When the President of South West Airlines challenges the President of a rival company to an arm wrestle competition over the usage of a corporate motto or when the acquisition of an air hose leads to a ‘wedding’ between two air hoses in Gracelands. Las Vegas one knows that the scheme of battle that South West Airlines uses is irregular but has been extremely successful. South West Airlines for about 40 old ages and has been cited by writers such as Porter ( 1981 ) as showing an excellence in operations direction. It was founded in 1971 and has grown from being a little regional service. from its origin. to supplying a service to many 1000000s in 2004. Back in 1995 South West Airlines created its ain web site and it is non until the undermentioned twelvemonth that ‘ticketless’ travel is implemented. In 2006 South West Airlines created its ain web log which is designed for staff every bit good as the general populace. Naturally. as information-based engineering has progressed through the old ages. the visual aspect and content within the original web site and web log is non easy compared.
The intent of this group assignment is to critically analyze whether or non the South West Airlines web log is an appropriate and effectual signifier of communicating. both internally and externally. It is the sentiment of the group that before one is able to critically analyze the web log one must be able to understand the history. and in some instances the civilization. of the administration in inquiry. This instance survey will analyze the grounds behind the creative activity of the web log. Chiefly. what were the critical factors behind the determination to implement this web log? Second. what were the desired targeted competencies? Third. what is the vision behind South West Airlines and eventually. once the old three factors are critically analysed. what were. and so are. the prosodies by which 1 is able to find whether or non the web log has been successful. Naturally. this will take to some unreciprocated inquiries that will organize the decision.
2. Business Challenges
Weiss et Al ( 2005 ) maintains that the primary concern of South West Airlines was in supplying an first-class client service. Where other administrations apparently paid lip service to the construct of client service. Weiss et Al ( 2005 ) asserts that South West Airlines has historically made original and seeking concern determinations that can be argued have helped to better enormously its market portion from the twenty-four hours the first South West Airlines flight departed. South West Airlines has ever had different corporate behavior to that of its immediate rivals ( as detailed in the old subdivision ) . but could this creative activity of a corporate web log be another illustration of the uniqueness South West Airlines offers? There are three chief concern challenges that South West Airlines faces in its acceptance of a corporate web log and these are client services. ‘turn around’ clip and keeping singularity.
The primary concern for South West Airlines is that of supplying a good client service. The then-President of South West Airlines. Coleen Barrett. saw the corporate web log as being an extension of the client services that South West Airlines provides. It is besides noted that Coleen Barratt was besides an occasional user of and reader of web logs as good. Barratt argues that the web log has been extensively used by South West Airlines. as an entity. because many of the Senior Management Team are an indispensable portion of it. It is argued by South West Airlines that the creative activity ( and use of the web log by clients ) has led to a line of communicating hitherto unavailable to the company. It is problematic as to how effectual this communicating is. Liu et Al ( 1997 ) states that most corporate place pages are chiefly used to advance the advertisement docket of the host administration.
Another concern for South West Airlines is being able to successfully warrant to employees the benefits and advantages. As already said. the then-President of South West Airlines read the web log and the senior direction squad. in general. usage it. The inquiry remains do employees experience they can freely take part in a web log or do they experience a irresistible impulse to follow the place of the employer? This inquiry of liberty or control is a common job faced by concerns through the ages. The fact that it is a new signifier of communicating is about irrelevant to the job. Barnard ( 1968 ) argues the point that an employee must give up some of their liberty if they are to to the full take part with the purposes of the administration. In this instance the purpose of the company is to do effectual usage of the web log.
3. Targeted Competences
As already alluded in the old subdivision. there has been a program by South West Airlines to utilize the web log as a general portion of their client service operations. If a web log is to be used efficaciously in South West Airlines the administration may wish to follow the undermentioned standards: Good client relationships and effectual work patterns.
3. 1Good client relationships
South West Airlines has ever prided itself on its interaction with its client base. From utilizing irregular advertisement processs and operations direction it has increased over the last 40 old ages. Weiss et Al ( 2005 ) describes the extent to which client service plays a function in the operation of the administration ; it is their focal point. Can a good client relationship exist within the confines of a web log? The then-President of South West Airlines believed this to be the instance. The possible job for a company using the usage of a web log is that it could open a ‘pandora’s box’ of hitherto unknown jobs. Whilst researching this undertaking. the group was amazed. given the use of South West Airlines in Business Management categories. about the sheer figure of dissatisfied clients there are ( http: //hyku. com/blog/archives/001089. hypertext markup language ) .
