Conflict at Walt Disney- Case Study

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Conflict at Walt Disney
Eve Stapler
Webster University

Conflict at Walt Disney
Within every organization there is some type of conflict, whether the conflict is personal, organizational or emotional. But the key is to manage the conflict so as to not hinder the profitability, functionality or public image of the company so that it is viable competitively. In the case of the Walt Disney Company, although the company had conflict within the organization, this did not hinder its competitiveness. The company still was able to compete, even with the public knowledge of its conflict with the company’s owner Michael Eisner. What is important to understand about conflict is that there are several types of conflict, there are different stages of conflict and conflict can be managed or resolved. Types of Conflict

“Conflict can be functional or dysfunctional in terms of how it affects a company”, according to the authors of Organizational Behavior and Management (Ivancevich, Kinopaske, & Matteson, 2011). The authors also define functional conflict as a confrontation between groups that enhances and benefits the organizations performance, while dysfunctional conflict is a confrontation or interaction between groups that harms the organization or hinders the achievement or organizational goals (Ivancevich, 2011).

The specific conflict at the Walt Disney Company between Michal Eisner and Weinstein brothers as well as Steve Jobs fall within both these categories. For example, according to an article written in Fortune , “The feuding with the Wienstein brothers and Eisner cost the Disney franchise $100 million dollars, the Miramax franachise owned by the brothers is estimated to be worth $2 billion dollars; This is a good deal for Disney” (Sellers, 2005).

Although, the conflict was public in its nature and cost the company money; which defines dysfunctional conflict, the conflict between the brothers and Eisner over finances, still was able to enhance the...
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