Thursday, October 27, 2005

Southwest and FedEx: Their Contrasting Organizational Cultures

Both companies fly airplanes.
Both are well-known (in the US at least.)
Both do their best to keep their employees happy.
But each one of them uses a different approach.
Those companies are Southwest Airlines and FedEx.
Southwest is “the extended Italian family you knew growing up.”
FedEx is “less touchy-feely,” and “employees float on a Nile of nomenclature.”
CMO Magazine published an article in their October 2005 issue comparing the contrasting organizational cultures of these two companies, and explains how they impact service to customers.
And the reason behind their ways? Here’s a quote from the article:

Make no mistake, employee-centrism at both of these organizations does not rest on altruistic motives. “FedEx and Southwest want to treat employees well, but they still want to make a profit,” says Brenda Ellington-Booth, a clinical assistant professor of management and organization at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “And the way they make a profit is through their people.”

Great service to customers is great for business.

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