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Singapore Airlines

Executive Summary: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines was founded as another entity in 1972, when it split with the Malaysia-Singapore Airlines. However, if the actual history of the formation of the company is considered, then, Singapore Airlines was founded in 1947, when it was inherent to the Malayan Airlines. In those times, just three plane tickets per week, to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang, were all that the individuals in Singapore were privileged to. But, there have been very fast innovations in the problem in a period of two decades. During this time period, Singapore's Kallang Air-port gained a global exposure and started out making huge additions to its fleet. Soon after the beginning of the Federation of Malaysia on February, 1963, the Malayan Airlines had become known as the Malaysian Airlines, and in 1966, it was renamed the Malaysian-Singapore Airlines. But, in 1972, fifteen years from the day it was founded, Singapore Airlines split with Malaysian Airlines and received a separate personality.

This divide however, helped the airlines for taking its decisions itself and the company could implement many progressive schemes which helped it not and then gain a greater acceptance, but also to extend its business by a far greater scope than its Malaysian counterpart. The airlines that began with just a single plane that took off just thrice in a week some six ages previously, has today were able to develop quite a large and advanced fleet today, that includes 93 vacation spots in 38 countries.

However, the success of any company depends upon lots of factors. Inspite of complete and regular research programs, many organisations haven't had the opportunity to achieve their domains. There still remain some intrinsic issues that many neglect to notice initially but which become prominent after a while by. This paper is a case study to identify such problems that might impede the successful working associated with an organisation and what the possible ways to prevent them could be (The Creation of Singapore Airlines, 2009)

Chapter 1: Organisational Structure and its Basic Elements

A. Organisational Structure

Organisational Structure can be an ordering among a group of people who coordinate among themselves for attaining a predetermined focus on. A good organisational structure plays a major role in the maintenance of self-discipline in an organization and hence, is vital for a even run, just because a proper and clear hierarchy not only distinguishes among different duties that different people should perform but also makes the best use of someone's potentials. An company could be organised in the hierarchical (top-down) or a functional manner (been able by different heads in various departments), in line with the size and the variety into which a business indulges itself (Organizational Structure, n. d. ).

The Singapore Airlines is one of the biggest in terms of turnover as well as coverage in the airlines industry. But, the secret behind it is an excellent organisation. It follows a hierarchical organisational composition being truly a subsidiary of the Singapore Government and a number of vice-presidents underneath in charge of a number of operations.

The Singapore Airlines acquired always been exemplified as one with an extremely flexible organisational framework that had forever helped it to emerge out of contingencies. But, the greater important part for the success behind an company is the relationship that exists between its various elements.

B. Elements of Organisational Structure

(i) Difficulty of the Organisation

The Singapore Airlines today has a durability of about 2000 pilots, 7000 functioning cabin crew and 170 floor staff. In addition, to the key work of commuting people, it also is involved in a variety of activities targeted towards cultural welfare and environmental protection, for which the company employs a large number of executives The business also indulges in researches targeted at improvement of its services and improving its group of operations. The company possessed historically been a pioneer in the adoption of new technology in the aviation industry in domains of both trip and in-flight facilities. It became more apparent when the company became the first to own and operate the most significant aircraft on earth, A380, in 2007 between Singapore and Sydney (Dooley, K. 2002, pp1)

(ii) Centralisation of Structure

For Singapore Airlines, although the ultimate power rests in the hands of the Government of Singapore via the Ministry of Fund, the government experienced always been very tight about its non-involvement in the management of the business and thus has recruited a number of effective vice-presidents who are designated to the correct functioning of the company. Thus, theoretically although it could be said that the organization has a centralised framework, yet practically this can not be supported on a firm ground.

(iii) Formalisation of Structure

Formalisation implies the degree where an company formalises its process of setting rules, restrictions and limitations on its people. The Singapore Airlines had never been an autocrat in the field but acquired rather focused on keeping the legislation low so that its employees are comfortable in the environment they work and feel absolve to propose any possible changes that might be in favour of the organisation. Keeping the guidelines and regulations nominal have put into the output of its employees and has helped it to increase so fast.

Chapter 2 - Proportions of Organisational Structure: Mintzberg's Theorem

Henry Mintzberg discovered six different kinds of organisational constructions suitable for different kinds of organisations passing through different phases, particularly - Simple Framework, Machine Bureaucracy, Professional Bureaucracy, Division Organisation, Innovative Company and Idealistic Organisation.

