Southwest Airlines Company and Employees’ Role in It

Southwest Airlines is an American airline formed in 1966 by Herbert Kelleher and Rollin King as Air Southwest Company and incorporated in 1967 as Southwest Airlines; the present name was chosen in 1971 (Southwest Airlines Co, 2021). The firm offers low-cost, no-frills aviation transportation with frequent, primarily short-distance flights. The sole use of Boeing 737 airplanes, which enables lower operating costs and faster flight processing times, as well as a focus on e-ticketing travel, keeps prices low.

The headquarters of the company are in Dallas, Texas. According to Voigt et al. (2017), “Southwest Airlines is a somewhat different example of a business model pioneer—and indeed, one may ask if the company is a pioneer at all: neither was Southwest the first to offer intrastate flights on its home market, Texas, or the first to experiment with low-cost flights” (p. 171). This work was written for the purpose of analyzing and studying Southwest airlines.

The philosophy of Southwest Airlines is frequently copied but never reproduced. Every worker is accountable for fostering and maintaining the culture. They also have a Culture Services Department tasked with creating a culture in which every employee understands their value. Southwest Airlines’ culture is intertwined into every part of their business and their workers’ life, from how workers respect one another to how their firm prioritizes our people. Appreciation, acknowledgment, and celebration are three essential components of our society. The organization tries to acknowledge every worker through Local and Company-Wide Culture Committees in order to build and maintain a pleasant and healthy work environment.

Employees take the opportunity to honor one another in official and informal ways, such as through internal awards and initiatives like the Winning Spirit Award. Employees can be nominated for numerous prominent Company honors, such as the President’s Award, and they commemorate Corporation achievement through landmark anniversary events. Southwest is known for its celebrations—the corporation’s history is filled with exciting and imaginative activities, and their workers look forward to yearly Companywide events like Spirit Parties, Chili Cook-offs, and Southwest Rallies. Aside from Company-sponsored activities, their workers like attending locally-hosted festivities and receiving acknowledgment for events in life and accomplishments.

In addition to highly motivated staff and exceptional customer service, Southwest Airlines provides one of the most affordable air travel options. To be able to provide cheap pricing, Southwest had to develop its business strategy around minimal operational expenses. It has only a few types of aircraft, which enables the airline to cut expenses. Southwest Airlines is more effective than its opponents because it obtained a competitive advantage by not giving services to its passengers that other airlines can supply while also specializing as a carrier that delivers air travel at a cheap cost to its customers.

When internally and externally KPIs are fulfilled, company management knows they have met their objectives. The Department of Transportation (DOT), for instance, keeps track of all aircraft’ on-time flights, consumer complaints, and luggage mishandling.

Southwest’s objective is to increase productivity and pass on cost reductions to its customers by charging cheap pricing. Southwest’s ability to compete is built on putting its employees first. Southwest’s Generic Competitive Advantage Strategy (Porter’s Model) The general strategy of Southwest Airlines is the leader in the market, which offers a competitive advantage is based on minimal prices and consequently low pricing.

Porter’s Five Factors is a framework that illustrates and evaluates the five competitive forces that influence any sector and aids in determining the industry’s strong and weak points. According to Chishty-Mujahid (2017), “it is evident from Porter’s summary that Southwest operates, and has operated, from a distinctly cost leadership position, and indeed its customers are fully aware of the numerous benefits and advantages of the firm’s consistent use of this type of strategy” (p. 115). The five Forces method is typically used to define company strategy by identifying an industry’s structure. Porter’s approach may be used in any sector of the economy to better analyze industry competitiveness and increase an organization’s ultimate competitiveness. Michael E. Porter, a Harvard Business School professor, inspired the Five Forces paradigm.

Their mission is to link individuals to what is essential in their life by providing courteous, dependable, and low-cost air travel. Their vision is to be the most popular, productive, and economical major airline in the world. To do this, the airline allows two free checked bags for each person, and travelers can alter their tickets up to ten minutes prior to their flights without incurring additional fees. In the case of a cancellation, travelers get an airline credit equivalent to the total expended on their tickets, which may be used to any Southwest Airlines or Southwest Holidays transactions a year after the initial ticket acquisition.

Southwest contains provisions for non-alcoholic drinks in-flight and sells alcoholic beverages for $6 to $7 a drink. Some occasions, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, provide complimentary alcoholic beverages. On all trips, they also provide complimentary food. Southwest has become noted for its vibrant departure notices and employees that occasionally break into song. Prior to 2007, Southwest welcomed customers by categorizing them into three classes. Travelers would form a line at their assigned letter and enter.

