October 14, 2014
Organizational Behavior and Communication
In this synopsis, Southwest Airlines and its stated mission, vision, and values statements will be held in comparison to the company’s enacted values, mission, and vision are. Also discussed are whether those proposed and enacted values are in alignment, the extent to which communication is determined by the culture, how communication plays in the perception of the organization, how misalignment of the values may affect the perceptions, and also how conflicts may be used to improve communication.
Mission, Vision, and Values
Southwest Airlines’ mission towards its customers is “to have the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit” (Southwest Airlines, 1988). Their mission toward employees is “to provide our employees with a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, employees will be provided with the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer” (Southwest Airlines Co, 1988). The company’s vision “is to expand our locations both domestic and overseas by being the largest and most profitable airline company to achieve both short and long-haul carriers efficiently and with low cost. Also to be an airline carrier that has the most productive workforce to guarantee the best flight possible for each and every passenger” (Southwest Airlines Vision Statement, 2009). Also, the values stated within the company are compiled into three distinct sayings and proceed as followed: employees need to have a warrior spirit, a servant’s heart and a fun-loving attitude. The “Warrior Spirit” wants employees to “work hard, desire to be the best, be courageous, display urgency, persevere, and be innovative” (Southwest Airlines Co, 2012). A servant’s heart wants employees to “follow the golden rule, adhere to the principles, treat others with respect, putting others first, be egalitarian, demonstrate proactive customer service, and embrace the SWA family” (Southwest Airlines Co, 2012). Employees are encouraged to have a fun-loving attitude that includes “having fun, not taking oneself too seriously, maintaining perspective, celebrating successes, enjoying your work, and being a passionate team player” (Southwest Airlines Co, 2012). Southwest holds true to these values and does all that it can to ensure that also its stated values are indeed the one’s the company is upholding and holds each employee to.
Culture and Communication
Both the stated and enacted values are well aligned with each other and they’re set to have employees work the hardest that they can so as to create a good atmosphere for customers. It’s that very same focus that encourages customers to make their time with the airline enjoyable and also to maintain a fun and enjoyable atmosphere, amongst themselves and other guests. The company has also set its values to be in line with the cultural behavior of the company. The Young (n.d.) website states that the company creates the best culture it can by first hiring the best people they can find. The company looks for specific type of people with specific attributes to lend to the culture of the company and to keep its values on track. Southwest teaches its employee what exactly is expected of him or her and how things are to be done in such a way that’s not too much of a stretch from normal day-to-day attitudes.
Any successful organization needs communication to help it run smoothly and effectively, and Southwest is no different. The communication at Southwest is open and free flowing among levels of employees and management. By conveying with each