Last updated: February 14, 2019
Topic: AutomotiveCommercial
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This study was commissioned by Dr. Lee Mathias to analyze the theoretical accounts of Change Management. Its intent is to reexamine the available information on WestJet, analyse the theoretical accounts of alteration and offer recommendations to efficaciously implement the alteration program.



WestJet is a low cost air hose and was founded in 1996 by group of Calgary business communities. It is the 2nd largest operator in the Canadian air power industry with a 36 % domestic market portion in Canada. WestJet uses Boeing 737 aircrafts.

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The usage of individual fleet has kept the overhead costs low. As a portion of its concern reappraisal exercising, the senior executives at WestJet considered adding a 2nd fleet of smaller Bombardier or Embraer planes. WestJet besides has a repute of being a merriment employer with an bold corporate civilization, cheerful commercials and low menus ( Mark 2009 ) .



Scheme is a manner of tracking the vision and mission of the organisation ( Gill 2003 ) . Specifying a scheme for choosing for the 2nd fleet, WestJet needs to reply inquiries like “ What are they seeking to alter? Is it the right alteration? Can it be executed successfully? ” ( Burch H. 2005 ) . Change in any organisation requires turn toing the scheme ( what needs to be changed ) , accomplishments ( what are the needed competences of the alteration receivers ) and the constructions ( long term and short term tools to back up the alteration ) . If these three countries are non aligned, the terminal consequence may non be appropriate ( Carter 2008 ) .To be able to run in the air hose industry it is of import to hold a strategic direction squad that can to respond to rapid alteration efficaciously. It besides needs to hold a competent and efficient internal direction system to prolong in the dynamic air hose industry ( Ferriera and Lyonb 2004 ) .

SWOT Analysis

To be able to implement the scheme, WestJet needs to make some stock taking in footings of weighing the strengths and failings ( SWOT Analysis ) .

This will assist the organisation assess whether their scheme is consistent with the jobs or menaces in the external or internal environment of the administration.


WestJet understands the demand for efficaciously pull offing the company to take it through the economic downswing. It is branded as a no-frills air hose with superior services. It has low staff degrees coupled with another advantage that it has a non-unionized work force which helps it in maintaining the forces costs low ( Newman Aug 1, 2005 ) .Fiscal Security: An analysis of the fiscal information in the instance shows that WestJet is financially unafraid. Its debt equity ratio is at 1.

09, which is comparatively lower the industry criterions. It besides has a hard currency modesty of $ 820 million.Seat or Capacity Utilization: The little 100 place aircraft will be better utilised compared to the larger 737s.Cost Optimization: Using the individual fleet of larger planes means the same planes are being used for short draw flights every bit good. This causes fuel inefficiencies. Using the 2nd fleet of smaller planes will take such inefficiencies.Customer Satisfaction: The chief USP of WestJet is hassle free journey for its riders. In words of Mr.

Cummings “ WestJet ‘s strength is its corporate civilization, and the competitory advantage of friendly service, which would be movable to a 2nd fleet, we believe we would make good in shorter draw markets. ” The smaller planes can be used for domestic flights as good conveying the overall use to around 95 % without compromising on the client satisfaction.


WestJet does non hold to cover with any major labour issues nevertheless, the cost film editing steps and financess being diverted for fleet enlargement programs can take to unhappy workers and raise industrial relation struggle.

WestJet is non one of the best paymasters in the industry. Their cardinal beginning of employee keeping is their vivacious civilization. This may entice the younger coevals for a small while but finally, they will demand better compensation ( Newman Aug 1, 2005 ) .


Aviation is a really dynamic industry and it allows a few operators to germinate, lead and compete. WestJet signed a memoranda of understanding with Air France and KLM on new commercial relationship. Forming confederations globally is a strategic manner to experiment and look into chances domestically every bit good as globally.

WestJet has achieved it by capitalising on these chances.


A strategic confederation can open doors to many chances but it besides exposes WestJet to the nature of the planetary air hoses industry as such confederations are susceptible to domino consequence and sensitive to the economic turbulency prevailing in and outside the state ( Newman Aug 1, 2005 ) .

The Plan Ahead:

‘Airline Industry has evolved from being a slow moving stable one to a extremely competitory environment, in which rivals are highly slick and have unconventional agencies of viing ‘ ( D’Aveni 1998 ) . Any planetary event can hold its impact on the travel industry.

For illustration, the 9/11 calamity, SARS outbreak and most late swine grippe adversely affected the travel industry in general and air hoses in peculiar. Faced with the universe altering at the velocity of a supersonic jet, it is merely just that one of the largest stockholders of the Canadian Aviation industry re-invents itself. It can non presume that the old ways of operating will last. The alterations required are insidious and encroach on every aspect of concern. There is no consecutive demand for a cultural alteration. The alteration is about a cardinal displacement, a new concern theoretical account while maintaining the nucleus values integral ( Leigh 2007 ) . To choose for a 2nd fleet of smaller planes is a large strategic move for WestJet.

