Signature Assignment—Written Communication Skills
Southwest Airlines and Koch Industries are both known for their
distinctive organizational cultures, and both have been highly
successful and profitable companies. Southwest Airlines is known as a
“fun” place to work where socialization and humor in the workplace are
strongly encouraged. Koch Industries, on the other hand, has a culture
defined by the principles of “market-based management” where performance
and revenue growth is emphasized.
Do some background reading on the cultures behind Southwest Airlines
and Koch Industries. While doing your research, keep strongly in mind
the characteristics of organizational cultures discussed in the
background materials such as team-oriented, people-oriented,
outcome-oriented, etc. Here are some articles to get you started on
your research that will give you some background about the cultures at
these two organizations:
Klein, D. (2011). Creating cultures that lead to success: Lincoln Electric, Southwest Airlines, and SAS Institute. Organizational Dynamics
41(1), 35-39 [Available in Science Direct. Note: you only have to read
the middle portion of the article concerning Southwest Airlines and not
the whole article]
Bird, A. (Mar. 13, 2011). Southwest: Corporate culture combines work, play. The Post and Courier. [Proquest]
Whatley, H. (2013). Principles and dimensions of market-based management. Independent Journal of Management & Production, 4(1), 126-135. [Proquest]
Dissecting the Kochtopus. (Jun. 7, 2014). The Economist, 411, 76. [Proquest]
When you are finished with your research, write a four to five page paper addressing the following issues:
- Describe the organizational culture of Southwest Airlines the best
you can using the characteristics of organizational culture discussed in
Rao (2010) and Piccolo and Bardes (2011). These include but are not
limited to detail-oriented, team-oriented, innovative, aggressive,
outcome-oriented, and people-oriented. Be specific as you can regarding
which characteristics of organizational culture that you read about in
the background materials apply to Southwest and which ones do not.
- Describe the organizational culture of Koch Industries the best you
can using the characteristics of organizational culture discussed in Rao
(2010) and Piccolo and Bardes (2011).
- Now suppose Koch Industries decided to purchase Southwest Airlines.
Compare and contrast the two cultures, and explain what kind of
challenges do you think they would face in merging the two cultures.
Also, explain what steps you think would need to be taken in order to
prevent culture clashes between the two organizations. Use concepts from
Rao (2010) or Piccolo and Bardes (2011) as part of your recommendations
on steps to take to avoid culture clashes.
- Answer the assignment questions directly
- This assignment has been selected as a signature assignment to
assess written communication skills. A different rubric will be used
for this assignment that emphasizes written communication skills.
- Stay focused on the precise assignment questions, don’t go off on
tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background
- Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references.
Articles published in established newspapers or business
journals/magazines are preferred. If you find articles on the internet,
make sure it is from a credible source.
- Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13-14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide, which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC portal.