Management and employee relations
In the 1980s BA embarked on a major programme of cultural change in its quest to become ‘The World’s Favourite Airline’, a programme designed to transform the company from being operationally driven to one that was market led (Höpfl et al., 1992:25). In short, the company’s business was redefined from transportation to service. The way to improve service, and thereby custom, revenue and profits, was ‘to treat every single customer as though the entire airline is at his or her service, as indeed it must be…. The simple fact is that what we have to sell is a service to our customer’ (Sir Colin Marshall, now BA chairman, quoted in Corke, 1986:91). As the new logo on the company’s coat of arms boldly proclaimed, ‘We Fly to Serve’.
We are maintaining a commitment to customer service which transcends merely being nice. It demands more than a plastic smile and ‘have a nice day’…. As well as using their brains, they are going to need to use their hearts and engage in what we call ‘emotional labour’ (quoted in Corke, 1986:114).
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