In 1994 both United Airlines and Continental Airlines launched low-cost airline in-one Southwest Airlines compete. From 1991 to 1993 Southwest had increased its market share of the critical West Coast market from 26% to 45%. Considers how Southwest had developed a sustainable competitive advantage and emphasizes the role of human resources as a lever for the successful implementation of the strategy. Asks whether competitors successfully imitate the Southwest approach.

In 1994 both United Airlines and Continental Airlines launched low-cost airline in-one Southwest Airlines compete. From 1991 to 1993 Southwest had increased its market share of the critical West Coast market from 26% to 45%. Considers how Southwest had developed a sustainable competitive advantage and emphasizes the role of human resources as a lever for the successful implementation of the strategy. Asks whether competitors successfully imitate the Southwest approach.
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from
Charles A. O’Reilly,
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business
27 pages.
Release Date: 1 January 1995. Prod #: HR1A-PDF-ENG
Southwest Airlines (A) HBR case solution