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Alaska Air

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Alaska airline has been serving the aviation industry for over 75 years. Alaska airline was founded by Mac McGee in 1932 when Mac McGee started flying to and from Anchorage and Bristol Bay with the aircraft which had the capability to carry just three people and was known as McGee airways at that time. Alaska airline came into being after several mergers with small aviation companies and is now one of the biggest airlines of Alaska.
Alaska airline has a vast network and serves over 60 cities and 3 countries. The main hub of Alaska airline is Tacoma international airport which is located in Seattle. Alaska airline generates most of its revenue from domestic flights. Peak revenues are generated in the month of March as the major league baseball takes place in that month. Alaska air group is the major holding company whose subsidiaries are two airlines, Alaska airline and Horizon air. In order to enhance its operations, Alaska airline has partnerships with the major airlines operating in the United States. American airline, ‘Cathay pacific, British airways, Korean air and KLM’ are the international airlines among the codeshare partners of Alaska airline. The success of Alaska airline was brought by the two key members of airline, Bra Tilden who is currently the president of Alaska airline and William S. Ayer who is the chief executive officer (Alaska airline, 2015).
One of the unique features of Alaska airline is that their entire fleet consists of same type of aircrafts which acts as an advantage in terms of training of employees and maintenance of the aircrafts. The fleet of Alaska airline consists of 137 aircraft all of which are Boeing 737. The fleet average age is around 9.4 years. As of today, Alaska airline is an employer of over 11,397 staff and has up to 880 flights per day (Alaska airline, 2015).
This report will discuss about the organizational culture of Alaska airline. Moreover, the report will discuss how the organization culture contributes to the success or failure of the company.

Literature review
Alaska airline foundation was laid in 1932 by Mac McGee who first started flying between Anchorage and Bristol in an aircraft which had just three seats. In its early days Mac had financial constraints and often had to work for long hours due to shortage of staff. In 1934 merger with Star Air Service made Alaska airline the largest airline in Alaska. The name of Alaska airline was changed several times. In 1950 Alaska airline purchased two more small carriers in order to expand and also earned the rights to fly from ‘Anchorage and Fairbanks to Seattle and Portland’. The company also made changes to the management team by taking on board World War 2 veteran Charlie Willis who was known for marketing. The change in management improved financial conditions for Alaska airline. Boeing 727 which was the signature aircraft for Alaska airline for 25 years was introduced in 1965. The tables turned in 1970 when Alaska airline was on the verge of collapsing. However, Ron Cosgrave took charge and considerable improved customer service by improving on time performance. For the next few years Alaska airline expanded and grew its network into several states in United States. In 1985 the holding company of Alaska airline came into being. In 1990s Alaska airline changed its cost structure and increased its aircraft utilization. Alaska airline became a low cost airline which rewarded them with record passenger traffic and profit in West Coast. In 2000s Alaska airline grew its network towards Boston, Miami and Washington D.C. Moreover, Alaska airline added more destinations in Mexico. Alaska airline also changed all its fleet to Boeing 737 which had much greater efficiency and fuel saving (Alaska airline, 2015).
As of today Alaska airline have 138 aircrafts all of which are Boeing which includes aircrafts used for cargo. Alaska airline have a commitment of 78 Boeing 737 aircrafts with an option to get 46 additional aircrafts (Alaska airline, 2015). Model | Seats (1st class/ main cabin) | # in fleet | Boeing 737-400 | 144 (12/)132 | 21 | Boeing 737-700 | 124(12/112) | 14 | Boeing 737-800 | 157(16/141) | 61 | Boeing 737-900 | 172(16/156) | 12 | Boeing 737-900 ER | 181(16/165) | 23 | Boeing 737-400C | 72 | 5 | Boeing 737-400F | N/A (freighter) | 1 |

The following table shows the expected fleet activity (Alaska airline, 2015). | Freighters | Passenger Aircraft | Total Mainline Fleet | Fleet count at end of 2014 | 6 | 131 | 137 | Fleet count at end of 2015 | 6 | 141 | 147 | Fleet count at end of 2017 | 3 | 150 | 153 |

