Organisational Culture Change in British Airways

It is also one of the world’s longest established airlines… British Airways disposes of a well-established International reputation, it is therefore pertinent to analyses the company’s process to cultural changes. Similarly to other airlines companies. It has suffered from the contemporary economical recession and had to face the crisis. In order to respond to the latter, the company used organizational culture change. Furthermore, it is important to look at the concept of organizational culture in order to acquire a better understanding of the situation.

According to Jacques (1952) “The culture of the factory is its customary and traditional way of hinging and doing things, which is shared to a greater or lesser degree by all Its members, and which new members must learn, and at least partially accept, In order to be accepted Into service In the firm. Culture In this sense covers a wide range of behavior… ” In other words, the concept of cultural organization possesses a strong historical background.

Jacques (1952) compares it to an educational process, which indoctrinates all the members of a company. Standardizing these third parties’ behavior and way of thinking. Terms of reference To analyses the type of culture existing within British Airways * To examine the reputation of culture within British Airways * To determine if there is or not a necessity for cultural change within British Airways * To assist British Airways in their transitions from one culture to another if a culture change is required.

Literature survey I en alma AT tans research report Is to analyses Brattles Airways’ process AT cultural perpetuation and to determine British Airways needs to change its culture. Several theories have been developed in order to explain the cultural procedure. The perpetuation of the culture According to Andrew Brown (1998, p. 55) there a 3 phases to the transition of the culture in an organization: Predilection: This phase takes place before the company hires the being. The party effectuates research about the company.

Following the researches they choose (or not) to apply to become part of the organization. * Solicitation: During this stage, new recruits learn more about the culture of the organization, the beliefs, the norms, the values, * Solicitation is a vague procedure that leads to incorporation or a rejection of the recruit. * Incorporation/re]section: This phase is conclusive; the recruit is either inserted or excluded from the enterprise. Due to its 90 years of history, British airways dispose of a complex solicitation reoccurred that elaborates the adaptation of the new recruits.

The occurrence of culture change Greet Hefted and Cert. Jan Hefted (2005, p. 312) stated that before concluding if there is or not an obligation for culture change, it is important to take into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of the present culture, to define if the present culture can be long-lasting; If the leaders want to establish a new culture and if it is possible to install a new culture in the organization. It is also essential to estimate reliably the costs that a new culture would generate as well as the benefits it will provide to the company, etc.

These questions must inevitably be answered to intend to change the culture. According to Scheme (2003, p. 294) the mechanism of change depends on the stage of the organization’s development. There are 2 central procedures of development: * General Evolution: general evolution implies a development of the entire company in general. * Specific Evolution: Specific evolution concerns the development of defined sectors of the company. Success in organizational culture transition Brown (1998, p. 46) explains that a culture transition is considered successful if it solves the dilemmas generated by the crisis the organization is facing. In the other case, if the new culture does not engender honorable results, it will lead to a rejection of the recent culture. Culture and leadership Scheme (2003, p. 291) stated that in organizations, leaders create culture. Scheme also mare Tanat ten culture proceeds Trot tenure sources: D Ana values AT the creator of the company II. The experience of the employees Ill. The new beliefs and values of the new employees and leaders On the word of Capon (2000, p. 24) the culture of an organization is the result of a blend of several external cultures brought by each employee, which makes every organizational culture unique. Scheme and Capon consider that the organizational culture is internal and external . According to Needle (1988, p. 77) the leader’s role in the cultural transition is indispensable. The leader guides the firm and the employees through the crisis, the changing processes, etc. Hefted & Jan Hefted (2005, p. 311) developed Professor Bernhard white’s theory.

The professor stated that successful organizational culture transition is the result of a coalition between the Monochromatic (the leader) and the facilitator (the expert). Culture change at British Airways British airways previous culture transition (in 1987) was based on Linen’s Unfreezing, change, and refreezing” theory as Brown (1998 p. 140) explains: Unfreezing: The unfreezing process is the stage during which the company realizes that there is a need for change. It is a stage of preparation. * Change: stage during which the changes occur.

This stage is uncertain, the company is not aware of the consequences these changes can generate in the future. * Refreezing: Stage of stabilization, the organization focuses on maintaining stability. The changes become part of the culture. Methodology This report is based on several sources of information: Notably, British Airways official website: www. Brainwashes. Co. UK. The website is formal, and contains accurate information. Although, its content cannot be considered as objective due to the fact that it has been created by the company.

Thus, intends that the information displayed are the ones British Airways chose to diffuse. The B. A annual report also disposes of information but there is still a possible subjectivity on the reports’ data. Southampton Solvent Library database contains many articles and studies on BAA . Multiple newspapers such as The Guardian and The Daily Mail dispose of numerous articles on the topic. Culture Change: The information about culture change were found in the multiple books named in the Reference section.

