Change So Difficult To Manage In British Airways Management Essay

Contemporary concern houses face alone chances and challenges in their hunt for endurance and growing. British Airways, the UK ‘s flag bearer air hose, has invariably had to cover with legion external and internal challenges, of all time since its formation in 1974. BA has suffered rough fiscal losingss during 2009 and 2010 ; its cumulative net losingss for the two old ages sum to around 800 million GBP. The organizational direction recognises the demand to convey in important strategic alteration in order to turn and better its market portion and competitory advantage.

The company ‘s alteration initiatives nevertheless face legion obstructions. This study examines the demand for strategic alteration at British Airways. This is followed by treatments on the necessities for successful organizational alteration, the barriers faced by the corporation in conveying about such alteration, and recommendations on the manner frontward.

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Table of Contentss

S. No



Executive Summary












Strategic Change at British Airways



Change Management Schemes



Barriers to Change at British Air passages



Recommendations and Decisions





1. Introduction

1.1. Overview

Modern twenty-four hours administrations face unprecedented chances and challenges in their pursuit for concern success and competitory advantage. Environmental alteration of astonishing and planetary dimensions has changed the landscape of modern-day concern ( Hughes, 2006, p 14 ) . Such environmental alteration, which commenced in earnest after the Second World War with the decolonization of immense populations, accelerated in ulterior old ages with the growing and subsequent prostration of the Soviet axis, the reunion of Germany, the formation of the European Union, economic liberalization across developing states, the outgrowth of China and India as economic and political powers, amazing developments in engineering, and of class globalization ( Hughes, 2006, p 14 ) . Whilst alterations in planetary environmental conditions and progresss in scientific discipline and engineering opened up legion chances to concern administrations, they besides resulted in the creative activity of legion challenges that threatened the operations and the really being of established concern houses ( Hughes, 2006, p 14 ) .

Much of the modern twenty-four hours challenges to concern administrations come from intensified competition, the outgrowth of legion new merchandises and replacements, the development of equal quality but low cost production and service Centres in the emerging economic systems and from technological progresss ( Henry, 2008, p 44 ) . The Nipponese focal point on fuel efficient little autos, pulled the carpet from beneath the pess of immense car shapers like General Motors and Ford, dethroning them from their places of unchallenged planetary leaders of the car sector ( Henry, 2008, p 44 ) . Low cost excavation of Rare Earth Metals in China led to the shutting of mines of such metals in the US and other states and to concentration of 97 % of planetary production of Rare Earth Metals in China ( Areddy, 2010, p 11 ) . Liberalization of travel and free motion of people across the universe for intents of concern and travel resulted in the outgrowth of low cost air hoses like Ryan Air and Easy Jet in the UK and others in different parts of the universe, doing organic structure blows to set up air hose giants like British Airways, Air France, and Swiss Air, some of which, ( like Swiss Air ) , closed store ( Lynch, 2006, p 52 ) .

British Airways, the flag bearer air hose of the UK has invariably faced external and internal challenges, of all time since its origin in the early 1970s ( British Airways, 2011, p 1 ) . Formed by the coming together of BOAC, BEA, Cambrian Airways and North East Airlines in 1974, the administration worked as a populace sector corporation for 13 old ages until it was privatised by UK ‘s Conservative authorities in 1987 ( British Airways, 2011, History ) . British Airways ( BA ) has had to face legion environmental challenges in its history, both as a populace and as a private sector bearer. Such challenges have occurred on history of grounds like intense competition from other air hoses in its domestic and planetary operations, eroding of market portion on history of entry of low cost air hoses, planetary terrorist act, pandemics like SARS and Bird Flu, and natural catastrophes ( British Airways, 2011, Annual Reports ) . The terrorist work stoppages of September 11, 2001, resulted in a immense downswing in local and international travel, ensuing in the prostration of legion air hoses and in important fiscal losingss ( about 200 million GBP in 2002 ) for British Airways, which lost ( British Airways, 2011, Annual Report 2002 ) .

