Service in the Airlines : Customer or Competition Oriented?

Abstract: This dissertation has two objectives. The first objective is to study an airline's organizational culture and its impact on the provision of service through a semiotic perspective, focusing on competence development, image, and the quality of service provided. The goal is to investigate why uneven service occurs and its connection to organizational culture.The second objective is to investigate if the airlines' embedded services are actually appealing to customers and, thereby, a decisive factor in their choice of a carrier.The methods used in this research include an employee opinion survey, a customer opinion survey, in-depth interviews, observations at the workplace, company documents, archival records, and cultural artifacts.The results indicated that lack of guidelines, distance (both physical and psychological) between the management and staff, poor communications, and destructive knowledge were all factors having direct impact on the outcome of the provision of service. The findings showed that embedded services were not the main considerations that customers base their choice of airline on. Direct flight, attentive and friendly staff, safety, and ticket fare were all deemed to have more influence on customer preferences.