Answered Essay: In your final project, you will be developing a change plan for the “Alaska Airlines

In your final project, you will be developing a change plan for the “Alaska Airlines: Navigating Change” case study. In order to begin developing this change plan, you will need to analyze the case study and diagnose the problem. In this activity, your instructor will assign you to a group with five of your peers, and each group will be assigned its own discussion forum. Each member of the group will be given one of the six parts for the Analysis and Diagnosis section of the final project case study (problem, impact, organizational needs, variables, underlying causes, and gaps). You are to become an expert on your piece of the puzzle and should post your answer (along with the prompt your instructor gives you) so the rest of the class can benefit from your piece of the analysis. Alaska airlines is a company that has a long history in serving people and this is traced back to 1932 when it was first introduced as McGee airlines. Since then, the company has experienced success in the large scale and this has meant that it increased the fleet as well as the destinations that it served. This was very important in making sure that the airline continued to growth. However with the growth, there have been many problems that have come up in recent times and this lead to many customers not being satisfied. There was however a good implementation of strategies that were meant to get the airline back on track and this was able to work effectively. The changes implemented were able to make sure that all the different parties involved in the day to day running of activities were able to feel more satisfied as they worked even more. In the process of implementing change, several steps were made. Following Kotter’s steps, it is notable that several things were done. First, in an effort to establish a sense of urgency, the airline made it clear that the top management were going to have meetings on a day to day basis. This was something that took place every morning and it made the managers to be able to feel that there was need to have speed in what they were doing. This also made them to be able to appreciate the different urgency that could be found in the different departments in the airline (Kotter and Cohen, 2012. The second step calls for the formation of a powerful coalition in an effort to make sure that they are able to lead the different changes that are needed to be implemented. In this part, the airline hired Ben Minicucci. This was already an employee of the company and was working in the management team. He was the vice president of the Seattle operations and this made him to be the best candidate for the job. He was also skilled and knew the people in the airline well. This made him to be able to assemble the best possible team to lead the change that the airline needed for it to continue to operate in the best manner possible. Creating Urgency In an effort to create a sense of urgency in the organization, the first major step would be to make sure that all the consequences of not implementing the change are made clear. This is something that could make sure that all the people in the company understand what is at stake if the changes are not made at the right time. Second, it would be very important to be able to make smart decisions as well as make sure that they are able to be acted on quickly (Kotter, 2008). This goes long way in making sure that the well being of all the different people involved is taken into consideration. The processes that currently exist to help with the implementation of this change is to make sure that all the different departments are involved. All the departments in the airline should be aware of the different changes that the airline may be in need of implementing. This is made in an effort to make sure that all the different issues are handles at the same time. Second, the process of communication needs to be updated in an effort to make sure that all the different communication processes are done in the most effective manner. This also makes sure that all the different changes are communicated effectively in the best manner possible. In an effort to get the employees support, I would make sure I involve them in the decision making process in an effort to enhance the support that they have in the process. By making sure that the employees play part in the decision making process, it is possible to make sure that they are able to support the decision made. This goes long way in making sure that the employees who are involved in the change feel like they are part of the whole decision making process and this enhances their participation in making sure the final change is implemented as it would be expected. Build a Guiding Coalition In the guiding coalition, my perfect mix of people that should be involved is 40% leaders, 40% managers and 20% informal leaders. To start with, the 40% of leaders is very important. These are the people that draw the strategy of change that needs to be implemented. They are people that know how best to listen to the masses as well as how to involve them and make sure that they are satisfied (Amabile and Kramer, 2011). Second are the managers who take 40% share as well. These are the different people that are held responsible for the different departments that are in the company. Considering that the airline is a huge organization, there are many managers that are involved in the running of the day to day activities. It is important that these people are involved in the implementation of change in the organization. Lastly, The 20% remaining should be taken by the informal leaders. These are the people that are respected in the airline in the different departments and command a say in that actions of the people. This is important as it make sure that all the different people that can influence the change implementation process are taken into consideration. Ensuring Commitment The first thing that I would do is to make sure that the people involved have commitment towards the process is to make sure that they are well paid for the different roles that they play in making sure that the change is implemented. The second is to make sure that the people that have very good results are recognized in the company so as to encourage them to continue with the good performance. Conclusion In conclusion, it is important to note that there are very many items that affect the implementation of change. For the change to be effective, it is therefore important to monitor the different things that make it hard for one to have substantial positive effect. Making sure that all the different parties in the airline are involved is very important as it makes sure that everybody knows of what is happening. Following the Kotters 8 steps is also important as it make sure that all the different factors are taken into consideration and increases the success rate of the change.