All Southwest Airlines planes include Wi-Fi, as well as free streaming live video, films, streaming content, and app chat. Southwest stated that it would begin rolling out in-flight Wi-Fi Internet access using Global Eagle Entertainment’s satellite-broadband-based solution after finishing a testing period that started in 2009. Southwest began installing Wi-Fi in its planes in the first part of 2010. In the summer of 2012, the airline began testing live television streaming, followed by video streaming in 2013. As of 2018, passengers may access live in-flight TV, movies, texting, and real-time flight tracking information through Wi-Fi, with full Internet access offered for a cost for regular passengers.

Southwest Airlines is dedicated to upholding the highest good corporate governance practices as well as compliance with applicable laws. Southwest workers, members of the board, and business partners are required to completely comply and respect all relevant laws, regulations, laws, and other lawful instructions, both in text and heart. Unless publication is allowed or required by law, the information is given to Southwest employees, board members, business partners, or others with whom Southwest conducts business must be kept secret and not utilized for any reason. Private information comprises any non-public data that, if released, might be valuable to rivals or damaging to Southwest, its customers, or anyone with whom Southwest does business. All Southwest workers, members of the board, and business associates are also accountable for safeguarding workers’ interests and privacy.

A conflict of interest exists when an individual’s, relative member’s, or mate’s ego conflicts with — or even seems to intersect with — what is suitable for Southwest Airlines. A friction scenario might emerge, for example, when a worker or board member decides to act or expresses an interest that makes it difficult for them to perform out their duties objectively and effectively in the Southwest of a country. Potential conflicts can also occur when a Southwest worker, board member, or female relative earns improper personal benefit as a result of his position. All workers and members of the board must always handle their business and personal activities in a way there is no apparent conflict with their obligations to the Southwest.

Society owes it to Southwest to advance its vital rights wherever possible. Workers and board members of directors are not permitted to take unique advantage of possibilities uncovered via the use of Company equipment, data, or status. No worker or board member may utilize business property, knowledge, or status for inappropriate personal benefit or directly or indirectly compete with Southwest. This implies that a person may not use Southwest assets or data, or the position with Southwest, to benefit themselves at the expense of Southwest’s objectives.

People are responsible for safeguarding Southwest’s resources. They must treat Southwest’s assets with respect and care while avoiding fraud and inefficiency. When using Southwest’s existing assets and resources, they must do so professionally and correctly, as well as keep them safe. They are not permitted to usurp, borrow, or lend Southwest assets without authority. Individuals covered in this codex must also take the appropriate precautions to protect all keys and identifying codes in order to maintain the security of Southwest’s data systems. Unless expressly authorized by the terms of the license, licensed or internally developed software may not be duplicated for personal use.

Southwest’s finance, accountancy, and other statements and documents must correctly and honestly represent the company’s activities in sufficient detail, in conformity with generally accepted accounting standards, any government rules, and the company’s effectiveness of controls. The data must be documented truthfully, accurately, and on time, which necessitates the engagement and interest of all workers and members of the board. For instance, only the correct and valid amount of hours performed may be submitted, and expenditure reports must be documented appropriately and maintained. No worker, board member, or former business partner may approve payments if they know that any portion of the payment will be utilized for a reason other than that specified in the paperwork supporting the transaction.

​​​​​​​ Leaders influence nations, societies, and institutions, whereas personal leadership takes command of one’s life and duties. According to Silva (2016), “leadership is one of those concepts that are very hard to define” (p. 1). Being ready to enhance capacities and strengths is an essential part of evolving as a leader. It is also about possessing the bravery to speak publicly even when one is not confident in oneself. The value of honesty should be self-evident. Though it is not always a statistic in employee evaluations, integrity is an essential leadership attribute for both individuals and organizations. It is critical for top-level executives who set the organization’s direction and make a plethora of other critical decisions.

Delegating is one of a leader’s primary tasks; however, it can be challenging to delegate appropriately. The objective is not just to free up your time but also to allow all immediate supervisors to develop, foster cooperation, give independence, and contribute to enhanced decision-making. To delegate more successfully, the best leaders create trust with their people. Effective communication and effective leadership are inextricably linked. The most effective leaders are great communicators who can interact in a number of ways, from communicating information to encouraging others to coaching reports.

Furthermore, people must be able to listen to and interact with individuals from various jobs, geographies, cultural behaviors, and other backgrounds. The quality and efficacy of interaction among executives within the corporation also have a significant effect on the success of the business plan. While this is a more introspective attribute, self-awareness and modesty are essential for leadership. The more you know about yourself and acknowledge your own talents and shortcomings, the more successful you will be as a leader.

Being appreciative can lead to increased self-esteem, decreased sadness and nervousness, and improved sleep. Gratitude can even help you become a better leader. However, few individuals say “thank you” in the workplace on a daily basis, despite the fact that most people believe they would be prepared to work more for a manager who appreciates them. The most exemplary leaders understand how to express genuine thanks in the company.

