Changing The Culture At British Airways

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Changing the Culture at British Airways

Table of Contents

Changing the Culture at British Airways0




The old BA4

Cultural Change in BA6

Survival Plan of 19816

Image Changing of Airline6

Changing Management of Airline7

Bringing desired behavior from Executives7

New Environment7

Educational Trainings8

Visibility of change8

Seeing Change through Lewin's Model8

The British Airways Today9




British Airways, one of the best Airlines in the world, it has inspirational accounts of changing culture. Lessons need to be drawn from Change Management in British Airways because of the fact that, even after 26 years of excellence and best performance, the cultural change in organization continues to move, stimulate, excite and enlighten us with different strategies. Cultural intervention offer practitioners and business analyst solutions to organizational ills and academicians, an extraordinary framework with virtues of gloriously simple and realistic environment. In the British air ways story, one tries to rescue a fairy tale as it is the authentic, inspirational account of cultural change. This term paper will evaluate the changes made by British Airways, to bring back its glory. Also, what change management process or theory management used to apply to the organization.

Changing Culture at British Airways


British Airways came into existence as a result of merger between two UK airlines in 1935. At that time, there was no big competition in the market, and all external markets were predictable and stabilized. However, as a result of nationalization the main change in BA was the imposition of Government policies and mechanism. Another merger occurred in 1973, forming BA and making it over-staffed. Due to recession, BA in 1981 and 1983 downsized the company strategically, reducing the staff to 40%, including many senior staff members. Still, in 1980, a survey by international airlines passenger association considered British Airways in the top of the list of airlines in the worst condition. In 1980, Britain was drenched in the worst recession of its time. The external problems such as, recession and bad economy, the decaying internal problems were revealed to the public. As a consequence, the fuel cost rose, and the number of employees was reduced. British Airways in this situation ran out of funds and teetered at the verge of bankruptcy (Leahey & Kotter, 1993). In 1987, BA faced little competition on 9% of its domestic routes. Later, European markets increased regulated market share and competitiveness for BA. Due to this, British airways needed a major cultural change for survival. It could not afford such competition and was privatized in the same year (Harris, 2002).


British Airways experienced a divergent cultural change by adopting it through the process of downsizing, privatization, vision and image of the organization. Hence, British Airways interplay between culture, vision and image in relation to bring cultural change.

The old BA

The culture in former BA had some serious issues; customers were not content with the services they get. Employees were dissatisfied from organizational culture. The culture of BA did not support its vision, and Key stake holders were not in line with its vision.

In 1980, British Airways was famous for providing “Bloody Awful” services for its ...
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