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Analysis of Organization: British Airways By T.Raktabutr (20 Dec 06) 1) Introduction

This report is written to give details about organisation overview and organisation process of British Airways Plc. and provide the critical analysis on the organisation process. First, it will look at company profile and the history of the organisation including the organisational chart in order to give an overview of organisation and then will explore the evolution of the organisation. Next, it will continue to focus on the organisational processes including (1) Change within organisation (2) Organisational Culture (3) Recruitment, Job Placement, Training and Promotion Policy. These organisational processes will be provided in details regarding what are organisational change, HR policy, and organisational culture? How these processes are related and affected in each other? Moreover, it will critically organisation on these processes in order to know their problems and benefits toward the organisation. Finally, it will give recommendations for the organisation to use as a guideline to deal with organisational process in the future. 2) Company Profile British Airways (BA) is the world¶s leading international airline in United Kingdom which provides international and domestic air services for passenger and cargo. BA has airline route which approximately comprise of 150 destinations in 75 countries including North America, Central and Latin America (plus Spain), Western Europe, North and Eastern Europe (plus the Eastern Mediterranean), Africa, and Asia. The corporate headquarter is located in London and its main hubs are London Heathrow airport and Gatwick airport which both short haul and long haul flight are operated in these airports. (Datamonitor, 2005) Moreover, BA has more than 280 aircrafts, which mainly are Airbus and Boeing jets and it has more than 40,000 employees to work for the company. (Hoovers, 2006)

BA ran the financial problem and Sir John King (the former CEO) was appointed to handle privatization project which the privatization was successfully transformed the organisation in 1987. and so forth. and so on (Buchanan D. 2004) When these triggers have an impact on BA. For other managers. Next. Investment & Alliances. two airlines between British Airways and Imperial Airline merged together and formed new subsidiary companies which are the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) to provide the international long haul services and the British European Airways (BEA) to operate short haul service in Europe. (Datamonitor. 2006) In 1974. Commerce.1) Organisational Chart For organisation chart. legislation and government policies. change in customers¶ requirement and tastes. Ground Operation. the company responded by initiating ³Privatization´ program to change the ownership of the company from the government to the private sector. Finance. Engineering. the organisation has divided management-level positions into ten departments and each department has own subordinates. 3) History of Organisation The history of BA is traced back into 1930s-1940s.. new ideas about how to deliver services to customers. appointment of a new senior manager. 2004) The head of the company is Mr. The factors that initiate the need for organisational change can be categorized into two factors. BOAC and BEA were combined together and was operated under one company ³British Airways´. Flight Operation. & Huczynski A. and Human Resource. 2005) 4) Change Within Organisation Most organisations will adapt themselves when internal and external environments change. The first factor is ³External Trigger´ which is activities and innovations of competitors. (Buchanan D. & Huczynski A. the structure of organisation is flat type because it has only one level of hierarchy that separates Managing Directors at the top from bottom-line employees. in the early 1980s. William M. (Papadogiannis. Walsh.. At the beginning of the Second World War. The second factor is ³Internal Trigger´ including new product and service design innovations. This program has a purpose to improve the organisation performance in order to . he is working as a Chief Executive position. Currently.2. Law. The organisation¶s departments include Planning. IT.

. (Shibata. K. According to Lewin¶s model of change. gave more autonomy to operating people. The final stage is ³Refreezing´ which is stabilizing change at the new level and reinforcement through supporting mechanisms. For example. (Shibata.300 to 35. BA has a tremendous change within its organisation which is ³Privatization´ project. and so on. BA implemented ³Downsizing of Workforce´ policy in order to restructure the organisation which made the company to cut down the number of employee from 52. These are reasons why BA decided to make change within organisation.000. Moreover.. (Mullins.2) Lewin¶s Change Model in British Airways According to Lewin. the second stage is ³Movement´ which is the development of new attitudes or behavior and the implementation of the change. corporate culture.. K. 1993) The privatization made BA to change many things in organisation such as organisational structure. Next. It is a long term debt which is worth more than £1 billion and the British government was not willing to give public money to wipe out company¶s debt because of the fear of criticism. this policy reduced hierarchical levels.1) Privatization in British Airways In 1980s. At that time. change within organisation will occur in three stages. Unfreezing Stage The first step of organisational change in BA is to unfreeze present pattern of behavior as a way of managing resistance to change.overcome with fierce competitors. movement.. the company faced the financial problem. organisational change made an impact on individual level. The first stage is ³Unfreezing´ which is reducing the forces of change which maintain behavior in its present form. As a result. 1999) 4. there are three stages of change in organisation including unfreezing. 4. Early retirement which is another policy to reduce . the growth of airline deregulation that allows companies in airline industry to set fares and start or cease service on route as their desirability made problems for BA to overcome with other competitors. and refreezing which can make both positive and negative affect on employees and organisational structure. the downsizing policy was accomplished with compassion. and allowed work to get done more easily which it would finally improve organisation performance. J. In this stage. recognition of the need for change and improvement to occur. L.. 1993) At that time. mission statement.

