Indiana Wesleyan University
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The Walt Disney Company (“Disney” or “the company”), founded in 1923, together with its affiliated companies maintain a “commitment to produce unparalleled entertainment experiences based on the rich legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling” (http://corporate.disney.go.com/). The company’s longevity, “exceptional entertainment experiences, widely diverse content and unique skill in managing [its] businesses in an integrated way allowed [it] to achieve strong results” that make it a model of organizational behavior that other companies replicate (Company Profile, 2011, May 13, p.29). Disney is in the business of making dreams come true, and theme parks and resorts are where the company makes the closest emotional connection with consumers as millions of them experience first-hand the magic of Disney every year. How does a company of 149,000 employees work together to make the dreams of millions of guests come true every year?
Communication is the evoking of a shared or common meaning in another person (Nelson, D. L., & Quick, J. C., 2011, p. 258). Disney—like many corporations—has its own language with key terms that employees understand and use to interact with each other aiding them in their roles of making Guests’ dreams come true. Key terms include: Attractions—theme park rides and shows; Backstage—areas behind the scenes not seen by Guests; Cast Members—all employees of Walt Disney World Co.; Guests—visitors to any part of the Walt Disney World Resorts; Host or Hostess—a frontline Cast Member who supports Guests' experiences through contact in The Show; On Stage—all areas visited by Guests; The Property—the entire Walt Disney World Resort; and The Show—everything and everyone that interfaces with Guests, including entertainment, the Property, and Cast Members (Taylor, C. R., Wheatley Lovoy, C. 1998 p.22). Whether Guests are visiting for the first time or hundredth time Cast Members are ready to start The Show and make each moment magical. Disney has had success in reducing communication barriers between Guests and Cast Members. EPCOT theme park features the World Showcase in which Guests can travel to several countries all in a day. Cast Members originate from the country in which they are stationed thus setting the Stage for Guests and adding authenticity to the magic. People relate with people, and Guests know they are in EPCOT, but are able to suspend their disbelief and believe for a moment that they are visiting other countries especially when they can interact with authentic people of the country. Motivation at work
Motivation is the process of arousing and sustain goal—directed behavior (Nelson, D. L., & Quick, J. C., 2011, p. 152). Do Cast Members smile all of the time? Of course not. Disney executives know that it is important for Cast Members to have pride in their work. Disney uses motivation factors of responsibility, achievement, recognition, advancement, and the work itself to lead to excellent performance from Cast Members. Training focuses on behaviors, but facilitating a sense of ownership also breeds motivation and excellent performance. Councils called Circles of Excellence are made up of management and frontline Cast Members from the various operating areas. They collectively identify, assess, and...