Analysis Of The Success Of Cultural Change Within British Airways.

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British Airways - Cultural Change



British Airways came into existence in 1935, when smaller privately owned UK airlines merged. Another change occurred when the Government nationalised British Airways and Imperial Airways to form BOAC - The British Overseas Airways Corporation.

During this period, external markets were more stable and predictable and there was no real need for BA to adopt competitive strategies, being that there was little competition from rivals. There appears to be little in the way of strategy formulation and strategy implementation. This was mainly due to the established strategy and organisation environment remaining largely unchanged. Any change in BA's strategy would have developed in an incremental fashion, an almost natural progression. However, due to nationalisation in 1935, this resulted in a fundamental change imposing strategy within BA, and therefore subject to Government policies and machinations of the time.

In 1946, BE was established as a separate statutory corporation, its main core competency being a domestic network.

In 1973, the BOAC and BEA merged to form British Airways, leaving the airline over-staffed.

Between 1981 and 1983 BA response to this was strategic downsizing which reduced staff numbers by 40%. This included senior staff (Barsoux & Manzoni 1997a). Until 1984 BA operated a reactive style of operational and personnel management.

Pre-privatisation (1987) BA faced little competition on many routes. It controlled 60% of the UK domestic markets and only experienced competition on 9% of routes in and out of the UK (Monopolies and Mergers Commission 1987). This was mainly due to European markets being tightly regulated and market share was often dependent on negotiation skills as opposed to competitive success. Thus BA was able to charge customers what they liked.

However, all was not well within BA. In 1980, a survey by the International Airline...