Since WestJet operates in a dynamic environment, the associated alteration procedure will be uninterrupted, emergent and decentralized ( Biedenbach 2008 ) .Particular managerial attending is required to run in a competitory environment as the environment is dynamic and competition is ferocious. To convey about a alteration WestJet needs to react to this environment in a flexible and dynamic mode. They need to keep a high gait for pull offing this alteration.WestJet has made a strategic determination to spread out its fleet by adding smaller planes. This determination has its ain impact on the doctrine, character, civilization and the full trade name called WestJet.

It has an added advantage in footings of fiscal strength ( it ‘s been profitable in 12 out of 13 old ages of operations ) , a extremely motivated and engaged work force and a loyal client base. Based on the nature and composing of a concern, there are many theoretical theoretical accounts available to successfully implement a alteration procedure. Some of these theoretical accounts are suited for transformational alterations and the others for all right tuning ; these theoretical accounts besides take into history the alteration attack. For illustration: Lewin proposed a three measure theoretical account of planned alteration that describes alteration in the stages of unfreezing, traveling and refreezing ( Lewin, 1952 ) nevertheless, this theoretical account can non be applied in the instance of WestJet as it is a an open-ended and uninterrupted procedure of accommodating to an changing environment. The available theoretical accounts have been compared and analysed in the tabular array below. Kotter ‘s theoretical account is the most suited for pull offing the alteration program at WestJet. However, there are elements of the pick attack, which is based on Burnes theoretical account which have been used to plan an effectual alteration program.

( Biedenbach 2008 ) .

Change: The Model Perspective

Based on the analysis of the features of the different theoretical accounts, it is best to use a combination of different attacks. In instance of WestJet, the most suited attack would be the emergent and pick attack of alteration. Occasionally, the sought alteration may be planned ; nevertheless, in this instance the alteration, with the enlargement of the fleet, will impact the whole organisation and will invariably germinate. The emergent attack is in line with the position where alteration builds up incrementally ( Pettigrew 1997 ; Pettigrew 2000 ; Dawson 2003 ) .

It has been established that WestJet operates in a dynamic environment, where in there is an on-going challenge of making a new competitory advantage. Change that is triggered by competition leads to specific demands harmonizing to the organizational signifier, capableness and scheme. Kotter ‘s ( 1996 ) eight-step theoretical account is used in the transformational alterations in an administration. Kotter learned that a bulk of the alterations failed across assorted organisations and he developed his theoretical account in such a manner so as to avoid any major mistakes in a alteration procedure. His theoretical account dressed ores on the cardinal stages in the alteration procedure and is best viewed as a vision for the alteration procedure. The theoretical account proposes that each stage in a alteration procedure takes considerable sum of clip and any error in one stage can hold a significant impact on the gait of the alteration.

Kotter ‘s theoretical account targets the strategic degree of the alteration direction procedure ( Thomas. Biedenbach and Soderholm 2008 ) .hypertext transfer protocol: // imgurl=http: // & A ; usg

Kotter ‘s Strategic theoretical account for Transforming Administration

The first and first component in any alteration attempt is to place what needs to be changed or what is being introduced and what is the competitory advantage the proposed alteration will convey. The scheme to improvize and take can come through originative tenseness ( Senge 1990 ) . “ Senge notes that originative tenseness evolves from clearly seeing where we want to be, our vision, and stating the truth about where we are now, our current world ” .

There is a difference in implementing thoughts that arise out of originative tenseness and merely put to deathing the holes to ongoing jobs in an administration. Acknowledging alteration ( the demand for, the thought of, and the context thereof ) is merely the first measure.In position of this first measure, WestJet should develop a shared vision for alteration. It has to pass on with the stakeholders and demo why keeping the position quo is non right. To make this they need to utilize grounds and statistics from the external environment like market competition, force per unit area to stand out and the menace of lost chances to endorse up the enterprise ( Biedenbach 2008 ; Young January 2010 ) .

Define the alteration enterprise

It is of import to place the key participants and specify their functions in the alteration attempts which include the implementers and receivers. Strategists are accountable for the preliminary work. WestJet direction has identified what needs to be changed and has a vision of the coveted result.

They need to specify who will patronize it. The implementers are the 1s who will work out all the mathematics and will do it go on. Their occupation is to guarantee that there is a construction and facilitate successful advancement. They need to come on with the strong belief that the alteration will be good to everyone.WestJet needs to hold a group that acts ‘champions of alteration ‘ to assist inform people about the benefits of alteration and explicate the range and timelines. Persons need to be encouraged to take part since a alteration of such proportions will impact every section and member in the organisation ( Kotter 1995 ) .

Develop a alteration program

The program should dwell of precise ends and present elaborate and clear duties for strategians, implementers and receivers. A proper balance between rigidness and snap is of import ; excessively much rigidness can take to a program that does non prosecute good with developing organisational demands.

A alteration will imply the attempts of people at assorted degrees in the company with a assortment of functions. Each individual will be guided by their ain demand, motive and frame of mention which will find their credence or opposition degrees. The attack besides depends on the needed velocity of execution.

