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Delta Airlines an Intervention

Delta Airlines an Intervention

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Delta Airlines an Intervention

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  1. Delta Airlines an Intervention Andrea Fults Catherine Bollig

  2. Delta Airlines Overview • Serves 160 million customers each year • 70,000 employees • 16,000 flights daily • Hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, and Tokyo-Narita • 541 destinations in 115 countries

  3. Delta Airlines Overview • Headquarters: Atlanta, GA • Frequent Flier Program: SkyMiles (established 1981); more than 74 million members • 2008—Delta and Northwest Airlines merge, creating an airline with major operations in every region of the world • Annual Revenues (2009):$28.1 billion • Stock Price: $13.87 (as of 04/16/10) -52 Week High at $14.94 & 52 Week Low at $5.31

  4. Delta/Northwest Merger • Do to the merger changes have been made • Addition of another full airline staff • Operation under a single operating certificate from Federal Aviation Administration • Additional Terminals • Changes in Check-in and gate locations • Changes for flyers • regarding booking • check-in etc. • Food service • World perks program integrated into SkyMiles program

  5. Model for Change The Burke-Litwin Model of Organizational Performance and Change

  6. Burke- Litwin Model • Used for “OD interventions directed toward structure, management practices, and systems (policies and procedures) result in first order change; interventions directed toward mission and strategy, leadership, and organization change” (French and Bell, 1999) • For the company to be successful, all aspects of the model need to function appropriately

  7. Identified Areas for Change • External Environment • Current world economy • Organization Culture • Unionization Vs. Non-unionization • Systems • The combining of both NW and Delta employees • Work Unit Climate • Employees with a sense of non-involvement and devalue

  8. External Environment • Current United States Economy • United States Economy suffering from biggest recession since Great Depression • Cost of Fuel is high • Additional operational costs are raising • Fewer people are traveling • Fewer people choosing to fly while traveling

  9. Intervention Recommendation • Survey of Current Customers • Determine why they choose to fly • What keeps them flying with Delta • Survey of potential Customers • Determine what customer expectations are • Why do they choose not to fly • Analyze data for truths • Incorporate customer recommendations • Publicize and promote new additions and changes

  10. What will these interventions do? • Retain Current Customers • Build a new Client base for the airline • Educate customers on what Delta has to offer • Help move the company forward • Increase profitability for the airline

  11. Organizational Culture • Unionization Vs. Non-unionization -work groups' union representation, job security, pensions and seniority at the combined carrier in question -NW has had flight attendants and mechanics, as well as other airline personnel unionized for decades, Delta has not

  12. Intervention Recommendation • Walton’s Approach to Third Party Peacemaking is encouraged -Confrontation: two principals must be engaged and confront that conflict exists (French and Bell, 1999) -Third Party- diagnoses conflict situations

  13. Third Party Peacemaking Intervention Ground Rules • Unions and Delta want a positive result in the situation- each has motivation to achieve this result • Balance of power • Dialogue is open • Each can understand each other • Confrontation efforts in synch

  14. Third Party Peacemaking Intervention Diagnostic Model Based on Four Basic Elements: 1. Conflict issues 2. Precipitating Circumstances 3. Conflict- relevant acts of the principals 4. Consequences of conflict - Requires problem solving and bargaining behaviors • Each party will have different goals and different needs • Expectations can be highly influenced by differing goals and can hinder or help the process, if aligned (Chang and Sanders, 2009) • Cooperation, competition and independence all must be factored in this type of intervention (Chang and Sanders, 2009)

  15. Third Party Peacemaking Intervention • Specific deadline imposed to reached a decision on union status for each employee group by Delta and unions • Pros and Cons of Unions, what happened in the past for NW, how can this help in the future for Delta? • How will this affect employees? • Bargaining for both sides • Legal involvement?

  16. What will these interventions do? • Agreement for both sides/less conflict • Happier workforce • Representation of Union Understanding • Everyone is on the same page and informed • Seniority, job roles, pensions, etc. are no longer a question

  17. Systems • Combining of NW and Delta employees • Merger of two staffs brings two sets of procedures and practices • Leaves employees to question new company’s operating practices and procedures • When two different procedures/practices are operating tension arises between employees

  18. Intervention Recommendation • Survey both Delta and NW employees • What is similar • What is different • Review both Delta and NW practices • Which procedures are most effective • What procedures can be used from both airlines • Outline a new procedure process • Train staff • Re-train all staff regarding new procedures

  19. What will these interventions do? • Give both Delta and NW staff a chance to express concerns • Allows for a feeling of appreciation and helps create buy-in for employees • Pin points practices from both airlines that were not successful • Through new company training: • Helps to unify both employee bases • New practice information is delivered properly • All individuals have same practice information

  20. Work Unit Climate • Employees feeling devalued through non-involvement in merger process • Employees not always receiving all information • Employees not able to give feedback on their needs and suggestions through transition process

  21. “AI seeks, fundamentally, to build a constructive union between a whole people and the massive entirety of what people talk about as past and present capacities: achievements, assets, unexplored potentials, innovations, strengths, elevated thoughts, opportunities, benchmarks, high point moments, lived values, traditions, strategic competencies, stories, expressions of wisdom, insights into the deeper corporate spirit or soul-- and visions of valued and possible futures” (Cooperrider and Whitney, 2008) Appreciate Inquiry

  22. Intervention Recommendation • Appreciative Inquiry • Four Phases (Cooperrider) -Discovery- strengths of organization (small ->large groups) -Dream- envision potential in the future- 10-20 years -Design- create initiatives to bring dreams to reality -Destiny- drafting action plan, mission, vision, etc.- focus on strengths of ideas

  23. What will these interventions do? • Provide happier, more committed and valued employees • Provide opportunities for employees to voice feedback and a place to have their ideas heard • Gain great insight and new ideas from people on the frontlines

  24. Questions from the group?

  25. References • Adesola, Sola, & Baines, Tim. (2005). Developing and evaluating a methodology for business process improvement.. Business Process Management Journal.11(1). Retrieved from ticle&Filename=Published/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Articles/1570110103.html • Alexander, Jackie. (2002). Organizational Diagnostics: Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Methodology. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 15(2). 156-168. • Chang, Yang-Ming, & Sanders, Shane. (2009). Raising the cost of rebellion: the role of third party intervention in intrastate conflict. Defense and Peace Economics.20(3). Retrieved from xt=713240928~dontcount=true#s913046862 • Cooperrider, D, & Whitney, D (Draft). A Positive Revolution in Change: Appreciative Inquiry. Retrieved from • Delta and Northwest Merger. (2010). Retrieved from • Delta, northwest approve merger deal. (2008, April 14). Retrieved from • Delta Airlines Inc. (2010, April 25). Retrieved from • Foust, D. (2008). Delta-Northwest Deal Grounded. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from

  26. References • French, Wendell, & Bell, Jr., Cecil. (1999). Organization development. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. • Http:// (n.d.). Retrieved from • Johnson, Dana. (2004). Adaptation of Organizational Change Models to the implementation of Quality Standard Requirements. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management. 21(2). 154-174 • Martins, Nico & Coetzee, Melinde. (2009). Applying the Burke-Litwin Model as a Diagnostic Framework For Assessing Organizational Effectiveness. South African Journal of Human Resource Management. 7.(1). 144-156. • Moylin, Martin. (2009, October 29). One year later, delta-nwa merger sees few kinks. Retrieved from • Moylan, Martin. (2010, February 10). Delta-northwest merger nearly complete. Retrieved from • Unger, C. (2010, January 6). Delta-Northwest Merger Nearing Completion. Retrieved from