Case | HBS Case Collection | October 1990 (Revised September 1993)

Changing the Culture at British Airways

by John P. Kotter

Abstract

In just 10 years, 1980-1990, British Airways turned around both its declining image and financial situation. Focusing on the paramount importance of customer service, British Airways went from "bloody awful" to "bloody awesome." Experiencing a financial crisis in 1981 and trying to meet the challenges of privatization helped the people at British Airways focus on changing their culture through reorganization and instituting new beliefs.

Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Culture; Problems and Challenges; Customer Relationship Management; Corporate Strategy; Privatization; Air Transportation Industry; United Kingdom;

Citation:

Kotter, John P. "Changing the Culture at British Airways." Harvard Business School Case 491-009, October 1990. (Revised September 1993.)