Running head: VALUES AND ETHICS: SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Values and Ethics: Southwest Airlines
University of Phoenix
Personal values and organizational values are important concerning decisions for any company. Those values and the decision-making style of one team member, based on the Williams Institute Ethics Awareness Inventory Assessment, correlates with the organizational style of Southwest Airlines, as discussed in this paper. Ethics, values, and character are critical components of any successful company. Companies that operate by any different perspective usually are unsuccessful. The challenge of any manager is to make sure that all his or her employees ...view middle of the document...
” Although people may have their personal values that have developed from either heredity or environment, personal values can affect the decision making process. Companies follow the same principles. Though the values of an organization are not hereditary, companies too, have a set values based on the structure of the institute. In some cases, corporations will publish the difference between wrong and right in their employee handbook. The struggle becomes personal when our philosophy on ethics and values do not mirror the company I work for.
Southwest Airlines Ethics in Connection with Peter’s Results
After reading Peter’s results from the Williams Institute ethical awareness assessment, his ethical views fall right in line with Southwest Airlines. The assessment revealed that
Peter’s perspective was based on what is always best for the company. For example, after the events on nine 11, the airline industry was paralyzed. Southwest was the only airline not to announce layoffs. They could have used that opportunity to squeeze more profits and lower costs. They did not approach their employees and ask for pay cuts or reduce their benefits; they continued to deliver positively outrageous service (POS) to their customers.
Because Herb Kelleher (the original Chief Executive Officer), instituted a values-based leadership program where employees were rewarded for their hard work.”(Kim, Lignin, McKinney, Norris, & Owens, 1996, et al. Para 12).” Kelleher also believed that he was not the only visionary at Southwest Airlines. Kelleher was unique regarding his employees reaching their full potential. This point was driven home during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, airlines across the industry faced escalating fuel prices. Employees within the company wanted to keep the planes in the air and providing customers with legendary customer service. While other airlines were laying employees off and raising ticket prices, Southwest did the opposite. The idea was for employees to donate money from their paychecks back to the company to help offset the rise in fuel costs. Over 95 percent of all employees participated in this temporary program where they eliminated the choice of increasing ticket prices to help pay for fuel.
In comparing Peter’s ethics and those demonstrated over the last 40 years by Southwest Airlines, one word stands out and that is “benevolence”, which means to do good things for others. Southwest has been living by that philosophy since its inception. The second example created was a program where employees can contribute money directly from their paychecks that would be used to help other employees in peril. The third example, a spouse of an employee became very sick and eventually died. This foundation gave her a grant to help offset the costs of the funeral and other expenses. A panel of employees will review each case distributes the monies case-by-case. These are just a sample of the good, ethical steps...