Active engagement of all the stakeholders will take to the smooth flow of the ulterior stairss of the alteration procedure. The staff needs to be provided with a platform to show their sentiments and undertake their insecurities ( Kotter 1995 ) .

Dominant Alliance

This measure in the alteration procedure refers to Kotter ‘s ( 1995 ) impression that a strong alliance demands to be developed to implement a alteration. Kotter suggests that the support of influential line executives is of import in making a critical support base for the alteration.The line executives or any identified person who is appointed as the patron of the strategic enterprise should be able to pass on, theoretical account and stress on the enterprise for the maximal consequence.

He/she should be able to bring forth strategic brotherhood both vertically and horizontally in the administration. WestJet has a civilization wherein every member in the organistion is actively involved in the concern. The determination of swift enlargement is a strategic one and the execution of such a determination is typically down utilizing a top down attack. However, in this instance utilizing a patron will bring forth a more widespread credence in the staff and aid make a better apprehension of the aim.

Fix the mark audience, the receivers of alteration

Change is non efficaciously possible unless the receivers of alteration accept it and are willing to alter themselves. Normally, the perceptual experience of the nature of alteration does little to extenuate the opposition. The opposition is generated when the position quo is affected. The fright of unknown leads to emphasize in people.

Kotter has suggested assorted attacks to cover with opposition. He advocates the usage of focal point groups, treatments and studies to convey the issues of opposition to fore. Resistance is a natural emotional reaction which needs to be dealt with efficaciously.

WestJet direction demands to hold a good communicating program. It is critical as rumours start go arounding if the staff is left in dark about the premiss, advancement and deductions of the proposed alteration and insecurities rise and the motive plumb bobs ( Kotter 1995 ) .

Prolonging the Change

Buchanen et Al. have done a thorough reappraisal of the literature on sustainability of alteration and have come up with three issues that affect the sustainability of alteration. These recommendations about work as a prescription for prolonging alteration ( Buchanen, Ketley et Al. 2005 ) .

Make the cultural fit – Making the alteration last

In the development of any alteration enterprise, the alteration must go entrenched in the existing civilization. Peoples in the administration should accept and appreciate the fact that alteration is in world ‘the efficient manner of making things ‘ .

The suggested alteration theoretical account refers to get downing alteration with touchable actions and explicating long-run programs to vouch that alteration continues. Changing systems and structures requires altering communicating, resourcing, preparation, development, and wages maps, to do certain that they support and strengthen alteration. WestJet has a extremely vivacious civilization with high employee engagement and a true sense of belonging. The staff at all degrees in the organisation is encouraged to take part in the determination devising. The determination to spread out is another measure towards growing which needs to be communicated efficaciously to the staff.

If a divide exists between the alteration enterprise and corporate civilization, civilization can chair the effectivity of the enterprise. If there is a possible for struggle so it should be evaluated in the alteration program development stage. Once alterations have been incorporated, they need to be rooted in the procedures and followed diligently.

WestJet has a work force trained to work with the fleet of bigger planes. It has significant care support from the supplier every bit good. Adding another fleet of smaller planes will construct up the anxiousness degree in the staff about assorted public presentation issues. The committedness to supply support and preparation to cover with emergent issues should be honored.

Change Leader

A alteration leader has a critical function in making the corporate vision.

The leader inspires the staff to encompass the vision, sets the organisational construction and there are reward mechanisms inplace for people who systematically focus on the vision. This can be done by and single and besides by a squad of people who have the right committedness, competency and motive to follow the alteration through ( Katzenbach and Smith 1993 ) . Senior direction must give clip and dressed ore on the alteration procedure – Traveling on a well-earned vacation while, the new planes are being bought, introduced and prepared for flights does n’t give the right message to staff ( Young January 2010 ) .

Communicate the alteration

The best scheme is to pass on, affect people, and be honest. Communication with the staff is of critical importance right from the beginning of a alteration attempt. The aims of communicating demand to be to better the perceptual experience and committedness to alter, to cut down opposition and to inform staff for both the benefits and hazards of the proposed alteration. WestJet direction demands to hold frequent Sessionss with the staff members to make a buy-in for determination to travel for the 2nd fleet. The staff should be informed about the likely impact it will hold on the concern and their personal growing and ends.

There needs to be a really strong message traveling out about keeping the client focal point and bringing criterions ( Kotter 1995 ) .


WestJet Airlines has achieved singular success. In 13 old ages of operations, it has managed to excel Canada ‘s national air hose. The laminitis ‘s property all their success to the company ‘s civilization ; it ‘s 7000 employees and around 12 million invitees. WestJet direction has ever invested in keeping their criterions and demands to find the growing way without compromising on the nucleus values and the alone civilization of the organisation.

Its end is to be in the top 5 air hoses of the universe by 2016 ( Seijts and Mark 2009 ) . To keep the exponential growing rate, they have decided to put in smaller planes. The challenge is to happen the growing program and yet maintain the same or even better service criterions for clients and maintain the prevailing civilization intact. Based on an analysis of assorted alteration theoretical accounts and attacks available, the paper has listed down the most effectual manner of implementing the alteration and prolonging it in the longer tally.