Southwest Airlines’ Diversity in Corporate Culture


Southwest Airlines is recognized for two significant things. To start with, is its corporate culture, filled with humor and energy, and secondly, its over 30 year’s consistent profitability in the airline industry. The strategy of Southwest Airlines is extremely unique. Besides, it is of great significance to have a clear overview of the role played by both the functional and top level managers in the implementation of the strategy (Hall, 2007).

The Southwest Airline human resource department has a role to play in terms of selecting, hiring training and promoting of personnel with adequate skills to fit in the strategy of the organization and with the unique culture. The Airline mission is to provide its customers with highest quality of services accompanied with friendliness, warmth, individual pride and the spirit of the company (Southwest.Com, 2007b). The company also aims to provide its employees with personal growth and learning opportunities. The company advocates for innovation and creativity to improve its effectiveness thus increasing revenue.

The Southwest airline was created with an objective of being a low cost provider in comparison to other carriers (Freiberg, 2006). Amazingly, the southwest Airlines fare initially was structured to compete with bus and car transportation. Despite facing aggressive competition from other airlines such as blue airline and Delta Airline, they have continued to increase their profitability as a result of its unique culture. The southwest Airline market value is wider than that of its competitor combined (Gittell, 2003). It is good to have a detailed overview of how the corporate culture of Southwest Airline is unique from other Airlines.

With Southwest Airlines culture, employees are valued more than customers as the success of the company depends on them. This is the main reason why the company continues expanding in terms of profits. Southwest Airline customers enjoy the unique experience offered by the company. The flight attendants are tasked with running humorous contests with the customers.

For instance, the first passenger is offered a free-round trip to each and every southwest tour destination. The company’s corporate culture has undergone transformation. For instance, the culture is characterized by shared company objectives and mutual respect. The company also stresses on creativity when finding solutions to jobs that are highly stressing. Accordingly, rocking chairs are strategically placed at the offices in case of an impromptu meeting (Smith, 2005).

Ways in which Southwest Airlines and employees benefits from the unique culture

The strong organization culture of Southwest Airline has increased its employee’s behavioral consistency at a very big extent. This has necessitated the phasing out of formalization and consequently reducing turnover. The Airline culture values employee’s creativity, individual task accomplishment and its employee’s satisfaction and growth. The culture encourages the company employees to develop themselves and participate in interesting and new activities so as to increase income and morale.

Southwest Airlines has had the opportunity of converting its culture that is intangible into benefits that are tangible. For example, the company has continued to increase in terms of profit. In addition to that, the company has been able to have a competitive advantage over other airlines industries thus increasing its amount of profitability. Southwest airline cares for its people both the employees and customers. The success of this company depends on its employees.

Southwest Airline leadership philosophies build respect and trust between the management and the employees. In summary, a culture that is highly performing is imperative to the success of an organization. Employees and people come first as they are company’s first asset. Culture varies from company to company. Culture commences from within the organization and reflects itself among the targeted customers as in the case of Southwest Airline.

How southwest Airline would continue to succeed as a company if its current corporate culture would need to change in the future

In case of any change in the company’s corporate culture, the new culture should not deviate from its original culture. The culture should be in line with the company’s mission statement. Providing its employees and passengers with high quality services and ensuring the training and empowering of its employees. In addition to that, the change in culture should be unique to keep employees morale high. The culture should not temper with the cost of Air travels. They should be low as usual and also invest on the performance of the employees.


In conclusion, Southwest Airlines provides its employees with various reward system just like other businesses (Southwest.Com, 2007a). The reward systems are such as health, dental, medical and vision coverage. Other benefits are such as insurance for long-term care disability, dependent care spending accounts, time off and four hundred and one thousand retirement saving plans. The success of the company is attributed to how it treats its employees. Through the implementation of a profit sharing program amongst its employees, the employees are pride of Southwest Airlines. The company encourages employees’ creativity and innovativeness. Thus, the company success in a highly competitive environment.


Freiberg, K., & Freiberg, J. (1996). Nuts! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. Austin: Bard Press.

Gittell, J. H. (2003). The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Hall, A. (2007). Southwest Airlines: The role of human resources in implementing business strategy and hiring practices. Web.

Smith, G. (2005). Culture is the key at Southwest Airlines. Journal of Business Excellence, 8(4), 26-33.

Southwest.Com. (2007a).Employee Benefits Summary: Southwest Airlines. Web.

Southwest.Com. (2007b). Mission of Southwest Airlines. Web.

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