Management and Leadership Across Culture

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Tourism Industry

Tourism is one of the most exciting and progressive industries in the world. Tourism is also big business. Tourism impacts on almost every industry. The total real output, including direct and indirect expenditure, was worth $73 billion in 2003/04.

Tourism is now one of the largest industries in the world accounting for jobs as well. The tourism industry has a larger output than:

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing;

Mining, Communication Service; and

Electricity, Gas & Water Supply. 

(Source: Australian Tourism Satellite Accounts, 2003-04)

Everyone gains from properly managed tourism. These benefits can be especially significant in regional areas by diversifying the area's economic base and expanding the employment market. In its broadest sense, the tourism industry is the total of all businesses that directly provide goods or services to facilitate business, pleasure and leisure activities away from the home environment.

1.2 Company Background

Air India is India's national flag carrier. and currently the oldest and largest airline of the Republic of India. It is a part of the Indian government-owned National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL). The airline operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft serving Asia, Europe and North America. Its corporate office is located at the Air India Building at Nariman Point in South Mumbai. It is the 16th largest airline in Asia. Air India has two major domestic hubs at Indira Gandhi International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Star Alliance announced on 13 December 2007 that it had invited Air India to join as a member. Air India is set to become a full Star Alliance member by summer 2011

Air India was founded by J. R. D. Tata in July 1932 as Tata Airlines, a division of Tata Sons Ltd. (now Tata Group). On 15 October 1932, J. R. D. Tata flew a single-engined De Havilland Puss Moth carrying air mail (postal mail of Imperial Airways) from Karachi's Drigh Road Aerodrome toBombay's Juhu Airstrip via Ahmedabad. The aircraft continued to Madras via Bellary piloted by former Royal Air Force pilot Nevill Vintcent.

1.3 Leadership and Management Role of Air India

The National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) is the National Carrier of India, operates under the Air India brand name and is in the business of air transportation of passengers and cargo within India and abroad. NACIL is headquartered in Mumbai, India, and has a gross turnover of approximately USD.4 billion.

The Chief of Corporate Communications will be based at Mumbai, be a part of the top management team and report to the Chairman & Managing Director. He/she would be responsible for overseeing the overall image building exercise of the Company, including inter alia managing media relations. The selected candidate would be appointed on contract for a period of 3 years, extendable by two years based on performance.

Applicants should be less than 45 years of age and have wide ranging experience and professional qualifications in the field of Mass Communication and/or other related disciplines, including knowledge of modern state of art communication technologies. He/she should be a proficient writer, highly motivated and result oriented, with proven leadership qualities and a part of the top management team of any public or private sector Company in India or abroad. Preference would be given to candidates who are already in the field of Corporate Communications. The general roles and responsibilities of the selected candidate will include the following:

Formulation and implementation of the Corporate Public Relations Strategy;

Positioning and monitoring the airline in the media;

Managing Corporate Public Relations and image building;

Briefing top management on the Corporate and Business environment;

Managing external and internal communications;

Interacting with national and international organizations and agencies in the aviation industry;

Developing and maintaining the airline website;

Managing the archiving of records and digitization of Company periodicals and magazines;

Developing and maintain the photo library of the Company, including photographs/slides of historical importance and major events;

Producing audio visuals on the Company's activities;

Arranging media tours for generating publicity for NACIL;

The compensation package will be based on the cost to the Company and will be negotiable, commensurate with qualifications, experience and other relevant factors. Interested applicants may forward their detailed CV in confidence by email [email protected] or in a sealed envelope to Mr.V.Srikrishnan, Executive Director-Headquarters, 21st Floor Air India Building, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021, superscribed on the envelope "Chief of Corporate Communications" by 17 December 2009..

1.4 Operational Safety of Air India:

Air India has successfully cleared the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) audits for 2009.  The combined NACIL has successfully completed the audit and received confirmation of audit closure from the auditing company, AQS, which is based in Germany.

NACIL-A (erstwhile Air India) has cleared its fourth IOSA Audit showing its compliance with the IATA operational safety and quality standards. NACIL-I (erstwhile Indian Airlines) has cleared its second IOSA Audit. IOSA had new standards in place, with various additional requirements to be met as per the new standards, effective July 2009.

IOSA is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.  The integrated Quality Management System (QMS) of Air India has worked with all the functional areas in the airline to ensure compliance with the latest regulatory and international safety standards. Air India was the first airline in India to obtain IOSA registry and one of the first in the world, in the year 2003. Subsequently, Air India has undergone renewal audits successfully.


2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Concept of Leadership

Leadership has been described as the "process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task." Definitions more inclusive of followers have also emerged.