3. 2Effective work patterns
If a corporate web log is to impact the on the job patterns of a company so it needs to hold the assurance of the work force. Finch ( 1999 ) poses the interesting inquiry about how a client services-led web log can take to a rapid and effectual response. It is besides problematic as to which type of web log does South West Airlines have. Is it a top down or bottom up web log? Is the creative activity of the web log being driven from the executives or from the work force itself? Surely there are illustrations of companies that have used underside up web logs in order to ease the development of a company. However. there are many booby traps that need to be addressed. For illustration. if one has a underside up web log this infers that there is a batch of liberty with the general work force. However. this type of liberty can take to potencies jobs as highlighted by Langfred ( 2004 ) .
South West Airlines has adapted rapidly to the Internet and started utilizing e-tickets before their other rivals. Using new and effectual signifiers of engineering have been at the head of the operations of South West Airlines since its creative activity. South West Airlines has a repute of utilizing irregular schemes. South West Airlines has tried to harness in costs in every imaginable manner and utilizing a web log to pass on those ideals to the work force is merely another thought. The inquiry as to whether the web log is a true web log. i. e. it is an honorable piece of work written from the bosom. is unfastened to debate as a sensible individual would presume that as the web log is presently a senior direction scheme one would non compose a critical article for fright of reverberations. Indeed the illustration of an air air hostess in 2004 doubtless provided warnings to possible internal disparagers of the dangers of composing something inappropriate in a web log ; although in this instance what was really written was innocuous.
It is admirable that South West Airlines feels adventuresome in taking to be the first ( as of composing this paper ) air hose to hold a web log. South West Airlines has used other signifiers of media to demo the image of South West Airlines to the greater public. There was a US version of the Airline telecasting programme which detailed the interior workings of the air hose although it was cancelled after one series. With specific respect to blogs there have been incontrovertible illustrations of effectual and free usage of web logs within administrations ( albeit non in the service sector ) . IBM and McDonalds appear to hold a bottom up internal web log whereby workers are ‘encouraged’ to show their feelings. Naturally. the concluding behind this is to forestall unfavorable information from being released into the public sphere.
The success of any given action can be determined by how it is implemented. Carnall ( 2007 ) argues that the success of any organizational scheme is determined by the planning. judgment of the scenario and the executing of the scheme. In the instance of South West Airlines a opinion of how successful the scheme can be determined by how good used it is. A point that has already been made is how free do people experience to do their ain. honest sentiments known? If the information on the web log is simply confirms everything that the company is already stating so it is hard to see how valuable the web log is.
However. if the information is highly contradictory so it must merely foster the divide between the work force and the senior direction squad. For the intents of this assignment. the group signed up for the web log to enable the group to give a more focused reply. It does look that there a really few marks of interaction unlike what one would anticipate to see in a to the full. multi-dimensional web log. When one looks at the Targeted Competencies subdivision one can see the effectual work patterns subdivision. If the web log is non truly being used apart from those in higher degree direction who see a web log as the ‘next large thing’ so the web log is guaranteed to execute to outlooks without presenting the consequences upon which the original thought was focussed.
6. Discussion Questions/Conclusion
There are many inquiries behind why certain administrations and non other follow the usage of web logs. Jones ( 2005 ) argues the instance why many administrations are loath to make this because of deficiency of lucidity between direction and staff about the content and can be seen as a contradiction to the free nature environing web logs. There have been many instances of people being disciplined or even losing their occupations as a consequence of web log entries ( BBC News. 2004 ) . Other web logs. unrestricted by companies. such as ‘petite anglaise’ have been used to anonymously knock people who have no opportunity to refute claims made ( Petite Anglaise ( 2009 ) ) . Web logs are a new signifier of a comparatively old construct. i. e. Bulletin Boards.
There is. nevertheless. a difference in sentiment as to what a specific corporate web log should resemble. Should a web log be as unfastened ended with the purpose of ‘humanising’ it? This was the effort made by Macromedia web log ( anterior to its acquisition by Adobe Inc. ) ( Stone “2002 ) ) or should a web log appear a top down direction scheme that appears to be the instance with South West Airlines? This is the inquiry that needs replying. As shown in old subdivisions of this paper. there are advantages and disadvantages between the top down and bottom up attack to blogging but from the place of an foreigner looking in there does look to be a great difference between what the purposes and aims of the South West Airlines web log is and what it was envisaged to cover.
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* BBC News ( 2004 ) . “Blogger grounded by her airline” . available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/technology/3955913. short-term memory ( accessed May 04. 2009 ) . * Petite Anglaise ( 2009 ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www. petiteanglaise. com/ ( accessed May 04.
2009 ) * South West Airlines ‘blog’ ( 2009 ) hypertext transfer protocol: //hyku. com/blog/archives/001089. hypertext markup language ( accessed May 04. 2009 )