Leadership is a very important component of Boeing’s success. Boeing strongly believes in the idea that the best leaders create the best Companies (“That’s How We Grow”, 2007). The management and leadership philosophy of Boeing can be very useful in the contemporary decision-making of global organizations. During the centennial history of The Boeing Company, its internal stakeholders have been caring more about the product and have put product above personal interests. The company offers a vision of people with exceptional pride in their product as well as in their company.
The visionary leadership of Boeing history presents an approach that emphasizes a persistent focus on innovation and the high quality of the product that brings long-term success. The key component of industry visionary entrepreneurial leadership was the constant commitment to the innovation at the risk of total financial disaster of the organization. One of the best examples that can demonstrate the above mentioned is the release of the largest commercial aircraft Boeing 747 that was described in the press as “ the greatest ever wager ever made on the business project” as when the General Director of Boeing asked about the return on investment ( $500 million) of the project, the VP of Finance answered that they had carried out some studies, but they could not recall the results (D’Intino, Boyles, Neck, Hall , 2008, p 51).
In my opinion this is a bright example of trust and belief in the Company employees.
Besides the visionary innovative leadership, Boeing is among the global leaders in knowledge management.
The Company has its ways to endure that all the knowledge gained form one project is shared among the organization employees, which, in my opinion, guarantees a unique level of employee integration and development. Enterprise Project Management ( EPM) model is practiced at Boeing, and its keystones are trust, help results, time , reflection and commitment, that eventually bring to the committed and motivated workforce (“Transforming boeing: The knowledge to take flight: Enterprise project management in action” , 2003). According to the Boeing executives the leadership should be earned (“Leadership is earned, says Boeing boss”, 2007).
According to CIS Boeing Director , Sergey Kravchenko, the contemporary management methods in Boieng are centralized around three main points: modernization management ( Boeing 737) , innovation management ( Boeing 787 Dreamliner) and human resources management ( leadership, values). Modernization is reached via lean management, quality assurance and employee engagement. Innovation is reached via risks and crisis management. The human resource potential is gained via hiring leaders from outside the company, like Alan May, the ex HR Leader of Boeing who had more than 15 years’ of HR experience in Cerebrums Capital Management, Pepsico, Caterpillar , TRW, and creating inner sources of human capital reserves in Boeing Leadership Center (Effektivnoe upravlenie modernizaciei i innovaciyami( keis Boing), 2015).
HR professionals at Boeing are integral to Boeing business strategy. It is worth to mention that Boeing consistently works on the development of its employees in different levels of organization. The main part of the training and development is realized via practical trainings ( 70 %), the development via colleague collaboration forms some 20% of the training and development and only 10 % of formal trainings, i.e. fast development programs are carried out at Boeing. The Company even has its special center of leadership development where the top management can learn form each other in a unique atmosphere, far from any kind of distractions. They have more than 300 programs and 7000 participants each year ( Effektivnoe upravlenie modernizaciei i innovaciyami( keis Boing), 2015).
The key groups of the employee of the Company are as follows:
The competitive and well-designed remuneration package is offered to Boeing employees by the Company. The package includes the fair salary, bonuses for extraordinary results, well-being of the employee that includes financial and emotional help and social package.
This wide spectrum of remuneration guarantees the strong position of Boeing as an employer in the market.
It should be also mentioned that during its existence Boeing has had several big strikes of maintenance employees and engineers in different locations of the world ( “Boeing Employees Strike; Company Won’t Speculate on Effect”, 1995 & Parker, 2013). One of the strikes in 2008 could even harm the company with more delay of the release of 787 Dreamliner (“Boeing employees go on strike” ,2008). One of the other biggest strikes was in Australia that ended with Boeing’s victory and its dispute was recognized as one of the longest in Australia’s history (Whittard, Bray, Larkin, Lewer, Groen, 2007). During some of these strikes the supervisors have been doing the work of their employees to support the Company.
Diversity is another value at Boing that is highly appreciated. The Company assures the Equal Employment Opportunity for all its employees. Boeing provides a discrimination and harassment free workplace. I also tried to find an employee feedback about Boeing as Employer.
