De samenhang op zingevingsniveau van Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Door: Roel Wagter

In mijn rol als copromotor en gastdocent aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen begeleid ik via de Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica jaarlijks een aantal studenten. Na mijn college over ‘sturen op samenhang’ ontvangen de betreffende studenten de opdracht om naar keuze een jaarverslag van een onderneming te downloaden en de samenhang op zingevingsniveau van deze onderneming te onderzoeken en te waarderen. Voor alle duidelijkheid, het betreft hier tussentijdse studieresultaten in de vorm van een op te leveren paper. De komende tijd zal ik, overigens met toestemming van de betreffende studenten en de universiteit een aantal van deze papers publiceren. Dit doe ik in de hoop opdat velen deze exercitie zullen navolgen. Immers een goed niveau van samenhang is randvoorwaardelijk voor een hoog reactievermogen, hoge aanpasbaarheid en het bereiken van de beoogde performance. En het sturen op samenhang begint met het sturen op samenhang op zingevingsniveau. Te weten de samenhang tussen de missie, visie, kernwaarden, doelen en strategie. Voor een ieder die meer wil weten over ‘sturen op samenhang’ zie ons laatstelijk gepubliceerde boek.

De onderzoeksopdracht

De onderzoeksopdracht zoals omschreven in de inleiding heeft bij student Helena Simon er toe geleid de samenhang op zingevingsniveau van Deutsche Lufthansa AG te onderzoeken.

In deze blog geef ik onderstaand alleen het abstract en de intro van haar paper weer en verwijs graag naar de versie van het volledige paper.

Abstract and Intro van:

Lufthansa’s coherence at the level of purpose ( Helena Simon, November 2021)


In our ever more rapidly changing society, whether due to advancing globalization, continual automation or the changes resulting from the corona crisis, it is more important than ever for companies to be coherent in all their areas in order to be able to adapt quickly and smoothly to new conditions. The enterprise coherence framework (ECF,) developed by General Enterprise Architecting (GEA), is a tool to reveal the coherence of an enterprise. This framework can be used to understand the coherence of different elements of an enterprise, by analysing the organisational purpose, the design level, and the relationships between them (Wagter, 2013). In this paper the ECF will be applied on the Deutsche Lufthansa AG, one of the biggest airline groups in Europe. By using the annual report of 2020 in combination with different company publications, including the Lufthansa mission, vision, core values, goals, and strategy, this paper tries to make the coherence on the level of purpose in the Lufthansa Group company concrete. Furthermore, this paper attempts to quantify the enterprise coherence in the Lufthansa Group by using parts of the GEA C-index (Bekel & Wagter, 2020).


After almost two years of Corona the numbers of infections are decreasing, and it looks like the economy can try a restart. Of course, some companies have come through the crisis well, some have even been able to record major successes as a result of the pandemic, and still others have emerged from these two years severely weakened. One of the companies hit hard by Covid is the Lufthansa Group. As one of its main business segments is aviation, which for well-known reasons has only been possible to a limited extent over the last one and a half years, the Lufthansa Group is currently going through a difficult phase. Especially at this point it is even more important for Lufthansa to be coherent in their actions. To analyse this coherence, it is first important to understand the structure of the Lufthansa Group (in this paper also often named as Deutsche Lufthansa AG or just Lufthansa). This company is an aviation group, which means that it is the umbrella company of many airlines and companies. In particular it comprises inter alia the segments Network Airlines (which include different airlines), Eurowings (a short haul airline), Aviation Services (including logistics, engineering and catering), Lufthansa AirPlus, Lufthansa Aviation Training and Lufthansa Systems (Deutsche Lufthansa AG, 2021a, p. 15). The Lufthansa Group has more than 110.000 employees and, as is required for a stock corporation, is managed by an executive board, which in turn is elected and monitored by a supervisory board (Deutsche Lufthansa AG, 2021a, p. 2). It should be noted, however, that the subcompanies each have their own management and that only the all-embracing coordination is carried out by the Executive Board (Deutsche Lufthansa AG, 2021a, p. 15). For the success of such a large company, it is important that the entire Group and all its subgroups pull together and steer in the same direction. And to ensure this, good coherence among all areas is a prerequisite. Because only when this coherence is in place can it also be actively guided by the management level (Wagter, 2013, 20f). Especially as a company that is dependent on the stock market valuation, it is more than important to present a coherent image to its investors (Zuckerman, 2000). Zuckerman (Zuckerman, 2000) also emphasises the importance of good coherence, especially for diversified companies, which is the case at Lufthansa with its many different subsidiaries in a wide variety of industries. However, since this coherence is not simply a key figure that can be read off in an annual report, it is only possible to determine the coherence of a company by analysing a wide variety of characteristics. Roel Wagter has developed a framework for this purpose. Using this framework and other techniques developed by him, this paper aims to capture, analyse, and quantify the coherence at the level of purpose for Lufthansa and thus tries to answer the research question: How coherent is Lufthansa at its level of purpose? This paper will focus entirely on the Lufthansa Group and will not analyse the coherence of its subsidiaries further, as this would go beyond the scope of this paper