.. large. Furthermore. In this stage. In the privatization period... a number of internal British Airways structures and systems were changed such as new bonus system and the opening of Terminal 4 at Heathrow airport.. BA¶s symbols were introduced to support those changes such as new employee¶s uniforms. R. & Burke. W. According to privatization. L. it changed corporate culture from bureaucratic and militaristic to service-oriented and market-driven which it made the company to be effective in the airline industry. D. Job Placement. Colin Marshall was appointed to be CEO by Sir John King which the appointment of new CEO made the old corporate culture disappeared and replaced by new culture which focused more on marketing and customer service. To support this stage. D.. BA was considered to be bureaucratic. Moreover.. awkward. Besides. For example. (Goodstein.. a new corporate coat of arms with the motto ³We fly to serve´. (Poole. Training and Promotion Policy In the past. the company involved in making any change to be actual which the company developed tactics and programs to bring the vision of the top management-level to the bottom-line employees throughout the organisation.. L. and inefficient. W. (Goodstein. In this stage. the company had to stabilize changes by establishing systems that can make behavioral pattern in the organisation. W. & Burke. and so forth. 1991) 5) Recruitment.employee was introduced in this stage and it was got a good response from many employees. 1991) Movement Stage The second stage of Lewin¶s Model is movement. (Goodstein.. W. refurbished aircrafts. BA also purchased Chartridge House as a permanent BA Training center to permit an increase in and integration of staff training.. 1991) Refreezing Stage The final stage is Refreezing. & Burke.. To support this stage. D. a new performance appraisal system based on behavior and results was created to emphasize customer service and subordinate development. W. 1988) These changes also involve in HR Policy as following. W. there was major change in BA¶s top management.. BA introduced new training programs such as ³Putting People First´ and ³Managing People First´ to help line workers and managers to understand the nature of the airline industry services. . L.

D. 1991). BA developed assessment methods in recruitment and job placement process for new entry-level and senior-level positions such as group exercises. team working skills and so forth. & Burke. BA had to stabilize changes and make the behavioral pattern in the organisation. passion for customer service. strong leadership qualities.. BA launched a new training program which is ³Putting People First´ for bottom-line employee. Using competency-based interview made BA to ensure that candidates will be successful in their job and they will be fitted in new organisational system. in the movement stage.5. As a result.. W. Next. and knowledge.1) Recruitment. presentations. 2006) 5. psychometric tests. For instance. BA also introduced a special training program which is ³Managing People First´ for management-level employees as well. BA needed to redesign and improve the recruitment policy and process in order to increase new employees who will be able to share organisation¶s new management style and value system. therefore. Job Placement Policy Recruitment and job placement policy involved in ³Refreezing´ stage of Lewin¶s model. L. W. 2006) Therefore. Employee Recruitment Scheme and Process In recruitment and job placement policy. (British Airways. All training programs had objectives to identify the organisation¶s dysfunction management style and begin the process of developing a new management style that would fit BA¶s new and competitive environment.2) Training and Promotion Policy Organisational change (privatization) transformed BA to be more service airline industry that emphasize on customer service. (Goodstein. & Burke.. selecting right people to work in business field. BA need to focus on high motivation. BA developed recruitment methodology which is based on looking at competencies of candidates including behaviors.. (British Airways. (Goodstein. W. W. According to the unfreezing stage. BA changed the recruitment and job placement policy which supported by equality and diversity concept to identify right candidates to fit in new system. L.. For achieving this objective. 1991) ³Putting People First´ Program . BA had to stop present pattern and introduce new behavior and culture to employees. skills. According to this stage.. D. fact-finding.. the interview. and role play..

