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Southwest Airlines Motivational Profile Essay

2813 words - 12 pages

Southwest Airlines’ Motivational Profile

Southwest Airlines’ Motivational Profile
According to Merriam-Webster (2011), the definition of motivation is “a motivating force, stimulus, or influence” (p. 1). Based on Johmarshall Reeve’s Understanding Motivation and Emotion, this definition is widely customary by many psychologists, but what psychologists cannot agree on is what causes motivation. In fact, this topic has been on a rollercoaster ride over many decades by gaining and losing popularity of psychologists. Keeping of this in mind, some of today’s top companies keep motivation near and dear to everything that they do. The chosen organization ...view middle of the document...

The end of 1989 marked some astonishing figures for Southwest because they had a net income of more than 72 million dollars and according to Southwest Airlines (2011), “Southwest airlines reaches major carrier status in 1989! The Department of Transportation (DOT) defines Southwest airlines as a major airline whose operating revenues exceed $1 billion in a 12-month period” (p. 2).
1990 Through1999
Throughout the 1990s, Southwest airlines made some amazing milestones. One that stands out is their Kids Fly Free campaign where anyone who was 17 years or younger could fly free with at least one adult accompanying him or her from August 12, 1991 to September 8, 1992. In 1993, Southwest was named one of the 100 best companies to work for in America (Southwest, 2011, p. 3). For the remainder of the 1990s, Southwest Airlines continued to grow and at an extremely rapid pace. According to Southwest (2011),” by December 31, 1999, Southwest Airlines had a net income of $474,378,000 and had flown more than 57,500,213 passengers” (p. 4).
2000 Through 2006
Although 2001 was a tough year, all Americans and every organization because of the terrorist attack on September 11. Southwest maintained profitability and in February 2002, “the airline was ranked second in America's Most Admired Companies and the #1 Airline for 2001 by Fortune Magazine” (Southwest, 2011, p. 5). Through the next few years, Southwest Airlines’ profitability was on a rollercoaster because the new airline safety requirements by the federal government and Transportation Security Agency (TSA). However, in 2006, Southwest celebrated 35 years of flying and ended the year with a net income of $499 million and employed 32,664 personnel (Southwest, 2011, p. 5)
2007 Through Present
Over the last five years, the net income has seen a drop of nearly 50 million dollars (Yahoo Finance, 2011, p. 1), which relates to the poor economic levels in America today. Additionally, there have been a few headline articles such as the April 4, 2011, New York Times’ article, Hole in Southwest Jet Attributed to Cracks, describing how a massive hole ripped open midflight during a flight from Phoenix to Sacramento (New York Times, 2011, p. 1).
Southwest Corporate Culture and Management
According to the Co-Founder and Chairperson of Southwest Airlines, Herbert Kelleher (n.d.), "Culture is the glue that holds our organization together. It encompasses beliefs, expectations, norms, rituals, communication patterns, symbols, heroes, and reward structures. Culture is not about magic formulas and secret plans; it is a combination of a thousand things" (p. 1). Culture is the shared values and practices of the company’s employees. Herbert D. Kelleher’s leadership helped to shape Southwest Airline’s culture. Spontaneity, competitiveness, and energy, characteristics of Kelleher’s personality had a strong influence on Southwest airlines culture. Love, fun, and efficiency are the themes of the airlines culture and...

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