British Airways Change Management Sample Report

British Airways Change Management Sample Report


In existing scenario norms and practices undertaken within business organizations have become changed quite intensively. There are a number of different issues such as frequent changes in external global business environmental conditions and increasing level of competition have imposed business organizations to undertake different important and strategic changes within their existing organizational setup (Mills 2008).
These changes are directed to create some crucial and effective competencies within the organization so that it can be able to sustain within existing tough business conditions. The organization can counter the complexities of external business environment by adopting a flexible approach towards its shared values, vision, goals and strategies (Lundy, and Cowling 1996). 
However, application of strategic changes within the organization is not an easy task for the management of business as there can be a number of different issues related with such changes which can hamper the sustainability and effectiveness of proposed change. In this concern, for the management of a business organization, it is quite essential to pursue an effective change management strategy in their strategic orientations.
In context to this discussion, the paper aims to shed lights over change management practices undertaken by British airways in existing period of time. The prime focus of the report is on British Airway’s (BA) change program that resulted in long-running industrial disputes between its management and crew members in 2009-2011. The report also checks the nature and extent to these strategic changes and change management strategy undertaken by British Airways in order to implement such important changes (Fitzroy, and Herbert 2007).   

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Change management within British airways 

British airways, one of the major global airlines companies and UK’s largest international scheduled carrier, have implemented some of crucial and strategic changes within its existing operational framework and organizational structure. This section of the report highlights some crucial changes and change management structure of the company.    

Organization’s context 

British Airways is one of major global airlines across the world. The organization is based in London. Major connecting hubs of the airways are situated in London Heathrow airport and Gatwick airport. As per annual report of the company for the year 2010, the Airline carries about 32 million passengers annually to more than 300 destinations across the world. The total revenue earned by the company during the financial year 2009-2010 was GBP 8 billion (British Airways 2009/10 Annual Report and Accounts 2011). The network of the Airline has been expanded over more 75 countries across the globe.
Nowadays, the organization is focusing upon expanding its business operation to untapped and potential markets by undertaking crucial partnership with other global Airlines. For instance, the company has recently got into a joint business agreements and code sharing partnership with various global and crucial world class organizations such as AMR’s American Airlines and Qantas. In the same series, in the year 2011, British Airways has merged with lberia, which the most prominent Airlines of Spain, and formed an international airlines group (IAG). This effort of the company was directed to explore opportunities within Spanish market (British Airways Plc Company Profile 2012). 
Year 2010 was not proved good for the organization as the company had to face a series of strikes of crew members. These strikes were the results of disputes and miscommunication between management of the organization and Cabin Crew members. These strikes had created a number of different problems and issues to the passengers of the organization. These strikes have been proved some of the most critical issues faced by the organization in recent period of time (Q&A: What’s the BA dispute about 2011).   

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Strategic changes within the organization 

In recent period of time, there are some of significant changes have been registered within the patterns and norms of global business practices in Airlines Industry across the world. In order to address such changes and sustain in such changed business conditions, British Airways has undertaken some crucial changes within its operational as well as organization.
In this context, the organization has decided to downsize its existing large sized workforce (Q&A: What’s the BA dispute about 2011). In the conditions of global financial crisis in the year 2008-2009, the profit and revenue of the organization has harmed quite intensively. In order to compensate this loss, the company has decided to undertake cost cutting strategy. Downsizing and layoffs are the parts of this cost cutting strategies of the company.  As per this strategy, the company announced 1,700 cabin crew job cuts and pay freeze in October 2009 (Massey 2009). 
In addition to this the company, in order to make the organization successful and effective in the context of long term development the organization has developed more dedicated, customer focused operational framework through promoting better governance and leadership. In the context of leadership, the company has changed the conventional paradigm of leadership which was related with the hiring of highly qualified and experience people from outside.
The organization has developed High Performance Leadership (HPL) system within its existing operational framework for the purpose of developing its existing workforce as leaders in the long run. In this system, three different and important phenomena, namely, communication, accountability and motivation are considered while training the top level management in order to develop highly efficient leaders (British Airways 2008/09 Annual Report and Accounts 2010)
The company has made some crucial changes within it organizational structure as well. The company has divided its top level management into two different categories, namely Management Board and the Customer and Operations Executives. Management Board of the organization has been made responsible for strategic direction of company and the board of Customer and Operations Executives are assigned with the responsibility of daily operational performance monitoring and handling issues related with customer services (British Airways 2008/09 Annual Report and Accounts 2010).  
These are some of crucial changes undertaken by the organization in recent period of time for handling different external environmental issues.  