At the start, the company adopts a simple structure that's not having the ability to afford an extremely organised hierarchy in the original stage. As the organization starts off growing, it adopts a more organised structure in line with the kind of business. Machine Bureaucracy would be suitable for those organizations that tend to be dependent on studies and enhancements, while Professional Bureaucracy signifies the presence of a big number of specialists in the company. Division Company is suited to those that involve themselves in several products, for which the coordination between the various links in the middle management becomes important. Innovative Organisational Structure is that where formal training is imparted to the employees for the efficient running of the system. Finally, the Idealistic Organisational Framework is that in which the company fixes a set of regulations that becomes the business motto and many people are bound to adhere to it. The past five organisational configurations being discussed represent a proper hierarchical or practical framework and develop only following the company attains a certain level of development (Organisational Configurations, 2009).

Singapore Airlines is an adult airlines firm that practices a hierarchical organisational framework. However, the company cannot be reported to be following a solo configuration, but instead it is inclined to both Machine Bureaucracy and Professional Bureaucracy. None of the other structures are found to are present within the organisation - neither would it indulge itself in a sizable variety of products in order to follow a Division Organisation, nor will it impart any formal training to its employees who are already trained at the time of recruitment (the case of Innovative Organisation) and nor is there any such strict company motto that is intrinsic for an Idealistic Structure. Rather, the company's nature to hire already particular people in its organisation, as is the situation for those aviation firms, and its involvement in a large number of research projects designed to promote both its internal and external affairs demonstrates that the company uses a Machine Bureaucracy and a Professional Bureaucracy kind of organisational framework.

Chapter 3 - Determinants of Organisational Structure: Organisational Goals

Organisational goals are the ones that help a company to smoothly run its businesses by avoiding any chaotic environment and offering a direction and inspiration to the business. Setting organisational goals help an organization to know the exact targets that it needs to accomplish and plan a technique that would be most appropriate to acquire them. In other words, planning of organisational goals help a firm to act in a more effective and useful manner. The goals a company sets mainly are based upon two key facts - ends emphasis and means target. The natures of these goals however keep on changing depending on that of the team (Arranging Organisational Goals, n. d. ).

The main organisational goals of the Singapore Airlines had been the success of a well balanced and a pioneer position in its individual field of procedure. The company got indeed been the first in launching lots of new programs, new techniques and devices. The most notable is the fact that the airlines became the first on October 25, 2007, to possess and operate the world's major commercial aircraft - the A380 between Sydney, Singapore, London, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. The airlines company also researches upon the changing tastes of its consumers and makes on changing its customer services consequently. It has increased the entertainment services, food services and other in-flight services in line with the changing tastes of its customers and this is the reason why a large amount of people had been loyal to the company for many years. Moreover, it turned out making improvements to its fleet on a regular basis to be able to ensure maximum coverage in its functions, both for the capability of the individuals as well as supporting itself to earn higher income.

Chapter 4 - Organisational Effectiveness

There are four techniques that assess the organisational efficiency, specifically - goal attainment procedure, systems approach, tactical constituents approach, balanced scorecard approach. The goal attainment approach identifies the goals of the company and paves a way to achieve them. It ought to be the ideal procedure when goals are evidently measurable with respect to time and the organisation's potential. The greatest benefit of this criteria is the fact that it can be very straight-forward, provided the goals are properly specified.

The Systems Procedure is whatever utilises the scarce resources produced from the surrounding environment, effectively, for the success of organisational goals. This process should be ultimately used when there is a clear link between the inputs used and the output produced by this company. The main good thing about this approach is the fact, before deciding upon the business goals, it assesses the impact that the conclusion of the goals placed by the company would create on the modern culture and the surroundings.

The Strategic Constituencies approach is whatever stresses after the successful conclusion of the demands of one or even more constituencies inside to or an external of the organisation. This approach is adopted by an company in the event the constituencies employ a strong affect in the firm's operations. The advantage of this approach is usually that the organization evaluates its budget and compares it with lots of rivalling ones before it pins through to a number of organisational goals.

A healthy scorecard approach to assess organisational effectiveness should be modified to judge whether the small-scale functions in a firm are aligning using its larger-scale activities. This approach is the perfect one to evaluate a firm's long-term passions. Thus this process assists with aligning the firm's course of operations accordingly after citing the goals in a proper manner. Because it is an strategy emphasising on the long run, so, it must be very patient in its activities.

