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Culture and Organization

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Additionally, organizational culture extents its manifestation in ways which an entity allows for autonomy and freedom of making decisions, personal expression, and development of new ideas. Organizational culture gives a clear outline on how information and power flows through its set channels and influences strengths of employees by encouraging commitment towards the organization’s collective goals (Stallman, 2010:4). The culture of an organization is crucial since it affects its productivity and performance mechanism and provides guidelines suitable for establishing an appropriate customer service channel, product quality, and safety. Introduction Southwest Airlines Company is a low cost, American airline that has its base in Dallas, Texas. According to articles published the company’s public relations office, the company came into being in 1967. It adopted its company name in 1971 and by the fifth day of June 2011, documented evidence revealed that the airline is the largest in the United States basing the data on number of domestic passengers that it carried (Kelly, 2009:22). Despite the fact that the airline operated Boeing 727 aircraft for a very time in the years between 1970s and 1980s, between this stated period and 2012 the scooped identity of the sole airline that operates Boeing 737. In addition to that, by the last day of September 2011, this airline became the world’s largest operator of 737 recording over 550 of these aircrafts already in operation whereby, each operated an average of six flights in a single day. Following its performance and uniqueness, this paper warranted it an intense research based on its organizational culture (Khastar, 2011:2). As such, this paper will seek to analyze the culture of the Southwest Airlines using and applying theoretical frameworks used in the study of organizational culture such as those developed by Schein and Harrison. The concept of organizational culture With reference to Schein theoretical framework, the processes whereby the Southwest Airlines became the largest Boeing 737 operator in America and globally as well, led it reproduce its systems and practices of management in order to gain competitive advantages over other airlines eyeing the same uniqueness. Nevertheless, despite the fact that it sough to reproduce its management practices as closely as possible, the results were rarely compatible. Generally, the managers encountered issues they did not have to face in the operating environment (Achtmeyer, 2002:2). This is the reason as to why the first notions of culture used by the managing team were so similar to those deployed by the company with the view of defining the national culture. At this point, the development of the concept of organizational culture was ultimately polemic as opposed to what took place with other theoretical constructs such as organizational climate. Scholarly research reveals that, the concept of an organizational culture is a thing borrowed from basic social sciences, mainly sociology and anthropology (Flamholtz and Randle, 2011:83). As opposed to organizational climate, which is a product of a conducted research, the concept of an organization is a construct embedded in the theoretical framework that employs the use of organizational environment and academics to listen to management theory (Bundgaard, Bejjani, and Helmer, 2006:16). Given the power of the Southwest