Organisational Structure of British Airways


The following assignment aims to highlight the organizational structure of a major player in the aeronautical sector which is BRITISH AIRWAYS. For that purpose, it is necessary to consider fundamental management’s principles in order to understand at best the factors which may influence the result of the company, without forgetting the importance of the interactions between the internal and external environments which play a major role in the success or the failure of the strategies undertaken by the company.

It will be then necessary to find aspects to be improved by the company to propose solutions and so optimize the general performances of British airways.

British airways “to fly, to serve”

With more than 93 years of existence, British Airways acts as an expert of aeronautical services whether it is at the airport or aboard the planes which compose the fleet of the company or for the business trips. The company employs more than 39 900 persons in 2010 in UK and overseas while the head office is based in Waterside.

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Web 1: 2.0 The organizational structure


According to H. Mintzberg «The organizational structure is the total sum of the employees to divide the work into different tasks and to insure then the coordination between the tasks». The organizational structure can also be defined as the way the authority is considered through the relations hierarchical or the way the activities are specified and distributed and still the way the systems of communication inside organizations are established.

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The organizational structure can be divided into macrostructure and into microstructure: while the macrostructure relates to the totality of the divisions or the organization, the microstructure relates to the organization of the activities and the hierarchical relations inside a certain department of the organization.

How to determine the best organizational structure for British Airways?

In order to determine the organizational structure which will meet the needs at best of the company and which will allow her to use its resources in a effective and efficient way it is important to estimate two important aspects which are the departmentalization as well as the amplitude of control.

The departmentalization consists in group the common resources to exploit them at best whereas the amplitude of control determines the degree of authority which exercises an immediate superior in front of his subordinate. There are several organizational structures offered to companies to respond to their needs such as the tall structure, the flat one or the functional organization. 3.0 Which are the organizational structures adopted by British Airways?

The tall structure:

Having made a current inventory of fixtures of the resources that possess the company, managers decided to opt for a tall structural organization to remain long-lasting. This structure distinguishes the various levels of decision where the highest person in the organization chart detains most power. As for executives, they take care to oversee the work of the subordinates. So, they act as intermediary as shows hit the organization chart below which reveals the position of every manager in the organization chart of the company. The structure consists of three levels where Willie Wash is the chief executive; he controls the customer and operations executive which group the communications sector which is important because the brand image depends on this department, the customer service which is always trying to improve this service, the engineering one, the flight operations and the operations. There is also the management board which includes two departments of customer and operations executive, which are customer and engineering, and also the finance and performance sector, people and organisational effectiveness which verifies if the employees make correctly the tasks which were attributed to them by their superiors, sales and marketing and strategy and business units. Finally, investments, legal and government and industry affairs and safety and security are directly supervised by the chief executive in order to improve these important sectors.

How this structure helps the company to achieve it goals?

This structure chosen by the company allows every employee of British Airways to be situated in the organization chart in a clear and detailed way without any ambiguity. So, it allows avoiding any misunderstanding as for the authority which detains every employee on his colleague or his hierarchical superior what pulls a healthy climate and thus urges the employees to put a lot at best into their tasks. These tasks are determined through the objectives fixed by the managers so every employee is in front of his responsibilities and feels as being a part of the project of the company. This structure also allows the managers to optimize at most the performances of their human resources through trainings offered to the employees to be constantly up to date at the level of the skills. Indeed, it is more and more asked to the employees to be versatile and efficient at the same time. Finally, this structure allows the managers to supervise in a direct way their subordinates what allows to adjust the problems if they exist.

The customer structure:

This structure considers the importance which represent the customers without whom, no organization can remain long-lasting and show good results. This structure consists in determining need for every specific category of customers of the company to satisfy them at best. The structure which adopts British Airways articulates around the baptized project "Compete 2012" to answer the bigger and bigger customer requirements and to become eventually the leader regarding customer service in the aeronautical sector. This program turns around three essential entities in the survival of the company which are the partners with whom the relations must be stable and cordial. We also find the colleagues who play an important role there because they represent the direct contact between the company and the customers. And finally the customers among whom needs and expectations must be clearly defined to satisfy them at best and so create a relation on the long term between the parts. This project thus bases itself on two essential qualities that are the excellence as well as the performance as summarizes it the figure below.

How this structure helps the company to achieve it goals?

This structure contributes largely to the success of the objective of the company which is to become the world’s leading global premium airline world. To reach this objective and in spite of a difficult context there, the company put on the excellence of the services proposed to the passengers and by developing new projects to satisfy them at best. Beyond that, this project contains 5 strategic objectives:

  • Be the airline of choice for long haul premium customers
  • Deliver an outstanding service for customers at every touch point
  • Grow our presence in key global cities
  • Build on our leading position in London
  • Meet our customers’ needs and improve margins through new revenue streams.


The tall organizational structure has to be improved because we find inconveniences such as the slowness of decision-making; a decision has to pass by all the hierarchical levels before being approved or rejected. This considers a brake when we know the importance of the speed of transmission of information and data within organizations. So, they can change for a flat organizational structure which will accelerate the time of decision-making.

The responsibilities as well as the freedom of the employees are restricted because they have to conform to the decisions taken by their immediate superiors without being necessarily consulted. This entails a lack of motivation or investment on behalf of the employees, so managers have to empower employees by increasing bonuses.

The implementation of this structure turns out very expensive because of the administrative costs. In view of the context current, it would be recommended to the company to reduce its costs by opting for a cheaper structure.

Updated: Jul 06, 2022
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Organisational Structure of British Airways. (2016, Mar 13). Retrieved from

Organisational Structure of British Airways essay
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