Southwest Questions

1.       (20 points)  Using Porter’s business-level strategy model, identify the strategy that was being pursued by Southwest.  Why would the company select this strategy over others?  What core competencies support this strategy?  How does this create a sustainable competitive advantage?

2.        (20 points)  Using Porter’s competitive forces model identify the driving forces that Southwest is facing?  Rank these in terms of (a) severity and (b) likelihood.  Which items require immediate management attention?  Which items require less attention at this time?

3.        (10 points)  In class we discussed the difference between a device and a product.  In the case of Southwest, what is the device, and what is the product?  What is the difference?

4.        (10 points)  One of the managers in the case describes Southwest Airlines as providing quality service; yet we often view this airline as a discount (no frills) carrier.  Explain what we mean by quality in this context.  How can we be both no frills and high quality at the same time?

5.       (40 points)  The case outlines an immediate expansion decision involving two uncommitted 737’s.  There are three options presented.  Which one makes more sense from a “strategic” standpoint?  Support your decision with facts, figures, and information from the case – present this information in a spreadsheet (or table) that clearly communicates & supports your decision.