The following sections discuss several important aspects of leadership including a description of what leadership is and a description of several popular theories and styles of leadership. This article also discusses topics such as the role of emotions and vision, as well as leadership effectiveness and performance, leadership in different contexts, how it may differ from related concepts (i.e., management), and some critiques of leadership as generally conceived.

2.1.1 Leadership Theory

Trait Theory

Early research on leadership was based on the psychological focus of the day, which was of people having inherited characteristics or traits. Attention was thus put on discovering these traits, often by studying successful leaders, but with the underlying assumption that if other people could also be found with these traits, then they, too, could also become great leaders.

Stogdill (1974) identified the following traits and skills as critical to leaders.



Adaptable to situations

Alert to social environment

Ambitious and achievement-orientated





Dominant (desire to influence others)

Energetic (high activity level)



Tolerant of stress

Willing to assume responsibility

Clever (intelligent)

Conceptually skilled


Diplomatic and tactful

Fluent in speaking

Knowledgeable about group task

Organised (administrative ability)


Socially skilled

According to trait theory Air India following the strategy that the leaders are characterized with some specific activities those are following.

Ambitious and Achievement oriented: They have a goal within a time farm and they are working based on that because they have to achieve the goal within the time.

Assertive: They are very confident regarding their work and they know what they have to do and what they are doing.

Cooperative: They are very helpful for their co-workers and others also because they knows that with a very simple help their co-worker can do something better.

Decisive: they are the key part or vital part for their organization because they lead the organization for all kind of operations.

Dependable: They are loyal for the organization and people are really faithful to them.

Dominant: They know how to convince others and they have the power and also they deserve to manage others which is really a vital role of leaders.

Energetic: They got the active power to work and can work for long time without any tiredness.

Persistent: they are really determined regarding their work they know what they are doing and what to do.

Tolerant of stress: They have the power that they can handle any kind of problem and also able to give the solution on the spot.

Willing to assume responsibility: They are always prepare to assume the responsibility which is a very important and big positive side of the leaders of Air India.

2.2 Concept of Management

Organization and coordination of the activities of an enterprise in accordance with certain policies and in achievement of clearly defined objectives. Management is often included as a factor of production along with machines, materials, and money. According to the management guru Peter Drucker (1909-2005), the basic task of a management is twofold: marketing and innovation. Practice of modern management owes its origin to the 16th century enquiry into low-efficiency and failures of certain enterprises, conducted by the English statesman Sir Thomas More (1478-1535).

2.2.1 Management Theory

The BCG matrix or also called BCG model relates to marketing. The BCG model is a well-known portfolio management tool used in product life cycle theory. BCG matrix is often used to prioritize which products within company product mix get more funding and attention.

BCG STARS (high growth, high market share)

- Stars are defined by having high market share in a growing market.

- Stars are the leaders in the business but still need a lot of support for promotion a placement.

- If market share is kept, Stars are likely to grow into cash cows.

BCG QUESTION MARKS (high growth, low market share)

- These products are in growing markets but have low market share.

- Question marks are essentially new products where buyers have yet to discover them.

- The marketing strategy is to get markets to adopt these products.

- Question marks have high demands and low returns due to low market share.

- These products need to increase their market share quickly or they become dogs.

- The best way to handle Question marks is to either invest heavily in them to gain market share or to sell them.

BCG CASH COWS (low growth, high market share)

- Cash cows are in a position of high market share in a mature market.

- If competitive advantage has been achieved, cash cows have high profit margins and generate a lot of cash flow.

- Because of the low growth, promotion and placement investments are low.

- Investments into supporting infrastructure can improve efficiency and increase cash flow more.

- Cash cows are the products that businesses strive for.

BCG DOGS (low growth, low market share)

- Dogs are in low growth markets and have low market share.

- Dogs should be avoided and minimized.

- Expensive turn-around plans usually do not help.

According to the BCG Matrix AIR INDIA got the position with BCG QUESTION MARKS  which is got high growth and low market share

- Air India is in growing markets but have low market share.

- Air India is not new in the market but still buyers have to discover them because they have to come with some new idea to attract the customers in the market.

- Air India still following the marketing strategy is to get markets to adopt their position.

- Air India has high demands and low returns due to low market share.

- Air India need to increase their market share quickly or they become dogs.

- The best way to handle Question marks for Air India is to either invest heavily in them to gain market share or to sell them.

2.3 Concept of Motivation

One of the most important factors that lead one to their goals is the drive. This drive is known as motivation. It is a zest and determination with a kind of excitement that leads one to persevere to reach greater heights, in no matter what avenue of their life; be it - personal or professional. The drive may come from an internal or external source. The individual determines this.

