Don Burr’s, Horst Schulze’s, Lew Platt’s Company Visions

People Express

People Express was an airline that operated from the 1970s to the 1980s when it was sold to Continental Anilines. The company’s leadership and vision are targeted at making every employee serve at several stakeholder capacities. Indeed, individuals had to buy company stocks before becoming part of People Express’ labor force. This tactic had great results, as shown in the employee productivity witnessed at the company’s peak. Don Burr, one of the company’s founders and Chairman, had cultivated a culture of defining the workplace for his employees. According to Burr, the workplace is what employers portray and teach employees, meaning that senior management has the responsibility of developing successful work definitions.

Senior organizational management has to develop definitions that would make employees enthusiastic at participating in the production process. Burr achieved this by encouraging People Express labor force to have a positive attitude at the workplace because they stand to benefit through remuneration and satisfaction. To achieve this, the management embanked on using the policy of employee-ownership, with goals of motivating the labor force. As a result, employees came to understand the workplace as their own establishment, given that they had a share in accruing profits. Though the policy worked wonders for the company, it had the weakness of making employees feel equal with other shareholders and therefore tend to be a little lax in their activities.

Burr’s definition of the workplace for employees, expecting that they would agree and act accordingly, worked during the start-up period but unraveled as the company became bigger. Reason: increase in the number of customers and their demands became too overwhelming to employees. This shows that Burr’s vision and philosophies were targeted at achieving short term goals, not long-run ones that could have helped the company to achieve its goals.

Ritz Carlton

As President of Ritz Carlton Hotels, Horst Schulz cultivated a culture of professionalism in the labor force. Schulz achieved this through greater application of the organizational culture of service to customers. This meant that employees’ goals had been aligned with those of the company. The use of organizational culture helps employees to feel like integral members of the company’s stakeholder group completely. Schulz affirms that the organizational culture practiced in Ritz Carlton enabled employees to become more passionate in their day-to-day activities. In addition, being an integral part of the company through service culture made employees become problem solvers; they hardly waited for the management to pass orders through command chains. Schulz also used the policy of having the management embark on improving the working environment for the dedicated employees. This was by ensuring that employees had access to management at all times; they never had to go through command chains in order to express their views or grievances to the right managers.

All this led to a labor force that was efficient and independent, which completely reduced any need for micromanagement. As a result, members of the labor force were able to develop the always important personal and task cultures. These two cultures meant that members of staff could complete their duties without having to be followed by the management. The greater degrees of freedom led made employees being more enthusiastic in their activities at Carlton. This was replicated in team projects because team leaders did not have to keep following up on tasks performed by members in order to beat deadlines.


The seven years that Lew Platt was at the helm of Hewlett-Packard was marked by increased productivity in the company’s labor force. Lew Platt achieved his success in human resource management through three key visionary strategies: egalitarian culture, commitment to employees, and service to stakeholders. Platt’s egalitarian human resource management policy was targeted at treating employees in the firm the same way no matter their level in the company. This was successful in helping junior employees encouraged that they were being treated like their leaders; it helped raise their productivity in the company.

Platt’s policy of greater commitment to employees’ needs also had a big impact on HP’s productivity. The members of staff were left motivated by constant recognition. The fact their services in the company. Fact that this was a culture cultivated into other managers in egalitarian the company meant that employees were consistently commended for their efforts. These two leadership policies led to the famous “HP-Way” slogan that is associated with Platt’s reign in the company. However, the third policy of commitment to communities around its facilities, members of staff were motivated by the understanding the contribution that HP was making. This motivation led to greater productivity levels in the company, which averaged bout 20 percent in the years (1990s) that Platt was managing HP.

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