Florida International University
This Paper was prepared for SPC 4445, Communication for Effective Leadership, Fall 2014, taught by Professor Christine Donaldson
On September 11, 2001, James Parker, then CEO of Southwest Airlines, faced a difficult situation when the government ordered them to ground their entire fleet and shut down. Although, all the other U.S. airlines were faced with the same difficult situation, Southwest Airlines remained positive and succeeded through the crisis. The great leadership that was exemplified by Southwest leaders led them to be able to handle the crisis better than other airlines. Southwest Airlines was able to keep their …show more content…
Although the situation was difficult, James Parker with his effective leadership was able to make a negative situation not so negative by staying focused on the customers and employees.
The book mentions that there are six contingency theories which include the leadership substitute theory, path-goal theory, situational leadership theory, cognitive resources theory, the LPC contingency model, and the multiple-linkage model (Yukl, 2013, p. 164). Out of the six contingency theories, the two that match our case study are path-goal theory and cognitive resources theory. Yukl mentions that an employee satisfaction and performance in different situations is influenced by a leader’s relations-oriented and task-oriented behavior is part of the path-goal theory (Yukl, 2013, p. 164). The path-goal theory is displayed in this case study since James Parker had a good leader-member relationship which was displayed when he protected his staff through the difficult time leading to a stronger Southwest Airlines. Group performance is related to cognitive resources like intelligence and experience (Yukl, 2013, p. 167). James Parker was effective in handling this crisis by using his intelligence and experience. He focused in satisfying the employees and customers by implementing programs in their favor. Parkers experience was unique since out of all the other airlines CEO’s he was able to keep most of his