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British Airways Abstract and Plan

Essay by   •  April 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  923 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,946 Views

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The purpose of this assignment will be to analyse the threats and opportunities involved in the culture change at British Airways (BA) and how in recent years the airline has suffered a range of problems, some self inflicted, some outside their control. The assignment will focus on the triggers for change in the internal and external environments and whether the strategy adopted by the new chairman and corporate managers changed the values, practices and relationships throughout the company.

The argument being presented will be to what extent the culture change program at British Airways addressed employee's basic underlying beliefs as well as their practices and whether the new strategy imposed altered the core beliefs of the organisation in a beneficial way. The assignment will also focus briefly on the need for change and the methods planned to achieve the change whilst critically analysing the adopted strategies undertaken by the newly appointed chairman.

Lewin's 3 stage model of unfreezing, movement and refreezing is a fundamental model for addresses issues of change which will be discussed further in the assignment as well as focusing on Kanter's (1989) five key incentives to encourage high performance and the common causes for resistance to change which Arthur Bedeian et al (1980) gives us.


The structure of this assignment will be to firstly outline the financial difficulties BA faced in the last decade and how in recent years the airline business has suffered a range of problems, some self inflicted and some outside its control. Secondly the assignment will view why a transformational change was needed in the way the business was run to require longer-term success by appointing the new CEO, Willie Walsh, to implement a number of strategies . Finally the assignment will examine the issues when implementing the change and if BA managed the change effectively.

The assessment will also evaluate whether the new chairman is portraying mixed messages about the direction of British Airways and if the changes introduced were successful and will continue to be successful in the future.

Details of the approach adopted by the change agent, Willie Walsh, using the model by Schein suggests that the primary model of consulting was that of Doctor-patient in the sense that the BA (the client) knew that something was seriously wrong but was unsure of the best solution to fix it. Therefore Willie Walsh (the consultant) was hired to make a diagnosis and to provide a prescription for a solution to the problem and in this case to implement the prescription also as an internal consultant. BA knew the financial problems they faced in particular areas of the organisation and brought in a consultant to solve the issues. Since the consultant was hired permanently, the client must trust the diagnosis and accept the consequences.




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