Diagnosing Organisational Culture and Critical Success Factors for an Airline: The Case of Thai Airways International in Star Alliance

  • Narisara Hongratana-Uthai

Student thesis: Phd


The past two decades, a need in forming strategic alliance has become increasingly important, especially for small companies. Likewise, airline alliances act as a vehicle for small carriers to obtain their superior position or to survive competition in a competitive international market where they do not appear to be a dominant player. In strategic alliances, the greater integration conveys greater benefits. However, the level of failure and success are varied among alliance members. This thesis was underpinned by the aim to conduct an in-depth study under the concept of organisational culture to reveal the key issues and barriers that appear to distort the ability of an organisation to foster success as well as to boost up its ability to obtain the benefits from the alliances to the maximum level.The empirical investigation employed a qualitative approach as a mechanism, driving this thesis through the process of research design, data collection, and data analysis. Using a single case study as a main technique, the case company of this thesis is Thai Airways. Data was collected through in-depth and semi-structured interviews. Data was analysed using thematic grouping and organised through NVIvo software.This thesis displayed the findings into two main themes. The first theme is associated with the activity to diagnose organisational culture, whereas the Competing Values Framework (CVF) was adopted as an initial framework. The main objectives are to develop a cultural profile for Thai Airways and to identify the key issues and barriers that distort the ability of Thai Airways to foster success. The key finding derived from this theme offered the identified problems and barriers derived from organisational culture. Using the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) method, the second theme is associated with the activity to identify the critical success factors for Thai Airways, deriving as a set of CSFs proposed to help enhance the ability of Thai Airways to obtain big firm's benefits.The outcome of this thesis could be considered as a new reference for the areas of organisational studies and the success of airlines, where the literature appears to be limited. More importantly, this thesis believed that the research journey offered an empirical experience reflecting a piece of organisational culture study in a non-Western context.
Date of Award1 Aug 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorA Wood-Harper (Supervisor)


  • Interview
  • Single case study
  • Strategic Alliance
  • Qualitative research
  • Critical Success Factors
  • Organisational Culture
  • Airline

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