IntroductionQantas Air is the leading airline of Australia. It has a long history that can be linked to the development of civil aviation in Australia. The airline began with fragile biplanes that carried one or two passengers in open cockpits, but over time with changes in technology and effective management of change, it has grown into a world-leading airline that boasts of the most prestigious aircraft including the latest Airbus A380 that can carry 450 people at a go. In fact, Qantas was the first airline to sign a contract with Airbus to acquire the Airbus A380.
According the airline’s website, its success story is largely linked to human endeavour, not solely on changes in machines. A few determined individual were able to overcome formidable obstacles to form the company as the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd (QANTAS). The growth of the company has been attributed to its staff that are loyal to customers and effective management of change within the organization to deal with different challenges in different times. Thus, in the company’s own words, “the story is about the people who have created its exciting and productive history - its staff, its customers and the excellence of its business partners and key suppliers. ..” (Qantas).
The success of organizations lies in change. Change is an inevitable component of organizations’ success strategies and emanates from pressure from both within and outside the organization. The need for organizational change could be instigated by shifts in the market structure, technological development and government policies (Fryer, Ellis & Egbu, 2004). The changes that may occur include new attitudes to work, as well as industrial conflict.
It is therefore imperative that any effort to change an organization must take into consideration both internal and external forces (Fryer, Ellis & Egbu, 2004, p. 174). In recognition of the aforementioned points, this paper aims to evaluate the current changes at Qantas Air in its bid to maintain it position as a leading airline in the Asia pacific region and the world at large. The essay identifies the company’s business environment and also identifies the nature and need for change and proposes change strategies that could be reasonably considered by the airline.
Relevant theories and models are used to illustrate this. In addition, the challenges that managers at Qantas are facing as they implement their change strategy are addressed. In relation to this, the paper also highlights how the current changes might be dealt with by applying appropriate corrective strategies. Qantas’ business environment and pressures for changeThe aviation industry is probably one of the most competitive business environments. Thus, in order for an airline to be successful, it must position itself as an effective change implementer. Qantas has not been left behind in this regard going by its continuous investment in technology and staff training.
According to Thomas (2005), organizational change is instigated by some problems; these problems might be perceived or real. Essentially, management is required to facilitate the sort of change that is desirable to an organization. This can be summarised by analysing the physical symptoms of a given environmental problem, visualizing the human behaviour that causes or exacerbates the symptoms, explaining the problems in terms of extant natural systems (i. e. what needs to be done so as to fix the problem) and coming up with a human and social system explanation of the problem and the changes that are required (Thomas, 2005, p. 301).