Figure 1 Alaska airline livery (Alaska airline, 2015)
The fleet of Alaska airline is painted in white with Alaska written on the sides in the front section of the aircraft between the nose and wings which is painted in blue. On the tail of the aircraft is an image of an Alaskan painted. The image of the Alaskan signifies the Alaskan communities which have been involved in the business of Alaska airline and it also shows strong heritage of service. Among the fleet there are 9 aircrafts which are especially themed (Alaska airline, 2015).
The main strength of Alaska airline is its committed employees who work very hard for the benefit of airline and keep the service at top level. Moreover, due to its success Alaska airline has attracted many investors. Alaska airline outsources all of its heavy maintenance while they also have their own maintenance facility. Alaska airline has won many rewards in its operations. Alaska airline was among the top 100 best employers in 2015 according to Forbes. Alaska airline was awarded consecutively five times for it’s on time performance by FlightStats (Alaska airline, 2015).
Organizational culture
Organizational culture can be defined as the ‘a system of shared assumptions, values and belief, which governs how people behave in organizations’. Organizational culture plays an important part in how the performance of the employees and how they act and dress.
Alaska airline is one of the few organizations which boast about its culture. Alaska airline has kept safety of its customers and employees as the number one priority in their list. Alaska airline takes special care of its employees. Alaska airline makes sure that all external safety standards and procedures are met and no compromise has been done. Moreover, Alaska airline has developed its own internal policies and practices in order to achieve highest level of safety for its employees, customers and communities. Alaska airline has kept a safety goal of achieving ‘highest possible level of safety for every employee, every customer and every flight’ to be reached by 2020. In order to reach this goal Alaska airline will take two measures. First, is to increase staff safety reporting from 20% to 27% by 2020. Secondly, is to reward the staff through annual incentive program for safety performance (Alaska airline, 2015).

Figure 2 Safety reports filed per year (Alaska airline, 2015)
The above figure shows number of safety reports filed per employee in a given year. It can be clearly seen from the graph that the reports filed per year has been rising steadily. There has been a huge jump in safety reports filed as we move from the year 2012 to 2013. However, Alaska airline still felt short of the goal they had kept. The drastic increase was due to the fact that Alaska airline had implemented Safety Management System (SMS). Safety Management System is process which makes sure safety risk are managed and it also helps in identifying risks before any accident could occur. Moving from the year 2013 to 2014, there is an increase in the reports filed per employee. This time Alaska airline could easily achieve the goal they had set. These goals were able to be achieved by Alaska airline due to several steps taken by the airline. In 2014, Alaska airline made all the leaders participate in an executive-led session in which they established emotional connections to the decision taken by the company. It involved finding how a particular decision taken by the company affected that particular staff member. The session highlighted how safety can impact employees’ life at home and at work. A testimony by an individual was also included in the session that had lost a family member in an air crash (Alaska airline, 2015).

Figure 3 Ready, Safe, Go banner at SeaTac International airport (Alaska airline, 2015)
Another reason for increase in safety reports filed was due to the campaign known as ‘Ready, Safe, Go’. ‘Ready, Safe, Go’ was a program introduced to increase safety awareness among the staff. The campaign made sure safety was the first priority for employees and is fully backed by the leaders. It also made sure that before any decision or action is taken, everything completely safe and then only the staff can proceed with it. Moreover, Safe Operations Award and Recognition Program (SOAR) was also introduced as a part of ‘Ready, Safe, Go’ campaign. This encouraged the staff to follow the safety regulations and policy more strictly. The result of this was 82% decrease in high risk events, 20% increase in employee reporting and 13% decrease in serious injuries (Alaska airline, 2015).
Alaska airline has a diverse working force, with people of different color and race are working in the company. In terms of diversity and equal opportunity, Alaska airline has set two goals. First is to increase promotion rate of people of color and women. Second is to employ veterans and military personnel. Alaska airline believes that a diverse workforce creates a dynamic culture and a more successful work place (Alaska airline, 2015).

Figure 4 Promotion rate of males and females per year (Alaska airline, 2015) The above graph shows the promotion rate of men and women. The promotion rate of women has been kept higher to keep them motivated as well as to attract more women. In the year 2012 the promotion rate of women was close to 12.5% compared to men, which was 11%. In the year 2013 the promotion rate increased to 15%, while for men it only increased by 0.5%. However, in 2014 the promotion rate of women decreased by 1% and for men by another 0.5% as per the goals set by the Alaska airline company.

Figure 5 Promotion rate of people of color and majority per year (Alaska airline, 2015)
The figure shows the promotion rate of people of color. In the year 2012, the promotion rate of the majority was higher and was around 12.5% while for minority the promotion rate was 11%. However, there was a drastic increase in promotion of minorities while the promotion rate of majority was still kept the same. This attracted minorities to take up jobs in Alaska airline. In 2014 the promotion rate of majority and minority was lowered.
Alaska airline believes that military personnel experience can benefit the airline a lot as they can play a major role in ‘maintaining a diverse, result-oriented and high performing workforce’. Alaska airline has a Military Employee Resource Group (ERG) which reaches out to veterans which are recently hired to welcome and help them transition to civilian life (Alaska airline, 2015).

Figure 6 Employees by age (Alaska airline, 2015)
The above figure shows the employees by age. It shows that most of the employees are between the ages of 30-50 and 50 above which are due to the fact that 58.5% of the staff has been working for 10 or more years. While only small portion of workforce is between the ages of 18 to 30 years. Among the total workforce 54% of them are females, 6.5% are military veterans and 20% are people of color.
‘Employee attraction and engagement’ is another aspect Alaska airline takes great care of. Every year Alaska airline makes its workforce take survey on employee engagement and other aspects of job. Engaged employee can be defined as ‘an employee who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests’. After the surveys are carried out each department in Alaska airline tries to improve the areas which have been identified as the area with which the employees are unhappy with such as recognition and resource allocation (Alaska airline, 2015).

