Southwest Airlines (A)

By Charles O'Reilly III, Jeffrey Pfeffer
1995 | Case No. HR1A
In 1994 both United Airlines and Continental Airlines launched a 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 percent to 45 percent. 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. The case asks whether competitors can successfully imitate the Southwest approach.
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