Changing the Culture of British Airways

1234 words (5 pages) Essay

18th May 2020 Organisations Reference this

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How was the accompanying reading, “Re-Energizing the Mature Organization,” germane to the case on British Airways?

A mature organization tends to formulate various effective strategies to enhance and maintain organizational developments and productivity both in the long run and in the short run. Mature organizations also ought to establish various conducive environments for organizational transformation in case of notable organizational inefficiency and unproductivity. Mature organizations tend to focus on enhancing customer utility by articulating on various customer need and necessities rather than cost reduction and profit maximization both in the long run and in the short-run (Devine, 2018). Such organizational reforms tend to generate increased success in the part of the organization. Colin Marshall, in the case of BA, seemed to be more interested in attaining increased customer loyalty, through enhancing customer satisfaction and welfare.

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Organizational reforms and transformations are very vital and require a critical understanding of the characteristics and aspect of the current organizational structure. The reform techniques are essential in the definition of the extent to which an organization can make operational and effective changes (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2015). Lord King transformed British Airways from an autocratic to a consumer-oriented and service firm, which enhanced BA productivity over time.

From a Christian view, the bible states that personal and community welfare should be first considered, before personal wealth, which can occur through cost reduction among other aspects. In the second of the greatest commandments, Jesus instructed the Israelites and the Christians to love their neighbors as they love themselves (Mark 12:31, English Standard Version). Love others as themselves is a non-greedy position and in the business environment one area where this should come to fruition is where organizations perceive profits equally as consumer value and satisfaction.

What was life like at the “old” British airways? What was difficult about making a change?

Life in the old BA was difficult and seemed to generate considerable discomfort on the part of the employees. BA strategies for sustainability were cost minimization and profit maximization, which then has the essential impact of lowering the quality of services offered by the organizations. This was embarrassing to the employees and hence increased the employee voluntary turn over. The unavailability of economies of scale also made productivity difficult, which also contributed to increased employee dissatisfaction (Jick & Peiperl, 2011).

The promotion of the civil aviation act into law also generated increased difficulties for BA. The merger between BA, European Airways, and British Oversees, and the maintenance of individual management by all the three organizations reduced employee cooperation and hence generated more difficulties on the part of the organization (Jick & Peiperl, 2011). The lack of a common direction and diversity of goals and objectives generated low productivity on the part of the business.

From a biblical perspective, managing a small-scale group is more effective than managing a bigger scale group. This is essential because a smaller group is likely to keep a similar focus and maintain similar goals and objectives in comparison to a bigger group. During evangelism, for example, Paul and other apostles were able to influence and maintain smaller groups than bigger groups. Disagreements were also less likely to occur in the case of smaller groups.

What were the critical factors in the successful transformation?

BA experienced significant transformation between 1980 and 1990 under Lord King. Various critical factors played a vital role in this change.

Change of various managerial practices from bureaucracy, where only the top management officials were viable for making essential organizational decisions, to a democratic organizational structure where employees were able to make decisions and suggest reforms, played an essential role towards the change (Hayes, 2018). The employee layoff also played a vital role as it ensured that the more efficient and motivated employees were retained.

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Networking and links also played a vital role in ensuring a successful reform. The fact that Lord King had network and links to presidents and top government officials in various nations enhanced the extent to which BA transformation was successful.

Hiring professionals and outsourcing also enhanced change. Lord King was able to hire an accounting professional who was able to efficiently carry out organizational accounting procedures and articulate the various reforms that would ensure organizational success.

How did they transform themselves? (E.g. key steps and sequence, risks)

The BA organizational transformation occurred as a process that involved various steps. The need for a new chairman was articulated, who even though he lacked engineering qualifications formed various strategies for the organization (Hayes, 2018). The recognition of the need to deploy some employees as an escape plan was also an important step, which was then followed by important international and domestic networks as well as hiring an accounting professional.

Various risks were also taken during the transformation, among them being the closure of various airlines, cargo flight halting and sale, retrieving employees among others (Jick & Peiperl, 2011). Despite the risk, these decisions proved to be successful and hence enhanced organizational productivity within a short period of one decade.

What would you have done differently?

The procedures for change used by Lord King were very important and efficient towards enhancing BA services and hence enhancing organizational profits. In my case, instead of retrieving a large number of employees, I would ensure adequate training to the employees to maximize their ability to comprehend the organizational changes. Monitoring and evaluation of performance would ensure that the employee actions conform to the articulated changes. Redefinition of the organizational culture would also induce important changes. Provision of directions and employee job description would also enhance employee performance and satisfaction and therefore transforming the organization.

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