International Business Environment: Open Case Study on British Airways

Causes of Change

Failings in people policies have been cited as the greatest cause for alteration BA faces:

  • Thomas ( 2004 ) studies that the most senior HR professional at British Airways PLC ( BA ) has claimed that the past three old ages “have been the most hard in our history”
  • As a consequence of this, Thomas believes that many structural alterations to be undertaken by the concern were ineluctable.
  • The company, which has cut 13,000 occupations since the September 11 panic onslaughts, has admitted the jobs were down to staff deficits.
  • BA farther suggested that the chief cause was a big figure of surrenders, and security vetting processs detaining replacings. ( Thomas, 2004 )
  • BA executives have spent months analyzing how to alter working patterns, although alteration will non be easy, given the reported inclination of BA employees to strike. ( The Economist, March 2005 )

BA has besides identified the demand to cut costs, in order to increase borders, across its operations, and this is another cardinal driver for alteration:

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  • BA has specified a major attempt to pare ?300 million a twelvemonth in costs,
  • The air hose announced, in January 2004, that it would keep negotiations with staff and labour brotherhoods over possible alterations to the support of its pension programs.
  • It has been claimed that corporate clients will necessarily confront an addition in costs as a consequence. ( Davern, 2005 )
  • A chief portion of the alterations is the proposed move to Heathrow Terminal Five, seen by many as the most of import alteration in the industry to day of the month. ( The Economist, 2005 )

A concluding, major, driver for alteration is the demand for BA to reinvent their trade name, in the face of falling rider trueness and the go oning rise of the budget air hoses:

  • BA late announced it would give riders the option to pay a few lbs extra on every ticket and BA would utilize the money to countervail the C emanations from their trip.
  • Reed ( 2005 ) studies that BA has formed a marketing think-tank to reconstruct trade name power after its “recent planetary pummelling” .
  • Given that keeping service is of “critical importance to its brand” ( The Economist, Aug 2005 ) , BA needs better eventuality programs to protect itself against work stoppages.

Lewins Force Field Analysis

The force field analysis will be undertaken for each of the three chief countries identified as holding important cause for alteration.

Peoples Policies

Cost Film editing

Brand Reinvention

Using Lewin’s Change Process Model to BA

Lewin’s Change Process involves seven stairss, all of which are presently relevant to BA.

1. Disconfirmation

  • Disconfirmation involves bring forthing some signifier of dissatisfaction or defeat to disconfirm current outlooks or hopes.
  • For people policies, it would affect necessitating to demo existing staff that the position quo is harmful to both the company, and the staff.
  • In the instance of cost film editing, it requires senior executives to demo the staff and stockholders that the company is presently executing really inefficiently.
  • For trade name reinvention, it will be necessary to demo that the current trade name public presentation is non making plenty to assist the company derive client trueness.

2. Initiation of Guilt or Survival Anxiety

  • In order to accomplish this, it is merely necessary to convert the BA staff and stockholders of the cogency of the disconfirming informations presented to them.
  • Whilst this may be comparatively easy to bring on in the stakeholders, the staff members are likely to be much more hard to convert.
  • It may be possible to accomplish by converting the staff leaders, for illustration, the brotherhood secretaries.

3. Creation of Psychological Safety or Overcoming of Learning Anxiety

  • Here, it is of import non to exaggerate the menace to the administration, as it may bring on anxiousness in stakeholders, doing them more defensive.
  • It is peculiarly of import for the stockholders, as they could retreat from the company if they perceive the menaces to BA as being excessively great.
  • Excess anxiousness could besides harm the alteration procedure by doing staff excessively wary of the alterations.

4. Cognitive Redefinition

  • This procedure involves redefining the new constructs to be introduced, so that they fit into bing belief systems.
  • It is of import for the staff, as cost film editing and people policy alterations are frequently associated with occupation losingss and a poorer quality of working life.

5. Imitation and Positive or Defensive Identification with a Role Model

  • The key to presenting a new point of position is how one is able to ‘hear’ or ‘see’ something from a new position.
  • For BA, it is most of import that the staff see their function theoretical accounts ‘buying in’ to the alterations, particularly the more combative 1s, such as cost film editing.

6. Scanning: Insight or Trial and Error Learning

  • If no function theoretical accounts can be found, the scholar must expose him or herself to a assortment of new information in order to get the better of any disagreement they may experience.
  • This will likely be more relevant to stockholders, as they will necessitate to see informations which confirms that BA’s alteration direction is continuing good.

7. Personal and Relational Refreezing

  • Refreezing occurs when new behaviour is congruous with the remainder of the behaviour and personality of the scholar.
  • It is critical for the BA staff, to avoid new unit of ammunitions of disconfirmation, which may take to unlearning and post-change opposition.


  1. Davern, F. ( 2005 )BA cut: the reaction.Travel Trade Gazette UK & A ; Ireland ; Issue 2649, p. 2.
  2. Reed ( 2005 )Think-tank to repair BA ‘s repute.Travel Weekly: The Choice of Travel Professionals ; Issue 1785, p. 2.
  3. The Economist ( March 2005 )A puff of Wapping?Vol. 374, Issue 8417, p. 60.
  4. The Economist ( Aug 2005 )Providing for providers ‘ work stoppages.Vol. 376, Issue 8440, p. 48.
  5. Thomas, D. ( 2004 )BA stands its land despite staffing crisis.Forces Today ; p. 1.
  6. Yeoman, I. Sparrow, J. and McGunnigle, F. ( 2000 )Accessing cognition at Bristish Airways: the impact of soft OR.Journal of Organizational Change Management ; Vol. 13, Issue 2, p. 121.

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