Keeping the Commitment Model in the Air during Turbulent Times: Employee Involvement at Delta Air Lines
This study provides a four-decade review and analysis of the commitment model of employment relations at Delta Air Lines and the role played in it by employer-created structures of employee involvement (EI) and voice. The company has undergone wrenching changes, including deregulation, 9/11, bankruptcy, mergers, and entrance of numerous low-cost competitors. This study chronicles the resulting ups and downs in the company's fortunes and its efforts to maintain a positive win-win relationship with its employees despite the burden of management missteps, tens of thousands of layoffs, repeated pay and benefit cuts, and merger with conflict-embittered Northwest Airlines. The fact the company survives today and still has a discernible "spirit of Delta" among employees is not solely or perhaps even principally due to its advanced EI program; on the other hand, without it the company would probably no longer exist.
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