The factors that motivate an individual keep changing as one climbs the ladder of age and maturity. And also, achievement of one goal sets the ball rolling for another one to be achieved. Thus, to be motivated is a constant need. There are times when one faces a period of de-motivation and everything seems bleak. It is then that they need to find what would motivate them back into action

.2.3.1 Motivation Theory

Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923-) introduced the Neo-Human Relations School in the 1950's, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory that there are five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work.

All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy (see below) and only once a lower level of need has been fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied. For example a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food before worrying about having a secure job contract or the respect of others.

A business should therefore offer different incentives to workers in order to help them fulfill each need in turn and progress up the hierarchy (see below). Managers should also recognise that workers are not all motivated in the same way and do not all move up the hierarchy at the same pace. They may therefore have to offer a slightly different set of incentives from worker to worker.

According to Maslow's motivation theory they are trying to fulfil all the 5 needs of their customer and workers as well. To fulfil the physiological needs they are providing different kind of food and beverage based on the customer's cultural demand. For the safety need they are trying to provide the best security and protection in terms of the customer's wellbeing life. For the social need they are providing good service like good relationship with everyone and different kind of entertainment facilities etc.They are providing the business class and high class service service for the people those are looking for the esteem need means self need reorganization status.

3.0 Managing Cultural Diversity of Air India

3.1 Air India Manage Cultural Change within organization

Air India Limited began operations in 1933 with two planes, one pilot, and a handful of engineering staff. Its 'office' was a palm-thatched shed. Today, Air India has a fleet of 45 aircraft, including Air India Express, a low-cost airline, and flies to around 44 destinations worldwide. Headquartered in Mumbai, the airline made a net profit of US$2 million (Rs.97 million) and increased revenue by 15% in the 2005 financial year.

In January 2006, Air India implemented a range of Oracle E-Business Suite applications as the basis of an integrated enterprise resource planning system. To ensure its business and technical staff could maintain and use the system, the company sent 40 employees to Oracle University.

The interactive training helped staff understand how an electronic business management system worked and gave them the knowledge and confidence to use the applications from the go-live date. The positive experience of staff promoted a cultural shift in the organization and encouraged management to consider extending the technology to other areas of its business.

3.1.1 New Way of Working

Although Air India had used IT packages in the past, this was the first time the organization had implemented a commercial off-the-shelf enterprise resource planning solution. Although the concept of multiple users interacting on the same platform was not new to Air India, usage of a true ERP solution was new to the organization. In the past, the company had relied on manual, paper-based processes to manage its inventory, purchasing, and budgetary control and monitoring.

The airline sent around 40 people to Oracle University for training on Oracle Inventory and Oracle Purchasing, followed by training on Oracle Financials. Technical staff received Level 1 and Level 2 system administration training and attended patch installation courses.

The courses took place at Oracle's premises in Mumbai and occasionally at Air India's offices. The face-to-face classroom training included instruction on how to use the Oracle applications and basic exercises. Oracle trainers were on hand to help users when they ran into difficulties or had queries. Training notes were also provided. Courses ran from three to five days, depending on the subject.

Staff was happy with the quality and level of the training and instructors. The airline did not expect them to master the application after one week of training; the aim was to give them some reassurance on the system so they had the basic navigational routes and make it possible for them to explore other options. Training familiarized staff with the application and gave them the skills and confidence to use the system by themselves.

Without the Oracle University training, the airline believed it would not have been able to implement and use the Oracle solution effectively.

Air India had engaged an external company to implement the solution and found that training improved communications. After the training, staff could talk the same 'language' as the implementation partner. Risk was minimized because both organizations understood what the other was trying to achieve.

3.1.2 A Cultural Shift within the Organization

One of Air India's objectives when sending users to Oracle University was to prove that the Oracle solution was workable. The airline believed that every failed attempt to implement an IT-based solution will make acceptance within the organization more difficult. People become more skeptical about such solutions so it was important to ensure that the first lot of trainees had a positive experience.

The airline reported that those who received training developed a better understanding of the system. Raising awareness of the system's capabilities was a key objective and the organization believed it fulfilled that purpose.

Air India managing the Cultural diversity with their both side like with their workforce and customer as well.

3.2 Work force diversity

With the increase in competition, locally or globally, organizations must become more adaptable, resilient, agile, and customer-focused to succeed. And within this change in environment, the HR professional has to evolve to become a strategic partner, an employee sponsor or advocate, and a change mentor within the organization. In order to succeed, HR must be a business driven function with a thorough understanding of the organization's big picture and be able to influence key decisions and policies. In general, the focus of today's HR Manager is on strategic personnel retention and talents development. HR professionals will be coaches, counsellors, mentors, and succession planners to help motivate organization's members and their loyalty. The HR manager will also promote and fight for values, ethics, beliefs, and spirituality within their organizations, especially in the management of workplace diversity.

