Read and reflect on the case study below and prepare a response paper of not less than five pages (excluding title and reference pages) with appropriate in text citations.

Objective of this assignment:

This activity serves as a final assessment for the course. It provides you the opportunity to demonstrate how well you have achieved the learning outcomes of the course. You are to provide your knowledge of the strategic and administrative function of Human Resources by thinking about the situation of Southwest Airlines recent merger and their expansion.


Read and reflect on the case study below and prepare a response paper of not less than five pages (excluding title and reference pages) with appropriate in text citations. Demonstrate your research and analytical skills in developing your comprehensive paper by using the organizations website and outside articles written about the organization to supplement the information provided in the case study. However, the case study is unique in that it is focused on the HR ramifications and most of the outside reports you will locate articulate the business side of the merger or expansion possibilities. Tailor your paper to the HR ramifications of the merger and expansion.

Keep in mind that the purpose of this final assessment is for you to demonstrate your knowledge of the strategic and administrative function of Human Resources. While the business side of the situation is the foundation, it is the command of the needed tasks and role for the Human Resource function that you are to focus most of your attention.

Key Components

The key components of the paper are as follows:

1.  Title page

2.  Introduction in which you restate the issue(s) and state the purpose of the paper

3.  SWOT analysis from the HR perspective

4.  Recommendations to address the issues. Scholarly research is expected to support the recommendations.

Examples of issues that may want to be elaborated upon may be possible redundant positions, maintaining the culture of both organizations (or not), combining compensation and benefits plans and union involvement (just to name some).

5. There are many tasks for recruiting and hiring for the expansion (in various global locations). Think about and list what those tasks are.

6. Provide the metrics for evaluating the outcomes of the expansion of the organization (again, from an HR perspective).

7.  Synthesize and summarize your thoughts about the merger and expansion (from an HR perspective), including recommendations for aligning the HR function of the two organizations and addressing any of the S.W.O.T. assessment HR related elements as appropriate.

6.  Reference page containing at least five scholarly references cited in the paper and presented in APA guideline format


Southwest Airlines is a major airline in the United States with limited flights outside the country. The organization has a strong culture which is described in the following excerpt from Gary Kelly, CEO Southwest Airlines found on the Southwest Airlines Website.Living the Southwest Way

Living the Southwest Way

(Gary Kelly states that)…..I ask three things of the 46,000 Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways Employees every day: Work hard, have fun, and treat everyone with respect. We call this Living the Southwest Way, and it comprises three characteristics that we look for in job candidates and require of our Employees: a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart, and a Fun-LUVing Attitude. While it may sound simple (and it is), the impact can be profound. Our Culture has long been admired and has earned Southwest much recognition, including a yearly spot on Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list (we ranked seventh this year) and the distinction of being named one of the Best Places to Work in’s 2013 Employees’ Choice Awards. Our Culture is not a program or a campaign; it is the sum of the personalities and behaviors of our People who Live the Southwest Way every day.

(The following is fiction but is the situation to consider for this assignment). Due to the recent acquisition of AirTran Airways and with the possibility of acquiring other airlines that will expand the organization to other countries, Southwest Airlines will add thousands of employees quickly from any number of existing airlines in a variety of global locations.

Faced with the tasks of maintaining the values of the organization, consider and propose steps the Human Resources team will need to take to achieve a successful merger of the two companies and to expand to additional global locations.

PLEASE NOTE: Much has been written about Southwest Airlines, its culture and the recent merger. While that information may be used as reference material, the situation you have been asked to use for your application of your knowledge about HR is unique. Do not merely cut and paste from what you find in the documents you locate

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