Why Organizational Behavior Matters

Southwest Airlines continues to be profitable in an industry that is generally unprofitable and saturated. Founded in 1967 to serve just three cities in Texas, Southwest Airlines has grown to be the fifth-largest U.S. airline, serving over 50 million customers a year. Its mission is to provide the highest quality of customer service and to hire employees dedicated to providing such service.

Analysis Southwest Airlines has succeeded by being people-focused. To achieve its mission of customer service, it hires people “for attitude and trains for skill.” The employee’s rate Southwest Airlines as a great place to work and in turn are motivated to provide the highest level of customer service. When flight delays or technological problems have emerged, the employees willingly went above and beyond to serve the customers. Putting people first has rewarded Southwest Airlines with earnings that exceed industry averages.

Case Questions 1. Describe how Southwest Airlines builds its human capital. 2. What differentiates Southwest from any other airline? 3. What kinds of human skills is Southwest Airlines looking for in potential