S. To ensure that change became ³fixed´ in the system. (Goodstein. the awareness of customers¶ expectations. W.. W. BA launched a training program ³Putting People First´ that aimed to create employees¶ awareness regarding marketplace and competition and educate employee to know the importance of teamwork. BA successfully changed to be private company because there was one factor that facilitated change within organisation which is ³Employee Promotion´ policy. 1991) 6) Organisational Culture It is difficult to define what organisational culture is but the most popular way to explain organisational culture is to consider each organisation and try to describe ³how thing are done around here´ because each organisation has . L. this program might make the organisation to reach the goal in order to be the best and most successful company in the airline industry. One of programs that were implemented during this stage was a special training program ³Managing People First´ for management level. 2006) Employee Promotion Policy In 1987. The module of the program includes training.. As a result.. BA changed itself to be a market-led company rather than a process-driven company as it had in the past. support team.. BA¶s top management levels used promotion policy to promote employee who clearly was a role model of the new BA values in higher level. D. To achieve this objective.. After participating. (Tosti. active senior management participation. 1994) ³Managing People First´ Program In the second stage of change (Movement).. M.According to corporate goal. In the privatization period. BA wanted to be ³The World¶s Favorite Airline´ in the airline industry. and also the contribution of each individual makes to organisation. & Jackson. (Street. and a linked performance appraisal system. F.. multisource feedback.. BA needed to bring vision of the top management into its employee. T. & Burke. some top management-levels state that this program made BA to have a new leadership which focuses on customer service and this is the key factor in better customer retention and it can increase more revenue. This strategy was used for promoting employees especially in higher management-levels to cement the new belief and value in organisation. D.

and attitudes that constitute a pervasive context for everything we do and think in an organisation´. . the organisation tended to focus safety operation only and lacked of service and market-led oriented (Salama. organisational culture is ³the collection of traditions.a different culture. Besides.1) Cultural Change in British Airways Organisational culture is very important for an organisation today for setting organisation¶s direction and creating tradition. an organisation must adapt its present culture in order to survive in the industry. the organisation¶s structure and system). bureaucratic. the increase in competitive competitors. most employees feel that they are arrogant which the concept of customer-oriented hardly find in these employees. BA¶s Culture (Prevailing/Post-Privatization Decision) After privatization. M. Importantly. it leads the organisation run into crash and faced the financial problem. BA tried to introduce new corporate and mission into the organisation by launching many new training programs and new appraisal system to stimulate new changes in order to improve organisation performance. 1999) 6. 1994) BA¶s Culture (Historical/Pre-Privatization Decision) Prior to privatization. & Easterby-Smith. (Mullins. & Easterby-Smith. therefore. employees such as pilots and managers were recruited from the Royal Air Force (RAF) which the organisation belongs to the government. This made the organisation not believe in participative management. policies. belief.. Organisational culture is considered to be a central to company¶s change and revitalization. 1994) As a result. A. management-levels usually encouraged formality within organisation to keep themselves away from staff. and building harmony within organisation. belief. New corporate cultures include informality.. authoritarian. It is because not only corporate culture itself but also the competitors in the industry which enable to provide better service to customer superior compared to BA. When organisation¶s external or internal environments change (for instance. BA¶s culture was considered to be technically biased. At that time. and belief for its employees to behave. To explain easily. A. and value. and the relationship between employees and management-level is impersonal. (Salama. values. M. value. BA replaced some of its main historical values and beliefs by new corporate culture and mission.

1991) In the history of BA. For example. Although. Any change in organisation sometime leads to have a resistance from its employees. W. but when a difficult decision arises. 1994) It is necessary for an organisation to adapt itself when external environment changes in order to survive. and 4) Low tolerance for change. (Goodstein. HR policy is an effective tool to educate employee and convince them to comply with new system. These companies used pricing . BA has an effective HR policy to facilitate change and manage resistance from its employees. The table below shows company¶s characteristics from the historical period to prevailing period or post-privatization decision. (Salama. It is obvious that. 2004) In privatization era.. after privatization. 7) Recommendation It is general accepted that it is not easy for any organisation to make changes in its structure and system. L. the loss of company¶s profit reduced from £466 million in 1982 to £225 million in 1987. customer/commercially-oriented. W. & Burke.innovation. For instance. & Easterby-Smith. A. 3) Contradictory assessments.. it may not be possible to get a consensus decision. For example.. BA needed employees to have more participation in management decision. BA tried to change corporate mission from ³To be a safe airline´ to ³To be a competitive airline´ in responding to the change of the external environment. Tactic that was used in BA to manage conflict and resistance mostly was HR policy such as training policy. Change could be resisted because it involves confrontation with the unknown and loss of the familiar which Arthur Bedeian cites that there are four reasons of resistance from employee to organisational change including 1) Parochial self-interest. D. BA tried to change behavior both in individual and organisational levels such as changing the management style from authoritative to participative. (Buchanan D. participative management and so forth. many new competitors emerged to overcome with incumbents in the airline industry such as Easyjet and Ryanair. hence.. New behavior or pattern sometime make employee feel awkward and unfamiliar that it can make them to reject and slip back to the familiar and comfortable pattern instead... & Huczynski A. there is still a case regarding organisational change in BA. M. during 1990s. 2) Misunderstanding and lack of trust. there are evidences that BA put an effort to deal with chaos and resistance during the organisational change period. changes in culture and mission are done for transforming an organisation to be the effective organisation in the industry and for improving organisation performance in order to overcome with fierce competitors.

