Essay about British Airlines ' Wildcat Strike Blunder

Essay about British Airlines ' Wildcat Strike Blunder

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Organizational change, particularly large-scale change, becomes part of the company’s history; therefore, it is crucial that senior leadership plan the change thoroughly. Planning may include understanding the current state of the organization, the external and internal environment, and identifying the organization’s long-term vision simultaneously. Choosing the right approach is significant in the change process as it may be true with British Airlines’ wildcat strike blunder. This blunder is now added to British Airway history where they lost 40 million pounds because of an oversight. Ideally, changes in the organization will have minimal employee impact and operational disruption; however, this is not the case with British Airways when they announced a new system.
British Airways’ wildcat strike took place in 2003 cost the company 40 million pounds because of managements’ oversight. Management announced that the check-in employees will be using a new timekeeping system, swipe card. The swipe card system is being implemented to improve and modernize their timekeeping system as well as to manage the staff better, according to British Airways’ management. This announcement was five days before implementation and left British Airways’ employees feeling disrespected. The check-in staff felt that British Airways will monitor their time and make them work the split shift and harder without additional compensation (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2009). Women employees felt that the card swipe system is designed to alter their schedule and will result in their inability to manage their work and home life. Senior management failed to entertain further questions or concerns which further led to employees believing that BA had ill intenti...


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...nce to change. British Airway’s blunder included ineffective planning and communication which resulted in the loss of credibility and profits. Reducing workforce is a colossal undertaking, particularly if the reduction is an unremitting process. Thorough planning with the right approach will ensure a smoother transition between the employees and the company. Planning organizational change does not cease at implementation, but should be maintained until the change has been stabilized and sustained. A holistic approach was crucial prior to executing the swipe card process, which may have occurred if senior leadership engaged in organizational development. British Airway should have invested in their approach appropriate for the change. The right change approach is paramount to secure efficient transition with minimal disruption to operations and loss of profits.

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