Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Managing human resources for service excellence and cost effectiveness at Singapore Airlines
Article Type: From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 7.
WirtzJ., Heracleous L., Pangarkar N. Managing Service Quality, 2008, Vol. 18 No. 1, Start page: 4, No. of pages: 16
Purpose To explore the nature of Singapore Airline’s human resource (HR) management practices that enable the company to deliver consistent service excellence in an efficient manner and achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach - Presents an in-depth case study based on primary and secondary data, and especially in-depth interviews of senior management and senior flight crew. Findings - The study finds that Singapore Airlines’ HR practices involve stringent selection and recruitment processes, extensive training and retraining, successful service delivery teams, empowerment of front-line staff to control service quality, and motivating staff through rewards and recognition. Practical implications - This research has implications for organizations that aim to deliver consistent service excellence, by outlining HR practices that assist in this goal; and for senior management, particularly highlighting the importance and contribution of HR to competitive advantage, and the importance of strategic alignment between functional strategies and business-level strategies. Originality/value - Contributes to the understanding of how HR practices contribute to service excellence and competitive advantage, this being a key dimension of strategic alignment. ISSN: 0960-4529 Reference: 37AE147 DOI: 10.1108/09604520810842812
Keywords: Airlines, Empowerment, Selection, Service levels, Strategic alignment, Training