Technology Driven Transformation at Comair Limited
(8 pages of text)
Comair Limited was South Africa’s largest private airline and consisted of British Airways SA and the low-cost airline kulula.com. After acquiring more fuel-efficient aircraft, Comair decided to adopt Sabre, a reservation and scheduling technology platform. Initially, some Comair executives thought that the Sabre implementation was an IT project, but they soon realized that all employees were affected and that a culture change was required to successfully implement the new standardized way of working. An organizational transformation company was hired and “Operation Crossover” was created as a reference point for employees and metaphor for change in order to enable the change process, starting with a change readiness assessment and culture change roadmap. How could Comair’s CEO capitalize on the positive changes from this project and maintain the profitability and growth of the last 68 years?
This case illustrates the transformational impact of a large-scale technology implementation. It can be used in courses such as organizational development, leadership, IT implementation and change management. The case objectives are to:
- Analyze whether the change at Comair was of a technical or adaptive nature.
- Evaluate how organizational culture may be a barrier to or enabler of the implementation of change and suggest strategies for intervention.
- Discuss how a change agenda can be framed and communicated.
- Consider the issues in joint (dual) leadership, especially in the implementation of change.
- Recommend strategies for Comair’s CEO to sustain profitability and growth.
Transportation and Warehousing
South Africa, Large, 2013
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