Ethics is very important for Boeing Organization as they cooperate both with a large amount of external and internal stakeholders and the US Government. The core values at Boeing are integrity, quality, safety, diversity, inclusion, trust and respect,etc. To achieve business ethics Boeing has strictly defined the “dangerous/ harmful” behavior where the legal part has the priority (Schnebel, Bienert, 2004). Besides, the Company has developed an “Ethical Business Conduct Guideline” available for every employee, where different topics such as company vision and mission, workplace environment, code of conduct, safeguarding information, conflict of interests, business courtesies,etc. are presented. At the beginning of every year, all the employees of Boeing sign the Code of Conduct. Boeing also conducts annual ethics training which leads “The Boeing Company” Chairman, President, and CEO Dennis Muilenburg. During one of his speeches, he said “The work we do matters — and the way we do it matters just as much — to the people who travel in our commercial airplanes, the men and women in uniform who rely on our defense products, and the astronauts pushing the boundaries of space. Lives depend on what we do, and that demands excellence and the utmost integrity” (“Ethical Business Conduct Guideline”, n.d., p. 1 ). Boeing believes that Ethics is a matter of everyone’s leadership and encourages direct conversations on ethical issues, being a role model and inclusion, assuring that these are the most important points on the way to ethical business(“Ethics is a matter of everyone’s leadership”, 2009).
In my opinion, a perfect case of Boeing’s ethics demonstration was the speech of Dennis Muilenburg right after the catastrophe of Boeing 737 MAX in Ethiopia, their constant presence in the investigation (“Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg Addresses the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Preliminary Report”, 2019).
A strong relationship with the US Government has always been considered as one of the keystones of Boeing success. Although Boeing is a private company, the US government has played a large role in its existence. A year after the creation of Boeing, the United States entered the First World War, and its Navy acquired 51 of the 56 C model aircraft built by the company. But with the signing of the peace between the USA and Germany, the demand for military aircraft disappeared. But soon the company received a large order for the B & W model aircraft from New Zealand mail, which allowed it to continue its work in aviation. In 1946, difficult times began, and the company had to lay off more than 70 thousand people. William Allen took the CEO position. He began to look for a way out of the crisis. Under his leadership, the company began to produce the legendary ‘ flying fortress’, air tankers KS-135 and American jet passenger aircraft model 707.
During World War II and the Vietnam War, Boeing demonstrated to the US government new bomber models, began to produce ground-to-air missile interceptors and ballistic missiles. In 1954, Boeing launches a series of aircraft, called ‘sevens’, which determined the face of modern aviation.
In 1958, Boeing revealed three Boeing-707s. The President of the United States, received his call sign Air Force One (Board number one). Now all the heads of state fly under this name. Most of the current airlines are equipped with models of Boeing-737, humpback Boeing-747 or long-haul Boeing-767. The Boeing 737 is the world’s most popular jet airliner. For all the time about 7500 pieces of this reliable ‘middle peasant’ were released, and another 2500 orders are under construction ( “The Boeing History”, n.d).
Currently the Boeing relationship with US Government is tensed. After the Ethiopian Airlines catastrophe President Trump personally ordered to ground all Boeing 737 MAXes in US and did not support Boeing. He advised Boeing to rebrand the 737 MAX (Klein, 2019).
Boeing’s engagement in E-commerce is very interesting. As a visionary organization “The Boeing Company” sees the benefits of e-commerce in different ways. On the one hand, Boeing plans to use current and future expected boost in world e-commerce for its cargo aircraft sales. The main expectations of Boeing are connected with China & Asia Pacific, as according to its calculations, China retail sales have overpassed the US ones (“World Air Cargo Forecast”, 2016).
On the other hand, Boeing has the “Aviall” company that is the leading provider in aircraft, helicopter, and defense aircraft parts and aftermarket services. This company enjoys all the benefits of e-commerce. They have 2 million types of spare parts listed in their online catalogs, 40 global strategic locations for storage, 85 years’ quality service, advanced technology and, of course, innovative solutions (“Aerospace Parts and Integrated Supply Chain Solutions Provider”, n.d.). They have a special e-stock that is an electronic inventory management system made especially for meeting the needs of each customer for keeping them satisfied.