The volcanic detonation in Iceland, which resulted in ash filled skies and break of flights in early 2010, besides resulted in important gross losingss ( Milmo, 2010, p 1 ) . The last two old ages, 2009 ( losingss of 400 million GBP before revenue enhancements ) and 2010 ( losingss of 530 million GBP before revenue enhancements ) have been genuinely dismaying for the administration ( Milmo, 2010, p 1 ) . It besides needs to be realised that whilst 1000s of stockholders enthusiastically subscribed to the company ‘s portions at the clip of its denationalization, they have gained really small, by manner of dividends or market value grasp, in the last 24 old ages ( Hosking, 2009, p 1 ) .

The direction of British Airways recognises the demand for the Airline to alter significantly in response to assorted environmental challenges in order to turn and heighten market portion and competitory advantage. A figure of alteration enterprises have besides been introduced by the company in assorted strategic and operational countries with changing grades of success.

1.2. Aim

This study examines the demand for strategic alteration at British Airways. Such scrutiny is followed by treatments on the necessities for successful organizational alteration and the barriers faced by the corporation in conveying about such alteration. The study closes with a subdivision on recommendations and decisions.

2. Strategic Change at British Airways

Modern twenty-four hours administrations, as discussed in the preceding subdivision, need to alter on history of assorted internal and external environmental grounds, in order to accomplish organizational growing, heighten productiveness and profitableness, and enhance competitory advantage ( Cameron & A ; Green, 2004, p 31 ) . Such strategic alteration could be needed to work new chances every bit good to obtain protection from menaces. Such strategic alteration could besides be necessary to interrupt out from bing conditions of fiscal hurt or operational or strategic lacks ( Cameron & A ; Green, 2004, p 31 ) . The importance of conveying about strategic alteration has been emphasised by legion direction faculty members and experts, who have repeatedly addressed its importance for modern twenty-four hours administrations ( Cameron & A ; Green, 2004, p 31 ) . Peter Drucker in fact drives the point place by saying that it is the duty of every responsible director to invariably seek for ways in which he or she can beneficially lend to the procedure of strategic alteration ( Stein, 2010, p 7 ) .

Whilst administrations clearly have to prosecute in strategic alteration, if non out of pick than out of necessity, their path record of success in its realization is hapless ( Balogun, 2001, p 2 ) . Many senior directions fail to understand that execution of strategic alteration, i.e. the transition of programs to world, constitutes the most hard portion of the alteration procedure ( Balogun, 2001, p 2 ) . Such alteration can go possible merely when persons working in administrations change their behavioral ways and forms and aline them with new strategic aims ( Balogun, 2001, p 2 ) .

Strategic alteration is non new to BA. Numerous instance surveies detail BA ‘s success in alteration direction. The administration engaged in strategic retrenchment by practically 40 % in 1981 and 1983 ( Docshare, 2009, pp 27 to 30 ) . Denationalization in 1987 called for the conveying about of important cultural alteration. The acceptance of the Putting People First programme in the 1980s aimed to aline organizational working with new competitory worlds and modify the behavior of clients, who were abandoning the air hose in droves ( Docshare, 2009, p 36 ) .

Recent old ages have besides witnessed a figure of alteration enterprises, chiefly in response to intense competition by low cost bearers like Ryan Air and Easy Jet and altered client outlooks. The commissioning of Terminal 5 at Heathrow, which encountered important negative promotion in history of opening twenty-four hours operational goof-ups, is one such illustration. The company is presently runing with a multi-pronged concern scheme that includes ( a ) up step of client experience, ( B ) modernization of aircraft fleet, ( degree Celsius ) offering new services, ( vitamin D ) pull offing its cost base and ( vitamin E ) increasing corporate societal duty in countries of environment ( British Airways, 2011, Annual Report 2008, Chairman ‘s Speech ) .Whilst this study does non cover with an luxuriant strategic analysis of the company, the most of import factors about its internal and external environment, every bit good as its current public presentation are bulleted below.

