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Lufthansa: The Challenge of Globalisation


Management Science and Operations, Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Publication Year



In the first half of the 1990s, Lufthansa - the German airline - had undergone some radical strategic and organisational changes that had reversed a loss of 560 million DM in 1991 to a profit of 678 million DM in 1994. However, in 1995, it was very clear to its management that this turnaround was merely a first step and a much more fundamental change was necessary to assure the company's future in a radically changing global airlines industry. The most important future challenge was to make Lufthansa a truly global company. But, managers differed widely in their views on what the term "global" really meant. The case focuses on five aspects of globalisation - (i) developing a global strategy through a network of alliances, (ii) globalisation of its organisation, (iii) globalisation of costs to match the structure of global revenues, (iv) development of Managers willing and able to operate in a global company, and (v) development of a service culture to meet the expectations of its global customer-base- and describes the different and often contradictory views of managers on each of these issues.

Topic List

Managing Globalisation, Corporate Transformation



Publication Event Date


LBS Case Number



Germany; Worldwide

Project Funder

Effem (Mars)



Available on ECCH


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