Changing the Culture at British Airways

982 words 4 pages
Changing the Culture at British Airways
Question #1
Life at “old” British Airways lacked a unifying corporate culture. The 1971 merger of British European Airways (BEA) and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), by the British Airways Board, only succeeded in putting an umbrella over two separate mature entities. The focus of the BEA had been to build a European airline infrastructure. BOAS was an innovator and pioneered the first jet passenger service. Neither company was concerned with cost or profit. British Airways was government run and according to Jick & Peiperl (2011) “success had less to do with net income and more to do with ‘flying the British flag” (p.26). This inefficient government structure was bogged down with
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Jick (2011) explains this clearly by stating that “When meeting customer needs becomes more important to the organization than preserving political boundaries, employees will be more willing to renew themselves and their company” (p.41). All the bureaucratic “red tape” of old was streamlined. It had to be since less people were doing the same amount of work. This streamlining helped to empower employees to make their own business decisions in regards to their departments. Jick (2011) illustrates this in “Stage 2: Bureaucracy Bashing” “….attempts are made to get rid of unnecessary reports, approvals, meetings, measures, policies, procedures, or other work activities that create backlogs”(p.46)
Question #4
British Airways would find it harder in the future to make changes. During the renewal and restructuring process, British Airways cut the fat from the company and focused resources on customer service. As they reformed and grew, acquiring other airlines along the way, their employee base grew along with overhead and payroll. In order to cut costs in the future, they would need to have a greater employee awareness, previously facilitated by the PFF program. Balancing customer service while still managing the bottom line in such a large company can be a daunting challenge. It is hard to cut costs and still provide excellent customer service without streamlining and re-trenching. A failure of the British Airways was not


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