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Organizational Culture Essay #2 (Essay Sample)


Organizational Culture

Case Assignment

Southwest Airlines and Koch Industries are both known for their distinctive organizational cultures, and both have been highly successful and profitable companies. Southwest Airlines is known as a “fun” place to work where socialization and humor in the workplace are strongly encouraged. Koch Industries, on the other hand, has a culture defined by the principles of “market-based management” where performance and revenue growth is emphasized.

Do some background reading on the cultures behind Southwest Airlines and Koch Industries. While doing your research, keep strongly in mind the characteristics of organizational cultures discussed in the background materials such as team-oriented, people-oriented, outcome-oriented, etc. Here are some articles to get you started on your research that will give you some background about the cultures at these two organizations:

Klein, D. (2011). Creating cultures that lead to success: Lincoln Electric, Southwest Airlines, and SAS Institute. Organizational Dynamics 41(1), 35-39 [Available in Science Direct. Note: you only have to read the middle portion of the article concerning Southwest Airlines and not the whole article]

Bird, A. (Mar. 13, 2011). Southwest: Corporate culture combines work, play. The Post and Courier. [ProQuest]

Whatley, H. (2013). Principles and dimensions of market-based management. Independent Journal of Management & Production, 4(1), 126-135. [ProQuest]

Dissecting the Kochtopus. (Jun. 7, 2014). The Economist, 411, 76. [ProQuest]

When you are finished with your research, write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following issues:

1.Describe the organizational culture of Southwest Airlines the best you can using the characteristics of organizational culture discussed in the background materials. These include: but are not limited to detail-oriented, team-oriented, innovative, aggressive, outcome-oriented, and people-oriented. Be specific as you can regarding which characteristics of organizational culture that you read about in the background materials apply to Southwest and which ones do not.

2.Describe the organizational culture of Koch Industries using the criteria as in Question 1 above.

3.Now suppose Koch Industries decided to purchase Southwest Airlines. Compare and contrast the two cultures, and explain what kind of challenges you think they would face in merging the two cultures. Also, explain what steps you think would need to be taken in order to prevent culture clashes between the two organizations.


Assignment Expectations

•Answer the assignment questions directly. Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to general background materials.

•Make use of both the required Case Assignment articles as well as the required general background materials in your paper. Apply concepts that you learned in the background materials in your answers to the assignment questions.

•Review our “Writing Style Guide” for more detail on referencing and writing expectations. This guide is found under “My Resources” in the TLC portal.


Organizational Culture
Different companies will adopt different organizational cultures relative to their goals and largely due to the goals of the management. In most of the cases, the management set out the goals of the firm and therefore visualize the elements of the culture that they would want the staffs to adopt in order to achieve the set out goals(Davoren, 2015). There are quite a number of cultures are vary from customer-oriented, teamwork-oriented, innovations-oriented, detail-oriented, income-oriented, aggressive and even people-oriented. Some of the firms that have opposing cultures are southwest airlines and the Koch Industries. The culture adopted by the Southwest Airlines can be said to be people-oriented whereby the satisfaction of the staffs and customers are crucial, that Koch industries can be said to be market-oriented such that performance and revenue generated drive the key elements of the goals(Davoren, 2015).
Southwest Airlines
One of the key aspects that are associated with the airline is the fact that most of the customers that have been served at their premises have had good stories to tell, about the treatment they received. According to the chief communications officer, there are three main values that are instilled in every staff. These include the fact that they should have a warrior’s spirit, a servant’s and they should also have an attitude that fun-loving(Makovsky, 2013). This means that the, the staffs are trained to always take the initiative to assist their clients in the best way that they can and adopt a servant attitude that has a great sense of humor.The staffs are constantly sensitized to put the needs of others first before their own. This way they are able not only to respect their colleagues but also the clients. As such, this is a culture that can be partly referred to as people oriented, given the fact that the people’s needs are addressed first before any monetary value is placed on their interactions. Customers are bound to be given the best experience when flying through their airlines regardless of their reason to fly(Makovsky, 2013). It is a service that is not only centered around the customers but ideally to every person that is in the firm. However, it can also be said to be customer-oriented as it tends to enhance the way that the customers are treated. If the staffs are happy, they will deliver to the best of their ability, and all the effort is directed at making sure that the customer is satisfied.
Koch Industries
The Koch Industries on the other hand has a culture that mainly market-oriented. This means that aspects of performance among the staffs and the amount revenue the company generates at the end of every year or the quarterly returns are high compared to the competition and previous outputs. As such, the level of competition at the firm is also quite high, as staffs try to outdo each other in light of the bonuses(Dickinson, 2014)Work-life balance is one of the aspects that the staffs at the firm lack. They are constantly required to put in long hours and the level of discrimination is also quite high. Staffs that are from the minority races are hard pressed to perform and in most of the cases will have a hard time getting promotions or the bonuses. Due to the high level of liquidations and acquisitions, staffs have to be well aware that they can easily lose their jobs and therefore have to put in their best without the guarantee of job satisfaction of security(Dickinson, 2014). Although the company has policies that are seen to safeguard the thoughts and expressions of the staffs at the firm, anyone that is found to be vocal about the problems at the work place would have a hard time fin...
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