1.2 British Airways
British Airways is a major international airline carrying millions of passengers every year and is part of the Internationals Airlines Group (IAG). The history of British Airways can be traced back to the first scheduled flight that took place on 25 August 1919 between London and Paris. Therefore British Airways has more than 90 years of history in aviation. Before privatisation British Airways was owned by the British Government. British Airways have a fleet of over 300 aircraft including Airbus 380 and Boeing 787, with the average of over 1000 flights a week to 300 destinations worldwide.
2. Organisational Culture
Organisations has shared values, assumptions and believes that influences the way in which members of the organisations behaves. This is referred to as the organisation culture. A corporate culture is created automatically in an organisation. A culture is created when people, management and staffs came together with a shared purpose to achieve a common goal, as determined by the organisational leadership. The vision, mission and values of an organisation is contained in the corporate culture. The organisational culture influences the way in which people interact, management and staffs relation, working hours and the degree to which they are respected and how the staff dress. (Schein, 2010), argues that, “culture is a pattern of basic assumptions invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with its problem or external adaptation and internal integration”. Therefore organisational culture may be unique to a certain organisation and different from the national.
(Schein, 2010), described three layers of organisation culture, The Outer Layer: Explicit product, The middle layer: Norms and Values and The core: Assumptions about existence, as illustrated in the figure below:
Source: (Schein, 2010)
The outer layer: Explicit product or the artefacts, although airlines are services oriented the outer layer of the airlines refers to physical products that are observed when encountering an airline, which may be the aircrafts, office space, equipment’s, rules, system and procedures. The staffs wear uniforms, which is aimed at portraying identity.
The middle layer: Norms and Values: Norms and value they can exist at two levels. On a formal level they can exist which is in the form of written rules and regulations. They refer to rules and regulations. They refer to rules for behaviour which dictate what are considered to be appropriate and inappropriate response from employees in certain circumstances. Values are intimately connected with moral and ethics. This might be, in the case of Air Namibia and British Airways, state clearly what the norms is about expected staff dress code. Alternatively, they can exist at the informal level. An example of this might be informal norms how employees produce. It might be both airlines value customer care which is staff will at all times smile at the customer but there is a great differences between a smile from clenched lips to one which is friendly and genuine
The core: Assumptions about existence: Basic assumptions guide organisational member’s perception, feelings and emotions about things in the organisation. These are identified as implicit, this means, they are harder to see on the surface. One example of this might be “that they are holding on by their teeth, the place is going to close any day “In terms of the other two layers of culture this will have a profound effect.
2.1 Air Namibia Organisational Culture
As referred to above the outer layer of culture is the explicit product of the organisation which is the first thing that’s observe when entering a culture. Air Namibia has enhanced a good product quality and more visible brand with explicit products of culture. It has a modern fleet of A330s, A319s and ERJ135s with which operate its international, regional and domestic services. This is aimed at giving the customer an excellent customer service. The on –board hard/explicit product has improved with the introduction of new aircrafts and state of the art inflight entertainment. The culture at the outer level can be perceived as welcoming and aimed at showing casing the Namibian spirit. The carrying of the Namibia spirit, is embedded in the Namibian government continued support for Air Namibia, over the past few years the Namibian government has contributed around, “N$ 5 billion, towards Air Namibia’s operations”, (Air Namibia, 2015). The question is then, is this not hindering the performance of the Airline? Is it not contributing towards the poor performance, in that regardless of the performance, government will always be there to bail the organisation out? Although various turnaround strategies were implemented at the airline, the airline’s performance continues to worsen. This has led to a mixed perception, even though the company aims at delivering the best service, the perception that it is a waste of tax payer’s money, is damaging to the efforts of the airline.