It is a well known undeniable fact that any organisation that desires to sustain in the industry and create a stable and strong surface for itself, must give attention to the long-term passions. Singapore Airlines is one particular firm that acquired always directed towards long-run gains and that's the reason why it is at within the most secure position in comparison to all other aviation businesses in Asia. Again this particular firm possessed always targeted at learning to be a pioneer in its field of functions and had generally been able to attain its aim. This requires a true knowledge of the firm's capabilities and the constraints that may hinder its procedures, before it places a goal for itself. Thus, it might not be said that the organization had been a loyal follower of a specific approach to measure its organisational success. Rather, the approach it had been pursuing could be individually identified as having the characteristics of both goal attainment way and the balanced scorecard procedure.

Chapter 5 - Structural Problems

Whatever be the organisational composition adopted by way of a company, in most cases, it can't be problem-free. Especially in a hierarchical composition, the key problem is that of communication. The decisions that the bureaucrats near the top of the company make have a longer span of their time to trickle-down to its grass root workers. Additionally, for this reason insufficient communication, the atmosphere in the company could be very chaotic thus disturbing the smooth performing of a company. However, any such problem is not likely to arise in case of Singapore Airlines because the topmost position is kept by the Government of Singapore that has firmly placed itself aloof from all functional activities of the organization. Instead, they have divided the several departments and applied a number of vice-presidents as the minds of those portions. This eases out the procedure by a huge extent.

Another probable problem that may arise in a particular organisational configuration is that of very restrictive rules and regulations that often confine the actions of its employees under the impression of being very disciplined. The employees in such businesses neither get enough excitement to work and nor to innovate. But, Singapore Airlines had been very vigilant of the fact and experienced always allowed its employees to own their own space which experienced helped the business not merely to expand but also to be one of the speediest growing and innovative in the industry.


At a time when the Asian aviation industry overall is at the verge of the collapse, the Singapore Airlines is apparently its only ray of hope. The company got always made provisions for a versatile organisational composition by adjusting its management make in line with the economic situations. Since it belongs to a tiny country, the airlines got always made the best possible use of the globalisation factor and so had taken care of immediately regional crises over a comparatively low size. For example the present downfall that has almost gulped the Asian aviation industry, is mainly caused by a short surge in the circulation of prosperity in the wallets of the Asian middle-class and a sudden drop in the foreign exchange rate in conditions of us dollars when almost all of the debt were denominated in conditions of dollars. In addition, the immense climb in fuel prices is also one of the reason why. However, Singapore Airlines acquired strategically taken care of its business in a way that nothing apart from a global meltdown could impact it. It possessed already disperse its wings to a huge variety of countries and already experienced acquired a wide array of faithful customers through some unique customer services that it offers (Asia Pacific Management Reports, June 24, 1998, para 2 & 9-11).


Asia Pacific Management Information, June 24, 1998, Asian airline industry teeters on collapse [Online]. Available at http://www. apmforum. com/news/apmn185. htm [Utilized on August 23, 2009]

Center for Recognition, Service and Action, n. d. Setting Organisational Goals [pdf]. Available at http://www. sandiego. edu/csl/casa/pdf_folder/skill_building/org_development/setting. pdf [Utilized on August 24, 2009].

Dooley, K. 2002. Organizational Intricacy [pdf]. Available at http://www. public. asu. edu/~kdooley/papers/iebm. PDF [Accessed on August 23, 2009]

McShane Steven L. , Glinow Mary Ann Von, 2008, Organisational Composition [PPT]. Available at http://www. tarleton. edu/~fry/350ppts/Chapter%2015. ppt [Seen on August 23, 2009].

Organizational Composition, n. d, Organizational Composition [Online]. Available at http://www. organizationalstructure. net/ [Accessed on August 23, 2009]

Singapore Airlines, 2009, The Creation of Singapore Airlines [Online]. Offered by http://www. singaporeair. com/saa/en_UK/content/company_info/siastory/history. jsp

[Accessed on August 24, 2009]

The Professional Fast Trail, 2009, Organisational Configurations [Online] Offered by http://www. 12manage. com/methods_mintzberg_configurations. html [Utilized on August 23, 2009].


Robbins, S. P. and Barnwell, N. (2002) Organisation Theory. Prentice Hall: Sydney.

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