According to Thomas (1992), dimensions of workplace diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience.

3.2.1 The Challenges of Workplace Diversity

The future success of any organizations relies on the ability to manage a diverse body of talent that can bring innovative ideas, perspectives and views to their work. The challenge and problems faced of workplace diversity can be turned into a strategic organizational asset if an organization is able to capitalize on this melting pot of diverse talents. With the mixture of talents of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles, an organization can respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively, especially in the global arena (Cox, 1993), which must be one of the important organisational goals to be attained. More importantly, if the organizational environment does not support diversity broadly, one risks losing talent to competitors.

This is especially true for Air India who has operations on a global scale and employs people of different countries, ethical and cultural backgrounds. Thus, the HR managers of Air India are really mindful and employ a 'Think Global, Act Local' approach in most circumstances. The challenge of workplace diversity is also prevalent amongst the Airlines. Thus, the HR manager of Air India have to undergo cultural-based Human Resource Management training to further their abilities to motivate a group of professional that are highly qualified but culturally diverse. In many ways, the effectiveness of workplace diversity management is dependent on the skilful balancing act of the HR manager.

3.3 Cultural diversity within the Customers

For the tourism industry it's really important to give concern about different kind of customers from different culture. Because there are people are coming from different country and they are need, want and demand is quite different, like their food habit, styles, choice everything is depends on their culture.

Air India is trying to follow the customer decision making process which is following.

Customer Decision-making

Understanding the process consumers work through in deciding about taking a holiday. It is important to understand this process.

Needs - Going on a holiday allows people to take a break from their normal life, whether it's restful idleness in scenic spots or extreme sports in challenging terrain, on their own, with a partner or friends, or in a large group. 

Awareness - Consumers may have a recognised or unrecognised need for a holiday. Promoting a holiday destination, product or service can help consumers recognise they need a holiday, and then raise their awareness of the choices available. 

Motivation - If the consumer is positively aware of a destination, product or service they are more likely to be motivated to visit. 

Planning/Decision - Promotional information helps the consumer decide how to get there, and what they want to do. 

Satisfaction - If a product delivers what has been promoted, the consumer is likely to be satisfied and have a quality holiday experience, and vice versa. 

Word of Mouth - Consumers share their holiday experiences with friends, family and colleagues. Their word of mouth raises awareness of the destination, product(s) and service(s) with potential future consumers.

To satisfied customers need, want and demand Air India Providing different kind of food, music, movies for their customers according to their demand. For the food there is some option customers are getting like for Muslim customers the halal foods are available. For kids their providing some Kid Mel with kid drinks. So customers have the option to choose their food according to their demand.

Not only foods their trying to give the better entertainment facility for their culturally diverse customers. There are some options for the customers regarding the music and movie selection. Like option for language selection, category selection etc.So different age customers can chose the movie or song according to their choice and can enjoy the movie or song which is their kind of.

4.0 Effectiveness Management, Leadership and Motivation of Air India

Air India Limited began operations in 1933 with two planes, one pilot, and a handful of engineering staff. Its 'office' was a palm-thatched shed. Today, Air India has a fleet of 45 aircraft, including Air India Express, a low-cost airline, and flies to around 44 destinations worldwide. Headquartered in Mumbai, the airline made a net profit of US$2 million (Rs.97 million) and increased revenue by 15% in the 2005 financial year.

In January 2006, Air India implemented a range of Oracle E-Business Suite applications as the basis of an integrated enterprise resource planning system. To ensure its business and technical staff could maintain and use the system, the company sent 40 employees to Oracle University.

The interactive training helped staff understand how an electronic business management system worked and gave them the knowledge and confidence to use the applications from the go-live date. The positive experience of staff promoted a cultural shift in the organization and encouraged management to consider extending the technology to other areas of its business.

5.0 Recommendation and Conclusion

We can sincerely appreciate the company's valued customers in India and abroad for using the service of Air India and looks forward to their continued support and confidence. Also can express its deep sense of appreciation for the sincere and devoted service rendered by the employees of the company. It's also appreciated that the leaders are really careful about their duties and responsibilities. Air India trying to give the best support for their culturally diverse work force and customers, which can be a good opportunity for their brand to get a good image in the customer loyalty area.

Though Air India trying to follow all the strategy for their brand after that now a days people are preferring other airlines and some how Air India loosing their brand Image which is really very bad news for the particular company. So Air India should be concern about their strategy and management planning process and need to find out the threat and opportunities than they can work against the threat and through the opportunity can make some strength for the company.