Figure 7 Engagement score per year (Alaska airline, 2015)
The above figure shows the percentage engagement of employees.’ Employee satisfaction, commitment, pride and advocacy’ are the factors on which employee engagement score is based on. In the year 2011, the employee engagement score was 66% which rose to 79% in 2013. The increase was seen as several incentives were introduced in the year 2013. Engagement percentage increased by 3% in the year 2014 reaching a total of 82%. This survey shows that employees take pride in being a part of Alaska airline.
Alaska airline also has ‘Performance Based Pay (PBP) incentive program’ to make its employee work harder. Goals are set by the board of directors which, if they are achieved employees are given 5% of their eligible earnings. Bonuses are also given to the employees if the company exceeds its goals (Alaska airline, 2015).

Alaska airline has a vast and diverse culture. They accept people from all communities irrespective of their race and color. Alaska airline focuses on the safety of its employees which is very beneficial for the company. It gives a sense to its employees that the company cares for them and treats them as a part of family. The employees then in return care for the company and its interests. Moreover, if any injury occurs inside the premises of the company, the company will have to pay for it which will not only cost extra money for injures to the company but also the company has to pay another staff to cover up for the injured person. Alaska airline has taken just the right steps to make sure its employees are safe by keeping strict policies and rewarding its employees for following them.
Equal opportunity for women and people of color is also a good way for increasing diversity within the company. However, Alaska airline increased the hiring rate of female more than that of males which may be a concern for few people. The issue that may arise is that there may be more eligible and talented males which may not get the chance to be hired due to company policies. On the bright side employing people of different color will promote diversity and dynamic culture in the company. Different people will have different ways of solving problem or a situation. However, one step which Alaska airline took which is promoting more females and people of color may go against the company. The employees of the company may not like the idea of others being promoted more than them and it will also affect the performance of the employees. Employing military veteran is very advantageous for any company as they bring huge amount of experience with them along with being very highly motivated as well as being goal oriented and organized.
Surveying for employee engagement is a very good mean for a company to understand how the employees feel for the company. Employee satisfaction plays a major role in success of the company. A satisfied employee is more motivated and is less likely to switch to another job. This decreases the staff turnover rate and keeps employees loyal to the company. The survey also has a plus point that the company can focus on areas with which the employees are not happy with and derive a solution to keep its staff satisfied which will indirectly affect the performance of the staff. It is also a good way for a company to communicate with its staff. Rewarding staff based on the performance is also a good way to keep the staff motivated. This will allow the company to achieve its milestones as the employees work hard to achieve the goals set by the top management.

Alaska airline has a vast and diversified organizational culture and it plays a major role in its success. Alaska airline has a very clever and strategic means of keeping its employees satisfied as well as motivated. Motivated employees have been the major reason that Alaska airline has passed through the most difficult times while other companies have vanished. Moreover, since staff turnover rate is less and many of its employees has been working for ten or more years, it keeps experienced personnel in the company who are able to train new employees as well as handle difficult situations as they know every inch of the company. Some company policies may be disliked by the employees but Alaska airlines has several incentives to keep its employees satisfied and motivated.

Alaska airline, 2015, ‘Passenger and employee safety’, viewed on 14 June 2015,
Alaska airline, 2015, ‘Promoting communication and understanding’, viewed on 16 June 2015,
Alaska airline, 2015, ‘Employee attraction and engagement’, viewed on 19 June 2015,

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Alaska Evaporada Case Analysis

... I. Company Profile Company Background “Nourishing Filipino Dreams” Alaska Milk Corporation first started developing its products through a joint venture with Holland Milk Products, Inc. In 1972, the company offered Alaska Evaporada Filled, Sweetened and Chocolate Sweetened Condensed Milk to the market. Since then the company became the number one brand and continued to expand its reach into other segments of the industry. In 1976, Alaska Milk Corporation became widely known as it launched its advertising strategies which featured the “One-on-One” campaign where the famous line “wala pa rin tatalo sa Alaska” originated, making its way into every Filipino household all over the country. The company then continued to use well-loved by Filipino sports to widen its market reach and won the various advertising excellence awards in 1977. In 1982, the company decided to revamp their packaging and developed advertising campaigns to “encourage use of Alaska liquid mild in food preparations”. Not long after, Alaska Milk Corporation expanded its product portfolio line and added the powdered filled milk in 1985 then the Alaska Choco brand in 1987. Aside from that, strong marketing initiatives were also launched in 1986 when it fully invested into sports and partnered with the “Sprint Queen”, Lydia de Vega, as the ambassador for the brand. Also in the same year, the company acquired a franchise in the Philippine Basketball Association which also helped establish the company’s equity...

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