South West Airlines Case Study

Case Study Assessment

This summative assessment accounts for 90% of your final grade and is based on a case study of Southwest Airlines. The other 10% of your grade is accounted for by the end of unit tests, so it is important to make sure that you have completed these. In the assessment brief below you will find:

  • Details of the coursework assessment
  • Guidelines to assist you in answering the questions
  • The assessment marking criteria
  • Information on presentation and the submission date

You are required to conduct an analysis of the following case study and article:

Southwest Airlines by Andrew Inkpen, in:

Hitt, M.A., Ireland, R.D., Hoskisson, R.E. (2016) Strategic Management: competitiveness and globalization – concepts and cases (12thedition). Boston: Cengage Learning.

  • The objective of your case analysis will be to demonstrate your comprehensive understanding of the competitive environment in the US Airline industry, Southwest Airlines’ capabilities and core competencies, and its strategic choices at the business and corporate level.
  • If you are not familiar with the company then you can find out more about it by visiting its website, but take care – when answering the questions below, you should only use the information on Southwest that is contained in the case study.
  • You should not use alternative sources of information on the company, because it is your ability to analyse the case information provided that is being assessed.

Assignment Questions

To gain the best possible grades, please pay attention to the presentation of analysis, application of appropriate tools and use of case evidence.

  1. Using only Porter’s Five Forces model, fully analyse the competitive environment in the U.S. Airline industry based on the case study timeline.
  2. Conduct a Value Chain analysis to comprehensively assess Southwest Airlines’ capabilities. In doing so, identify, appraise and evaluate its core competencies, and argue how these core competencies underpin its choice of generic competitive strategy.
  3. Using the cultural web as discussed in the course content, describe the organisational culture at Southwest Airlines, and briefly discuss how these features might impact the successful implementation of the company’s strategic choice.
  4. At the time the case study was written, Southwest Airlines had not expanded outside the U.S., although in 2013, Southwest’s CEO remarked that “opportunities for growth now lie beyond US borders”. Evaluate possible international strategy approaches (multi-domestic, global or transnational) and select which strategy Southwest should pursue to achieve success.

To complete this assignment, review the SOE11505/SOE11405 Contemporary Issues in Strategic Management document.

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