The administration operates in an environment of intense ordinance and heightened security because of terrorist menaces.

Its gross revenues grosss and profitableness are under menace because of the planetary economic crisis, slow projected planetary economic growing, the weakening of the lb, and oil monetary values, which have started surging once more.

With the population of its place market ageing steadily, the administration will be under emphasis to accomplish the same sum of grosss from bing clients.

With riders going progressively cognizant and vocal about their rights and expected service degrees, BA continues to be under force per unit area on history of underperformance in countries of off flights and hapless luggage handling.

The direction and the cabin crew brotherhood are in direct confrontation with each other.

The administration has suffered terrible fiscal losingss during the last two old ages ; with cumulative net losingss for 2009 and 2010 near 800 million GBP.

The administration ‘s biggest menace, now and in the coming old ages is in the country of grosss, gross revenues, costs and net incomes. With competition probably to escalate and planetary economic growing forecasted to be low, the company desperately needs to prosecute in activities for bettering its fiscal viability ( Milmo, 2010, p 1 ) . Cost direction and decrease is a critical component of organizational scheme. Whilst all air hoses are every bit affected by fluctuations in fuel costs, big economic and rider motion tendencies, terrorist act and planetary political instability, BA ‘s labor and work force costs are significantly higher than its rivals ( Carley, 2009, p 1 ) . It is relevant to observe in this context that BA employees earn more than 2 times the wage earned by Virgin Air workers ( Robertson, 2009, p 1 ) .

BA has adopted a scheme of cost direction and decrease to get the better of these fiscal challenges. Whilst the administration is still financially strong, farther periods of hapless public presentation could good strive its fiscal resources ( Carley, 2009, p 1 ) . The major country of cost decrease relates to remuneration and employment footings of its employees, particularly its cabin crew.

3. Change Management Schemes

Whilst BAs immediate and imperative alteration scheme focuses on the critical country of fiscal viability, the path is highly ambitious because of its demand for considerable employee forfeit. It needs to be appreciated that the administration has initiated a figure of other strategic alterations to better client satisfaction and satisfaction, including the commissioning of terminal 5 at Heathrow, ( McGinn, 2009, p 2 ) , and the demand to accomplish fiscal viability has now assumed of import dimensions.

Change direction theories focus on three of import dimensions, viz. ( a ) the planning and execution of the alteration procedure, ( B ) the engagement of the administration in the proposed strategic alteration, and ( degree Celsius ) the function of leading in the alteration procedure for conveying about of successful strategic alteration ( Hayes, 2006, p 71 ) . Both Lewin and Kotter emphasis upon the demand to implement alteration in a planned procedure that takes the administration from its current phase to its coveted province through clearly demarcated stages. Lewin provinces that change direction can be best achieved through the planned application of three stages, viz. unfreezing, implementing of alteration and refreezing the administration in its new province through institutionalisation of implemented alterations ( Lewin, 2005, p 9 ) . Kotter, whilst fundamentally following Lewin ‘s theory, feels that the procedure can be better achieved through the execution of alteration in 7 phases ( Kotter, 1996, p 7 ) .

Change direction experts secondly call for the committed engagement of organizational staff for the successful execution of strategic alteration proposals ( Bovey & A ; Hede, 2001, p 373 ) . Many proposed strategic alterations can ensue in opposition from organizational employees on history of causes like ( a ) uncomplete cognition of the proposed alteration, ( B ) ignorance about alteration aims and benefits, ( degree Celsius ) deficiency of belief in alteration benefits, and ( vitamin D ) alteration associated menaces to the person and corporate well-being of organizational employees ( Bovey & A ; Hede, 2001, p 373 ) . Whilst ignorance about the nature and aims of alteration can be set right through suitably designed and powerful communicating, undertaking alteration related menace perceptual experiences of employees is wholly another affair ( Bovey & A ; Hede, 2001, p 373 ) . Such menace perceptual experiences could originate because of apprehensivenesss about ( a ) alteration in working status, ( B ) alteration in footings of employment, ( degree Celsius ) alteration in location, ( vitamin D ) demand to take up new maps, ( vitamin E ) demand to larn new accomplishments, ( degree Fahrenheit ) loss of wage, and ( g ) loss of employment ( Bovey & A ; Hede, 2001, p 373 ) .