Results Linen’s “Unfreezing- Change- Refreezing” Theory: Kurt Lenin considered that organizational change occurs through 3 phases: 1 1 en entrepreneur: Awareness appears,ten leaders take conscience AT ten excellent problem. There are two categories of unfreezing rites: The rites of questioning and destruction 0 which requires to present evidences that employees or system do not function appropriately. This rites sometimes demands the intervention of external consultant due to the fact that their opinion about the individuals or the company will be more objective.

The rites of rationalization and legitimating 0 the individuals concerned by the changes must explain why they are essential to the company. Training and education programs are vital to the Unfreezing process. 2. The change: Is the stage where change appears. There are two types in this phase: The rites of degradation and conflict 0 during these rites, the staff unable or unwilling to recognize and approve the need for change will be replaced by more cooperative personnel. The rites of passage and enhancement 0 these rites are employed to confront the opposition to change.

Several methods such as promotions, training programs and new Job titles are applied. The innovations become more understandable to the employees, during this period of transition. 3. The refreezing: Is the final stage of Linen’s theory. The employees attempt to dissolve instability, they are now accustomed to the changes, there is no requirement for external consultancies, The refreezing phase contains only one type of rites, The rites of integration and conflict reduction these rites create conformity in the organization, minimize the misunderstandings between the personnel and the departments.

Also these rites stabilize the changing process. To illustrate Linen’s theory, an analysis of British Airways previous cultural change is going to be examined. Linen’s theory applied within British Airways, Brown (1998, p. 144) In the 1980, under the Thatcher’s government, British Airways metamorphosed from a governmental possession too private ownership. According to various external opinions, this conversion required a cultural change. The cultural change materialized through Linen’s “Unfreezing-change-Refreezing” theory.

Unfreezing awhile the unfreezing process, three major stages were defined. First of all, the decrease of the number of response, 22 000 employees were dismissed. Second of all, new leaders were selected, Loran Klan as cameraman Ana Colon Marshall as c o Humanly, ten training program “Putting people first” was specially created for the personnel in direct contact with the costumers to ameliorate the quality of their service. Change DOT assist this phase, many training programs as “Managing People First” and “Leading The Service business” were utilized in British Airways” special training centre.

Personal feedbacks were available to each employee, in order to improve their performances. Defective systems were withdrawn. Refreezing 0 This stage consists in fixing the changes. The changes are part of the culture, new uniforms are utilized, airplanes are ameliorated. To conclude, this transition was successful but it has not been effortless. During the early stage, several employees were not convinced by the changes. Professor Bernhard White’s theory This theory states that the leader and the expert have the capacity to make a transition successful if they cooperate.

Discussion The results show that British Airways have a constant need to modify the culture due to the fact that the organization is continually confronting a crisis or a major tutorial change. In effect, British Airways was first a government property, in 1987, the government decided to privative British Airways. The company was then obliged to change its culture in order to facilitate the ownership transition. External advisers were required, new leaders were designated; personnel programs to train employees were created, the workforce was decreased to minimize the expenses of the company.

Economical crisis: The economic recession originated in the United States of America has also reached Europe and has weakened several European countries and companies. British Airways was certainly no exception. British Airways as well as many other British enterprises have been severely affected by the financial crisis. The company lost an important amount capital and had to dismiss several employees. Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive, stated: “The airline industry is enduring the toughest times in its history and we expect more pain before things improve.

We are taking the right short-term action to survive the downturn. We will not let this crisis compromise our long-term goal-to create a world-leading global premium airline with a reputation for being the very best at meeting its customers’ needs. ” (British Airways 2008/2009 annual report and accounts)” The company is aware of the difficulty they are confronted to. British Airways exposes volition to overcome these difficulties. The company demonstrates an optimistic blew. Brattles Already NAS developed awareness towards the hardship the financial crisis has generated.

By admitting their issues, British Airways has crossed the first step of the Linen’s theory. From that moment the company will have to make an important decision that will have a significant influence on its future and on its employees. The enterprise will have to decide whether or not there is a need to alter its organizational culture. Environmental crisis: British airways as well as many other airlines companies had to face the environmental crisis due to the consciousness raising about the climate change.

In effect, human beings are aware that they are maltreating the planet, they have expressed they volition to minimize gas emissions. Knowing that the airline industry is by far the most pollutant, numerous of clients and potential clients minimized their travels by plane. To face this type of crisis, British airways will have to invest funds in the research of new technologies in order to later replace fuel by environmental friendly combustible. In April 2010, British airways as well as every other airline company had to face a major environmental issue.

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