Expert Answer


Alaska Airlines, as stated by (Maltsman, 2014), is the most dominant US-based West Coast air carrier. It’s the ninth–largest airline in the US based on passenger traffic. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the Alaska Airlines carries more passengers on the Lower 48 and the state of Alaska more than any other airline. The Airline has recently expanded to serve more of the U.S. East Coast, Canada, and Mexican destinations. Long known for its Alaskan roots with the famous symbol of the Eskimo paint on its tail, the Airline offers a comfort-friendly and relaxed type of service, such that the passengers have come to appreciate it as the “Alaska Spirit.” Alaska airline has been known to embrace an innovative technology to boost improve the customer experience (Alaska Airlines: Navigating Change Harvard Case Solution & Analysis, 2015).

The Problem and Impacts

However, the recent decade has seen an acute drop in the entire global airline industry. Heightened by the recent worldwide economic slowdown, punctuated by the recent cases of insecurity and terrorism, it has resulted in the decline of passenger traffic, decreased load factors, continued yield reductions, high labor and insurance costs, and a burgeoning fleet. Specifically, these changes have been felt more Alaska’s Airline.

Furthermore, according to David and Scott, the wave of consolidation seen in the U.S. airline industry has been a major blow to most of the nation’s major airports, Alaska included, since it has significantly reduced competition from such airlines as more passengers seem to be paying the price in higher fares and fees. For the last decade, mega-mergers reduced the nine large U.S-based airlines to four, that’s— American, Delta, Southwest and United —the consequence has been, most travelers are now finding their home airports dominated by one or two players. This decline in competitive pressure is linked to good customer service, among other factors. It’s for such reasons that, Alaska Airline has been on decline (2015).

Underlying Gaps

As Alaska Airline struggles to gain a dominant market share and sustain profitability in the presently fierce competition and economically demanding environment, Alaska must develop new mechanisms to manage the customer relationships so as to optimize customer revenues and loyalty. What tactics should the airline employ to acquire, to develop and retain clients with a greater precision and better results?

Organizational Needs and Probable Solutions

Alaska Airlines’ immediate concern is on the cost reductions to drive to more efficient operations. In doing this, Alaska has been turning to effective customer relationship management (CRM) as a way of managing customer relationships. On the contrary, on a number of factors, it has failed to institute the client relationship management as a holistic strategy, rather, taking it to be synonymous with the frequent flyer programs. So as to effectively manage customers across every line of service, Alaska Arline must change its approach to customer relationship management in a number of ways:

CRM initiative Development — So as to stand out from the competition, Alaska Airline must change its “fast follower” approach to customer relationship management as an initiative to development, instead, they should invest in development initiatives that have a high return, and this’s in direct response to the customers’ needs and desires.

Customer Segmentation — Alaska needs to understand that the mileage-based segmentation is very inadequate, they need to develop a need-based and value-based approach to guide investment decisions and spearhead greater insight towards the needs of the high-value customers.

Organizational Design and Management — Furthermore, there is the need for the employees of Alaska Airlines need to instilled with a service mentality. The airline must develop mechanisms through which the employees will know their role in CRM strategy for an excellent customer service.


By taking such steps to implement a consumer-centric approach, Alaska Airline will be better placed to acquire, to develop and retain the high-value customers. Through the development and implementation of customer analytics and decision-support technologies, the airline can now start to implement the client information to differentiate customer value service levels, as well as to drive significant operational decisions. Ultimately, if Alaska adopts the customer relationship management, this will be a sure platform for attaining both the near-term and long-term operational efficiency, growth, and relationship management.


Alaska Airlines: Navigating Change Harvard Case Solution & Analysis. (2015, March 25).

David Koenig and Scott Mayerowitz,. (2015, July 14). Analysis: Consolidation of U.S. Airline Industry Radically Reducing Competition.

Maltsman, J. (2014, July 02). Why Alaska Air Group Stands Out in the Airline Industry. Retrieved from The Motley Fool:

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