The 3rd critical factor in conveying approximately successful strategic alteration concerns the function of organizational leadings ( Hayes, 2006, p 78 ) . Organizational leaders must clearly sketch the proposed strategic alterations, communicate the alteration aims and the grounds for such alteration to organizational members, and convey approximately intense engagement of organizational employees in the alteration procedure ( Hayes, 2006, p 78 ) . Such engagement is basically done by taking from the forepart and through seeable committedness to the alteration procedure. Effective leaders identify and encourage alteration title-holders throughout the administration to back up the alteration procedure, engage in changeless and crystalline communicating about the benefits of alteration and obtain he support of the overpowering bulk of organizational employees to the alteration procedure ( Hayes, 2006, p 78 ) .

4. Barriers to Change at British Air passages

BA has asked single employees to accept impermanent gaining decreases and has engaged in dialogues with brotherhoods for wage cuts, changes in employment footings, and decrease in its work force. The company ‘s direction asked employees in June 2009 to work without basic wage for a maximal period of 4 hebdomads over six months, take a twelvemonth of unpaid leave, and alteration from fulltime to portion clip employment for a period that could stretch up to a twelvemonth.

It is turn outing to be hard to convey about strategic alterations for set uping decrease in employee costs at the air hose because of intense resistance by good organised and united cabin crew members to proposed alterations ( Carley, 2009, p 1 ) . Whilst BA ‘s pilots have agreed to some decrease in wage, the cabin crew has strongly opposed the alterations and has invariably threatened to take industrial action if such alterations are implemented ( Carley, 2009, p 1 ) .

Effective strategic alteration, it is accepted, is hard to implement without employee engagement and engagement. Organisational leaderships seek to convey about such engagement through communicating, creative activity of consciousness and preparation. The engagement and understanding of even a important proportion of employees in the alteration procedure, along with constructive empathy for employees likely to be adversely affected by the alteration procedure, helps administrations to implement alteration processes that include expiration, salary decrease and retrenchment.

It is necessary to understand that BA ‘s cabin crew, whose understanding and engagement is of import for set uping strategic alteration, are strongly united in their resistance to organizational programs and schemes ( Neilcaff, 2011, p 1 ) . The strength of their integrity has been evidenced in the yesteryear when their work stoppages have resulted in important arrests and fiscal losingss ( Neilcaff, 2011, p 1 ) . The last two old ages have been marked by intense confrontation between the direction and the cabin crew on this issue, with no constructive consequence. The first half of the current twelvemonth has been spent in the shadow of a proposed work stoppage during the Easter vacations ( Neilcaff, 2011, p 1 ) .

Some portion of this job can besides be attributed to the current organizational leading at British Airways. The leading manner of Willie Walsh, the bing CEO could besides be a barrier to the alteration procedure. Walsh ‘s bossy and sturdy manner is non encouraging employee stakeholders to admit and encompass the needed alteration. Other leaders, like Schultz at Starbucks, have been more successful at driving alteration programmes. A

5. Recommendations and Decisions

The class of desperately required strategic alteration at British Airways is being thwarted by changeless stand-offs between the direction and employee brotherhoods, even as the administration continues to be buffeted by a hard competitory environment, surging fuel monetary values and intense competition. It is relevant to observe that the principal proprietors of the administration, i.e. the stockholders, have received small benefits over the old ages, even as two sets of agents, the direction and the employees, have obtained important fiscal benefits and go on to brawl over their single involvements and self-importances.

It would look to be opportune for stockholder administrations and even the authorities to step in, appoint impersonal experts, obtain suggestions for strategic alteration, and push such steps through, even at the hazard of industrial action and fiscal losingss. The failure to take steadfast action and thrust alteration forward could good hold ruinous reverberations for the company.

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