What are the key policies, procedures, operating practices, and core values underlying Southwest’s efforts to implement and execute its low-cost/no frills strategy?

You’ve already examined several cases from the text. Your course project will require a careful reading of Case 20— Southwest Airlines in 2010: Culture, Values, and Operating Practices,on pages C-276–C309. Southwest Airlines has become the market-share leader in domestic air travel in the United States. This quirky but scrappy airline started small and now transports more passengers from U.S. airports to U.S. destinations than any other airline. Their market symbol is (LUV). They’ve emphasized a low cost, low price, and no frills strategy that has worked well for them. In May 2011, Southwest acquired AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent of AirTran Airways. This was a major acquisition for Southwest and presents some management challenges for its continuing success. Is it possible that Southwest will continue to achieve the success to which it’s accustomed while integrating AirTran into its organization?

Read through Case 20—Southwest Airlines in 2010: Culture, Values, and OperatingPractices,on pages C-276–C309 of your textbook. Carefully go through all chapters covered in your course and analyze the Southwest Airlines case within the frameworks available. In addition to the case material in the textbook, review the video for Case 20 available on your student portal. Because this situation is fluid, there’s no correct or incorrect answer; what’s important is your application of course materials and the process of youranalysis. Begin with a SWOT analysis, in which strengths include the firm’s market share and weaknesses include the firm’s cost trends. Feel free to review thsource of information you feel is helpful. Remember to provide citations for any material from which you quote verbatim. Your paper should provide answers to the following questions:

1. Is there anything that you find particularly impressive about Southwest Airlines? Provide at least four examples.   2. What grade would you give Southwest management for the job it has done in crafting the company’s strategy? What is it that you like or dislike about the strategy? Does Southwest have a winning strategy? Explain your answers.  3. What are the key policies, procedures, operating practices, and core values underlying Southwest’s efforts to implement and execute its low-cost/no frills strategy?  4. What are the key elements of Southwest’s culture? Is Southwest a strong-culture company? Why or why not? What problems do you foresee that Gary Kelly has in sustaining the culture now that Herb Kelleher, the company’s spiritual leader, has departed?   5. What grade would you give Southwest management for the job it has done in implementing and executing the company’s strategy? Which of Southwest’s strategy execution approaches and operating practices do you believe have been mostcrucial in accounting for the success that Southwest has enjoyed in executing its strategy? Are there any policies, procedures, and operating approaches at Southwest of which you disapprove or that aren’t working well? 6. What weaknesses or problems do you see at Southwest Airlines as of mid 2010?  7. Does the AirTran acquisition make good strategic sense for Southwest?   8. What strategic issues and problems must Gary Kelly and Southwest executives address as they proceed to close the deal with the AirTran acquisition and contemplate how best to integrate AirTran’s operations and AirTran’s employees into Southwest?   9. What recommendations would you make to Gary Kelly and Southwest executives as the company heads into the next year?

Writing Guidelines  1. Type your submission, double-spaced, in a standard print font, size 12. Use a standard document format with 1-inch margins. (Do notuse any fancy or cursive fonts.) Your paper should be written in Microsoft Word or a Wordcompatible program.  2. Include the following information at the top of your paper:       a.  Name and complete mailing address       b.  Student number       c.  Course title and number (Strategic Business Management, BUS 425)       d.  Research project number (50064100)  3. Read the assignment carefully and answer each question.  4. Be specific. Limit your submission to the questions asked and issues mentioned.  5. Proofread your work carefully. Check for correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

Grading Criteria The following is a breakdown of how your project will be graded: 1. Content 80% 2. Written communication 10% 3. Format 10% Here’s a brief explanation of each of these criteria: Content The student Provides clear answers to the assigned questions Addresses the questions in complete sentences, not just simple yes or no statements presents reasonable conclusions with appropriate supporting information Supports his or her opinions by citing appropriate information using either APA or MLA format Stays focused on the assigned issues Writes in his or her own words and uses quotation marks to indicate direct quotations

Written Communication The student Answers each question in a complete paragraph that includesan introductory sentence, at least four sentences of explanation, and a concluding sentence Uses correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure Uses logical thinking in presenting his or her arguments Provides clear organization (for example, uses words like first, however, on the other hand, and so on, since, consequently, next, andwhen) Makes sure the paper contains no typographical errors Format The paper is double-spaced and typed in font size 12. It includes the student’s Name and complete mailing address Student number Course title and number (Strategic Business Management, BUS 425) Research project number (50064100

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