Business Management Capstone Project
January 15, 2013
Disney Balancing Approach
For a company like Disney, maintaining its brand name and reputation is a daily struggle. With its mission statement, value, and approach to social responsibility, management does their best to ensure that no one tarnishes Disney’s good name. Every shareholder, critic, and citizen keeps a close eye on Disney, as the name resonates greatly among children and parents worldwide. So, every year they release a statement presenting and explain their goals online. Last year, it was under the title “Citizenship Targets 2012.” The following goals and vision will discuss these goals more in depth. Disney’s vision is “to be the most admired company in the world: equally admired for the integrity of our people and the way we behave as citizens of the world, as we are for the quality of our exceptional entertainment experiences (Citizenship at Disney, 2012).” By acting with integrity, professionalism, and goodwill, Disney work to earn the public trust daily. During the 2013 BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama, broadcasters Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit spotted 23-year-old Katherine Webb among the 90,000+ fans attending the game. What followed was a conversation in which both parties recognizing a woman’s beauty (Nordyke, 2013). Many believed that both men were creepy and over the top, prompting ESPN to immediately apologize to the fans for Musberger’s remarks (Soltys, 2013). Though the actual comments were not derogative in any sort of way, because ESPN is under Disney’s control, should management not acted the way they did, the corporation’s reputation would take a hit. Since Disney’s vision is oriented towards family values, this minor incident might have impact the way people see this organization. Aside from this incident, Disney stakeholders have very little reason to complain about their company’s actions throughout the years. Corporate has proven to be transparent on their yearly reports. They first point out that “working with stakeholders enhances our ability to address issues…We actively listen to and learn from stakeholders and provide them with information to better understand our actions and intentions (Corporate Citizenship, 2010, pp 9).” By conducting yearly meetings, providing surveys, and distributing contact information, Disney has done everything in their power to actively engage stakeholders and their concerns. It is rarely seen that a company is so active in connecting with their clients. Yesterland’s founder Werner Weiss shares his experience from the 2012 Annual Meeting of Shareholders:
“The meeting began with a nicely made video about Walt Disney’s connection to Missouri, including his childhood in Marceline, his later childhood in Kansas City, and his pre-Hollywood career in Kansas City. I didn’t expect to learn anything new at the meeting. A shareholder meeting is not a forum for announcements about new attractions or movies. And when a shareholder asks a question about something that might happen in the future, the executive who answers will not knowingly disclose a company secret. Actually, there was an announcement. Disney President and CEO Bob Iger announced Heroes Work Here, a program to provide at least 1,000 jobs throughout the Disney Company for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years (Weiss, 2012).” This is almost expected from Disney when conducting meetings with stakeholders and clients alike. No information is held back. There are no surprises. Since stakeholders invested in the company, such as Weiss’s 38 shares, Disney is upfront to everyone, minimizing any misinterpretation and confusion about their vision towards the future. At the beginning of the year, Disney will set goals on many topics such as waste, water, corporate giving, diversity, and safety. From the 2010 Corporate Citizenship Report, Disney will lay out...