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Tutorial Week 6: Case Study - Leaders and Followers

Flying High at Pancontinental Airways

Excellent customer service is all important at Pancontinental Airways (PA). A sense of fun pervades the Australian based company with the hope that this will spread throughout the organisation and impact the all important relationship with PAs customers. For PA central to the organisation/customer relationship is the recruitment, training and development and retention of staff based on a strong collegiate culture between the organisational leaders and followers.

The organisation also has a very visible `fun presence` clearly seen in for example the colourful external paintjobs on the company`s aircraft and the behaviour of staff throughout the company from the Managing Director (MD) through to operational staff including flight attendants.

The MD, Henry Callahan, is oft quoted as saying that `getting the right people in the right place at the right time is key to PAs success`. For him you cannot develop what is not inherent in individuals and so the company actively recruits those it considers to have the `right attitude`. The specific task training will then develop the already present personal qualities of staff.

Within the industry PA, and Callahan in particular, has a reputation for `wacky behaviour`. Shareholders too have to agree that these tactics seem to be paying off. The company`s turnover in the last decade to 2010 has almost doubled and customer satisfaction ratings are consistently at the top of the airline league tables. In instilling a sense of fun the company has a strong corporate identity easily recognisable worldwide and the cut-throat business of the airline industry seems to be a million miles away from the day to day `family` feeling among employees.

PA stands out from the crowd in having low staff turnover rates and high commitment from…...

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