A study of managed organisational change : the case of BAA Plc
Airports play a key role in the UK transport system, and around the world. The airport itself facilitates the interaction of a proliferation of passengers, airlines, business partners and technological advances in what is one of the most complex environments and systems understood in the wider tourism context (Doganis, 2001). The commercialisation and subsequent privatisation of UK airports in the 1980s has led to a strong interest in competitive investment in airports from private companies. This has also led to government regulatory pressures and in the expansion of airports in order to meet the increasing demand for air transport (Graham, 2001). In the UK alone, passenger numbers are set to more than double over the next twenty years, rendering the need for the development of current airport locations and systems a key priority (DETR, 2002). Within this rapid and increasingly competitive environment, it is clear that airport organisations, principally BAA plc in the UK airport industry, must develop and change internally in order to meet customer demands and survive in the volatile airport business. This thesis focuses on the internal organisational behaviour of the main UK airport operator, BAA plc, in the face of two managed organisational change programmes; 'Freedom to Manage' and 'Enterprise'. Two airport units, BAA, Glasgow and BAA, Edinburgh, are the focus of this research. Particular attention is afforded to the interrelationships between the management of change and its interrelationship with organisational culture at airport unit level. The research concludes that organisationwide planned change which is implemented by managers has limited effectiveness in different organisations. Instead of managers being the sole communicators and exemplars of change, it is suggested that they should adopt a contextual approach to change which is inclusive of both the internal environment (culture and climate) and the external environment.