The capacity to know what to do while one does not know what to do is referred to as a developmental course. If a person is a fast student or excels in novel situations, they may already be practicing agile. Learning agility, on the other hand, can be developed by anybody via practice, experience, and commitment. Some individuals see influence as a filthy term. However, the ability to persuade others by logical, emotive, or collaborative arguments is a necessary characteristic of inspirational, influential leaders. Influence is not the same as control, and it must be done honestly and truthfully. It needs emotional maturity as well as trust.

Empathy is linked to job success and is an essential component associated with leadership success. If an individual demonstrates more strong leadership and empathic attitudes toward straight subordinates, their supervisor is more likely to regard them as a higher worker. Furthermore, empathy and inclusiveness are essential for improving employment circumstances for people around them. It might be challenging to speak out at work, whether you choose to express a fresh concept, offer feedback to a direct supervisor, or express worry to someone higher up. That is one of the reasons why bravery is such an essential characteristic of influential leaders. Rather than ignoring difficulties or allowing disagreements to fester, bravery allows leaders to take the initiative and drive things forward. A work environment with high levels of mental safety and a robust coaching environment can help to foster truth and bravery even more.

One of the most crucial things a leader can do is treat people with respect on a regular basis. It will reduce tensions and conflict, build trust, and boost effectiveness. Tolerance is more than just the lack of contempt, and it may be demonstrated in a variety of ways. People should consider how they can foster an atmosphere of respect at work or how they may become an ally to others.

To summarize, Southwest Airlines’ ideology is often borrowed but never replicated. Every employee is responsible for establishing and sustaining the culture. They also have a Culture Services Department that is in charge of developing a culture in which every employee knows their worth. Southwest Airlines’ culture pervades every aspect of their business and their employees’ lives, from how employees appreciate one another to how their company prioritizes our people. Workers reward one another both formally and informally, including through corporate prizes and initiatives such as the Winning Spirit Award. Employees can be chosen for a variety of prestigious Company accolades, such as the President’s Award, and they recognize Corporation accomplishment via milestone anniversary celebrations.

Southwest Airlines offers one of the most economical air travel alternatives, in addition to highly motivated employees and exceptional customer service. Southwest had to construct its business model around minimizing operating expenditures in order to offer low-cost flights. It has only a few types of aircraft, allowing the airline to save money. Southwest Airlines outperforms its competitors because it gained a competitive edge by not offering services to its customers that other airlines can provide while simultaneously specializing as a carrier that provides low-cost air travel to its consumers.

Southwest’s goal is to boost efficiency while passing on cost savings to customers through low pricing. Southwest’s competitiveness is predicated on putting its workers first. The Generic Competitive Advantage Strategy of Southwest (Porter’s Model) Southwest Airlines’ overall approach as the industry leader, which gives it a competitive advantage, is based on minimum costs and, as a result, low price. Porter’s Five Factors is a paradigm that depicts and examines the five strategic forces that drive any business and assists in assessing the industry’s strengths and weaknesses.

Their purpose is to connect people to what matters most in their lives by offering polite, reliable, and minimal air travel. Its mission is to be the world’s most incredible, productive, and cost-effective commercial carrier. To accomplish this, the airline provides two free checked baggage per passenger, and passengers can change their tickets up to 10 minutes before their flights without incurring any additional penalties. In the event of a cancellation, passengers get an airline credit equal to the whole amount spent on their reservations, which may be applied to any Southwest Airlines or Southwest Holidays purchase a year after the original ticket purchase.

Southwest Airlines is committed to adhering to the highest standards of good corporate governance and complying with all applicable regulations. Private information includes any non-public information that, if disclosed, might be beneficial to competitors or harmful to Southwest, its customers, or anybody with whom Southwest does business. All Southwest employees, board members, and business associates are likewise responsible for protecting workers’ rights and privacy. No employee or board member may use corporate property, information, or prestige for improper personal gain nor directly or indirectly compete with Southwest. This means that the person may not utilize Southwest resources or data, or his or her position with Southwest, to enrich himself to the detriment of Southwest’s goals.

Southwest’s financial and other reports and documentation must accurately and truthfully portray the company’s performance in sufficient detail, in accordance with the accounting standards, any government laws, and the company’s organizational effectiveness. Future problems can also arise when a Southwest employee, board member, or female cousin derives an inappropriate personal gain from his position. All employees and board members must conduct their personal and business affairs in such a way that there is no apparent conflict with their responsibilities to the Southwest.


Chishty-Mujahid, N. (2017). Southwest airlines’ successful economistic, cost-leadership strategy examined in light of Paul Lawrence’s renewed Darwinian theory: an analysis. Journal of Global Business Insights, 2(2), 115-123.

Southwest Airlines Co. (2021). About southwest – southwest airlines. Southwest. Web.

Silva, A. (2016). What is leadership?. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 8(1), 1.

Voigt, K. I., Buliga, O., & Michl, K. (2017). Pioneer in the Skies: The Case of Southwest Airlines. In Business Model Pioneers. Springer, Cham. pp. 171-184.

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