas of the country. To maintain the position of Southwest it is very necessary to keep that family feeling because employee support is one of the most important factors of corporate success. There is no doubt that Herb is the reason the company is so successful, he ensures the family spirit. Southwest needs to answer the question of succession because Herb has been the head since 1963 and there will come a time when it will become necessary. To continue with its success Southwest will need a head whose own values are in line with Southwest.

2. What would you advise Ann Rhoades to do on each?    

Southwest has a great competitive advantage due to its culture. To face the competitive threats Southwest should become even more caring towards its employees and show them how valued they are as they are the ones who ensure smooth operations at low costs. The employees can also be offered bonuses on basis of business performance and profitability and shown that the company shares what they gain. If Southwest would retain its employees, it will become very difficult for competitors to recruit such people who are willing to work for lower wages. The size is becoming a concern due to management difficulties, the feeling of a big family can be retained by using modern means of communication such as Video Conferences and free-if-space options.

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