The nature and extent of the strategic changes

The nature of such important changes undertaken by the management of the organization is quite strategic, which can cast a long term impact over the growth and success of the organization. These different changes implied by the organization are directed to make some crucial and effective changes within the organizational structure and operational framework and mould the existing strategy of the organization. Positive or negative impact of such changes can be reflected over the long term sustainability of the organization in the market (Paton, and McCalman 2008). 

The change management strategy

In order to implement different changes the management of organization requires undertaking a specific and dedicated strategy for managing changes. In context to this, the organization adopts top down strategy for implement and manage changes within organizational. As per this strategy, all the necessary actions are undertaken at top level management at priority. The flow of change management practices runs towards the low level management through middle level. This strategy of the management can easily be seen in the practice of the organization to make changes in the structure of its top level management for the before changing organization structure at lower level (Syrett 2007).

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In the organization, there are three different approaches undertaken by the management in order to handle different types of changes. These approaches are planned approach, emergent approach and contingency approach. Planned approach is undertaken for the purpose of undertaking some pre-planned and pre-specified changes which are quite anticipated. As per this approach the organization undertakes Lewin’s change management model for inducing change.
The model implied by the management within the organization reflects, there are a three important steps namely unfreezing, Change and refreezing. In unfreezing state, the management establishes communication with employees and makes preparation for the change. In change state, the management is required to convert proposed plan into reality. The last state of the change management process is refreezing in which the organization evaluate the effectiveness of the implied change (Rey-Marmonier 2009). 
The second approach towards the change management adopted by the organization is emergent approach which is related with the changes which emerged due to the application and induction of other planned changes. Third approach is considered for contingency situation in which the organization needs to undertake some unplanned and crucial changes. In this approach the organization makes selection out of the available resources in order to implement the desired change (British Airways HR Management 2008). 

Challenges and management difficulties in the implementing such change strategy

Although, different above mentioned changes discussed within the paper are aimed to help the organization to combat with different critical issues, yet still the organization had to face certain difficulties and problems in proper implementation of some critical problems due to implementation of the change. In this context, the adoption of layoff and downsizing strategy undertaken by the organization has created some of critical problems such as strikes of cabin crew members of the organization.
In the opposition of this change, the cabin crew employees of the organization have undertaken a number of strikes during the period from 2009 to 2011 for registering their grievance. These strikes created a number of different problems for the company as well as its passengers. This has resulted in the decline in goodwill of the company in the eyes of its customer. In the long term it can be proved quite critical as in competitive market the company can lose its brand loyal customers (Milmo 2009). 
In addition to this, in order to implement new leadership programs the organization needs to employ significant amount of time and efforts. Leadership development is a long term process, which cannot be induced overnight. This long term process can create problems for the organization to combat with short term and daily issues effectively (Ledwidge 2007). 
Along with this, another change implied by the organization related with changes in top level management of the organization can create unnecessary monitoring and pressure over employees. This pressure can be resulted into lack of employee satisfaction and consequently decrement in their performance and efficiency level (Coles, Smith, and Tombs 2001). 


On the basis of the review of the presented discussion, it can be concluded that British airways, which one of major airline companies across the globe, has made several crucial changes within its existing operational and organizational structure. Among such change, adoption of downsizing and layoffs strategy and changes in its top level management structure of the organization are the prime changes. Although the purpose of such changes is to enhance the competencies of the organization, yet there are a number of different issues and problems faced by the business organization due to implementation of such changes.
Strike of Cabin crew employees of the organization during the period of 2009 to 2010 is the major consequence of such change. In this regard, it can be recommended to the organization to have an effective and efficient change management structure for implementing such important changes.      


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