Computers and Technology
Submitted By areejahmedassiri
THE MERGER OF AIRTRAN BY SOUTHWEST AIRLINES:WILL THE ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURES MERGE?
Southwest’s merger with AirTran, valued at over US$3 billion, makes Southwest the fourth largest American carrier. The merger increases Southwest’s presence in a number of major cities, most notably New York (LaGuardia) and Washington D.C. (Ronald Reagan National Airport). Thanks to AirTran, it now flies into the coveted Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, the world’s busiest airport, along with a number of international vacation destinations such as Aruba,
Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Southwest has grown organically, acquiring only two other smaller carriers—Morris Air and Muse Air in the 1980s. This has made it easier to maintain its quirky identity. On the other hand, AirTran was created from several airlines, including the former ValuJet, a little over 10 years ago. It is known mostly as a low-cost, on-time carrier. The Company Culture page on AirTran’s Web site prior to the merger claimed that “loyal crew members keep AirTran airways customers soaring” who have a “timely and accommodating demeanor.” AirTran’s values included a total commitment to safety, technical excellence, continuous learning, fun and profit.21 Southwest, headquartered at Love Field in Dallas, uses the ticker symbol LUV and they use all kinds of ways to show that the “Luv” their customers. Southwest has cultivated a corporate culture that focuses on employees and customers having a good time while flying. They carefully select their employees using interviews that involve creative activities and or even asking the recruits to wear tutus. Their training program with karaoke and amusing challenges is designed to socialize the new recruits into Southwest’s fun-loving culture. According to its Web site, its cultural values are “A Warrior Spirit, A Servant’s Heart, A Fun-Luving Attitude.”22…...