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Title: An investigation into the notions of 'success' and 'failure' held by senior UK airline executives and their perceptions of the causes of 'success'
Author: Beech, J. G.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3453 6602
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2003
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This study explores the notions of 'success' and 'failure' held by senior executives in the UK and Irish airline industry. Previous studies of this industry have tended to be from a positivist perspective, focusing on financial performance at the level of 'airline' or 'airline industry'. This study takes the airline executive as the unit of analysis and is conducted from a phenomenological perspective. A methodology using interviews, causal mapping and postal questionnaires is applied to surface the notions of 'success' and 'failure' and the perception of the causes of 'success' held by board-level airline executives. Standardised data published by the Civil Aviation Authority Economic Research Group is used to establish a range of objective measures, both financial and operational, and these objective measures are compared with the rankings of the senior executives' perceptions of the success of UK and Irish airlines. The research establishes that senior airline executives do not see 'success' in terms of financial objective measures such as Added Value or Operating Ratio; they use profit as the primary financial measure of 'success' and frequently hold notions of 'success' that are based in other functional areas such as operations and marketing. The causes of 'success' are seen as coming from the breadth of functional areas. The influence of HRM factors becomes clearer at deeper levels of abstraction when considering 'success'. There is limited evidence of the stereotyping of perceptions when the success of specific airlines is considered, but not for airlines' success in general. Recommendations for further research into the management of human resources within airlines are made.
Supervisor: Black, Ian G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Airline industry ; Business success