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Southwest Merger with AirTran (Case Study)

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English (U.S.)
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Case Analysis

Case Questions

Layers of cultures evidence in the case

Similarities and dissimilarities between operation cultural perspectives of the two partners

How to solve the online reservation system differences between the two companies

Recommendation for integration of the information system


Southwest Merger with AirTran (Case Study)


Institution Affiliation

Case Analysis

The root problem, in this case, is the difference in the organization culture between the two merging companies (the Southwest Airline and AirTran Airline). The companies’ managements want to draft an operation policy that will accommodate the deferent operation techniques of both companies. Cappelli, Wharton management professor, considered the merger as a big bet and a risky move to take AirTran employees and dump them in the Southwest Airlines system. This is a root problem because combining the employees who have not been sufficiently orientated in the new system possess an enormous risk of poor relation and lack of coordination.

The partners may decide to maintain the respective stands during their interaction in the daily running of the company affairs. With this alternative, the decision making will be decentralized, and every partner will operate with his sets of principles. The second alternative that the partners have is to do nothing. With the prevailing traction, doing nothing will haunt the operations’ effectiveness and efficiency and develop a conflict of interest each partner seeking to control major sectors in the company. Thirdly, the partners can adopt the middle of the road solution. They can share the available cultures through assimilation and toleration of each individuals’ set of operation beliefs. Finally, they can seek an ideal solution. Centralized decision making will be the ultimate solution to this traction for both partners. Through responsibility sharing and incorporation of a system to develop hybrid structure can liberate the current situation for good.


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