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Prize winner
Case
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Reference no. HR1A
Published by: Stanford Business School
Originally published in: 1995
Version: 5 April 2006
Length: 27 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

In 1994 both United Airlines and Continental Airlines launched low cost airlines within an airline, to compete with Southwest Airlines. From 1991 until 1993 Southwest had increased its market share of the critical West Coast market from 26% to 45%. This case considers how Southwest had developed a sustainable competitive advantage and emphasizes the role of human resources as a lever for the successful implementation of strategy. This case asks whether competitors can successfully imitate the Southwest approach.

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 1994.

Geographical setting

Region:
Americas
Country:
United States

Featured company

Southwest Airlines
Employees:
10000+
Turnover:
USD 2.2 billion
Industry:
Airline

Featured protagonist

  • Ann Rhoades (female), Vice President of People

About

Abstract

In 1994 both United Airlines and Continental Airlines launched low cost airlines within an airline, to compete with Southwest Airlines. From 1991 until 1993 Southwest had increased its market share of the critical West Coast market from 26% to 45%. This case considers how Southwest had developed a sustainable competitive advantage and emphasizes the role of human resources as a lever for the successful implementation of strategy. This case asks whether competitors can successfully imitate the Southwest approach.

Settings

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 1994.

Geographical setting

Region:
Americas
Country:
United States

Featured company

Southwest Airlines
Employees:
10000+
Turnover:
USD 2.2 billion
Industry:
Airline

Featured protagonist

  • Ann Rhoades (female), Vice President of People

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