Virgin Atlantic Airways Founded In 1984

Topics: Richard Branson, Organizational culture, Virgin Group Pages: 7 (2113 words) Published: November 12, 2014
Virgin Atlantic Airways, founded in 1984, has grown rapidly to become one of the UK’s largest airline carriers and now serves 31 destinations worldwide.
Well known for pioneering many service innovations and setting new standards for the airline industry, Virgin Atlantic continues to expand. But despite their growth the airline still remains customer focused, with an emphasis on value for money, unique offerings and high quality service.

Atlantic Airlines Limited, is a British airline company owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group (51%) and Singapore Airlines(49%). Virgin group is the creator of more than 300 branded companies globally, and employs approximately 50,000 people in 30 countries (Virgin, 2012 online) As a creator of Virgin, Richard Branson has blanketed the Virgin Empire in a thick layer of secrecy to get a competitive edge against its rivals. Branson’s own values and management style has differentiated Virgin group from other formal structured organizations

Since it was founded in 1984, Virgin Atlantic Airways has become Britain’s second largest carrier serving the world’s major cities. Now based at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports and Manchester airport, it operates long haul services to thirty destinations world-wide as far apart as Las Vegas and Shanghai. Virgin Atlantic was developed as an offshoot of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which was better known at the time as a leading light in the world of pop and rock music. On 22 June 1984 Virgin’s inaugural flight to Newark took place, a flight filled with friends, celebrities and the media. The airline’s aim was simple: “To provide the highest quality innovative service at excellent value for money for all classes of air travellers”.

Virgin Atlantic offers three classes of travel - Upper class, Premium Economy and Economy all with award-winning inflight entertainment. on 06/11/2014

The organisational structure of the Virgin Group is flat as it has little of hierarchical levels, short lines of communication among employees and senior managers.  Due to a great deal of responsibility and freedom, employees are encouraged to take initiative, commitment and to come up with innovative thoughts to generate innovative ideas and how to improve the overall performance of the organisation. Culture can be explained as “shared, socially learned knowledge and patterns of behaviour” (Peoples and Bailey, 2011, p.24). Accordingly, organisational culture relates to shared values and patterns of behaviour that is associated with a specific organisation. Arguably, the most significant and popular theoretical framework on the topic of culture relates to Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Specifically, Hofstede (1980) divides national cultures into the following dimensions: power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term vs. short-term orientation. While this theoretical framework has been primarily developed to distinguish between national cultures some dimensions can be used to distinguish between organisational cultures as well. For instance, Virgin Atlantic has low power distance cultural dimension with founder Richard Branson encouraging feedback from employees at all levels (Azar and Brock, 2010). In terms of uncertainty avoidance cultural dimension, on the other hand, Virgin Atlantic organisational culture can be described as high in uncertainty avoidance due to the company’s attempts of adopting an innovative approach in dealing various tendencies in airline industry.

Power of Suppliers
The suppliers for carriers like Virgin Atlantic are the aircraft makers like Boeing and Airbus in addition to...
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