recruitment. reducing labor cost in both non-core staff and core staff by recruiting newly hired employees on lower pay to replace existing staff. (Bhardwaj. However. Another way to help organisational change is to use ³Change Agent´ which the change agent is a person who leads a change project by defining. 2002) Many organisations including BA desire to make change in their organisation when problems arise and they is seeking means to make change successfully in the harmless or less conflict way. and the ability to develop high trust relationships. it force BA to adapt itself such as corporate culture. belief. Although.strategy to gain the market share from existing companies. A.. 8) Conclusion British Airways is the world¶s leading airline which has a long history regarding organisational change. BA often used HR tool such as manpower planning. Finally. & Grugulis. this may result in solving not effective as an external consultant who has less bias and broader view (The International Department Research Center.. HR policy is not only effective tool to make successfully change in organisation. researching. and company mission in order to improve the organisation¶s performance. the strike occurred and cost BA £125 million especially employee morale never entirely recovered since then. I. 2004) To use an external change agent is another way to handle change project effectively. and restructuring payment system. planning. Because of internal and external pressure. & Huczynski A. BA¶s CEO declared that the organisation itself may need a second revolution. building business support. (Buchanan D. In the past. and training policy to facilitate change and reduce resistance.. an external change agent may possess some skills and specific knowledge that can be handled management project effectively such as workindependently. some employees feel that it is unfair and unsecured in their jobs. value. (Wilkinson. 2003) Change agent is external consultant that an organisation hires him/her to take responsibility for a specific project or sometime is a manager in the organisation who combines change responsibilities with their regular duties. To response this threat. M. BA tied to counter with the threat by sourcing new alliance with American Airlines. BA claimed that this is done for majority and for improving organisation performance and benefit in 2000. . effective collaborator. first. It is better to use the change agent especially external consultant to handle organisational change because. 2004) but internal consultant may have more bias and narrow view.

britishairwaysjobs. 2004. http://www... Change Agent. Hoovers. 2003. but there was a strike case occurred during that time. 2006. Bibliography & Burke.. the other way to help any organisation to facilitate change is to use ³Change Agent´ which it is better to use external consultant than internal consultant. It seems that privatization in BA is success in 1987.. 2006.. Organizational Dynamic. http://www. (21 December 2006) Goodstein. W. (22 December 2006) Buchanan. Leaders For Business: What are we looking for?. ³Creating Successful Organization Change´. & Huczynski. which gave an expensive lesson to BA in 1990s.htm (27 December 2006) British Airways. Datamonitor.. 19 (4): (22 December 2006) . M. Finally. Our Recruitment Process: The Assessment (22 December 2006) British Airways. D. The most popular tool to handle and facilitate change and resistance is HR policy. Organizational Behaviour: An Introductory Text (5th edn). D. 2005. Pearson Education Limited. http://www. http://web. http://www. L.xhtml (11 December 2006) The International Development Research Centre. 2006. British Airways Plc: Company Profile.Organisational change gave a huge impact on organisation both individual and organisational levels which create positive and negative effect on organisation.idrc.. W. Essex. Selecting and Managing an Evaluation Consultant or Team.. A. British Airways Plc.

.pdf (17 December 2006) Wilkinson. http://www. 23 (3): 21-33.. 1993.. 2006. My worry is he's having victims using the name of your organization. Management and Organisational Behaviour (5th edn). J.html (18 December 2006) Salama. Shibata.. Managing Culture at British Airways: Hype.. K. Posted by Thanabut at 15:30 Labels: Academic Writing 2 comments: Anonymous said.. asking 400$ for the visa. D. http://www... Street.. Privatization of British Airways: Its Management and Politics 1982 ± 1987. M. He's trying to reqruit peolpe using yahoo messenger.. Tosti.isil. A. 28 March 2009 20:15 . EPU. L. 1999. Training for Quality. T. & Easterby-Smith. There's someone named Mr. D. Hope and Reality. M. F. Florence. R. British Airways Information. Smith representing himself as a reqruiting manager at British Airways. 93/9. http://www. Financial Times Management. Papadogiannis. I'm bringing this to your atention for you to make actions.. Personnel Review. 2002. EUI working paper.Mullins.aspx (20 December 2006) Poole. European University Institute. Training People to Deliver Service Excellence in British 35 (2002): 179-194. 1994. & Jackson. S. 2 (3): 18-21. 1994.. Targeted leadership. And the worst thing is he's using the name of God. London. 2006. no. Long Range Planning Journal. I..vanguardc.aircraftphotos. Privatization: Providing Better Services With Lower Taxes. Cultural Change and Managerial Careers. & Grugulis.

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