Module 4 – Case


Assignment Overview 

Southwest Airlines and Koch Industries are both known for their distinctive organizational cultures, and both have been highly successful and profitable companies.  Southwest Airlines is known as a “fun” place to work, where socialization and humor in the workplace are strongly encouraged.  Koch Industries, on the other hand, has a culture defined by the principles of “market-based management,” where performance and revenue growth is emphasized.

Do some background reading on the cultures behind Southwest Airlines and Koch Industries. Here are some articles and video to get you started on your research that will give you some background about the cultures at these two organizations:

Klein, D. (2011). Creating cultures that lead to success: Lincoln Electric, Southwest Airlines, and SAS Institute.  Organizational Dynamics 41(1), 35-39 [Available in Science Direct.  Note: you only have to read the middle portion of the article concerning Southwest Airlines and not the whole article] 

Bird, A. (Mar. 13, 2011). Southwest: Corporate culture combines work, play. The Post and Courier. [ProQuest] 

Whatley, H. (2013). Principles and dimensions of market-based management. Independent Journal of Management & Production, 4(1), 126-135. [ProQuest] 

Dissecting the Kochtopus. (Jun. 7, 2014). The Economist, 411, 76. [ProQuest]

WorkatWorkTV. (2010) Successful Organizational Cultures. Retrieved at

Case Assignment

Prepare a 4- to 5-page (not including title page and references) critique per the following format:

Title Page.  Be sure to include the relevant information (e.g., Name, Class, Professor, Assignment, Date) on this title page.

Introduction. Discuss the topic of the paper and how you will approach it. It is best to write this section after you have written the rest of the paper.

The Culture of Southwest Airlines. Describe the key elements of the culture of Southwest Airlines and explain why these cultural elements are essential to Southwest Airlines’ success. Be sure to apply the background material.

The Culture of Koch Industries. Describe the key elements of the culture of Koch Industries and explain why these cultural elements are essential to Koch Industries’ success. Be sure to apply the background material.

Koch Industries Should Not Purchase Southwest Airlines. Make an argument that Koch Industries should not purchase Southwest Airlines. Discuss the specific differences between the cultures of Southwest Airlines and Koch Industries in support of this position. Be sure to use the background material to support your argument.

Conclusion. Discuss the key points in your analysis that demonstrate the importance of understanding that organizational cultures are not easily changed and why culture should be a primary consideration when organizations contemplate merger. 

Reference List:  List all references that you have cited in the paper using APA or other standard formatting.  References include materials from the required background readings as well as any outside Internet or library sources you used in researching and writing your paper.

Assignment Expectations

· Answer the assignment questions directly.

· Stay focused on the precise assignment question and the assertions to critique; do not go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.

· Use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred.  If you find articles on the internet, make sure they are from a credible source.

· Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the  Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper , including pages 13-14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “ Writing Style Guide , which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC portal.


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