Standardization vs. Localization: A Disney Case Study
Multi-national organizations are becoming more prevalent in the global economy. The expansion into new countries requires companies to examine policies and products more closely. Standardization and localization are the options available to corporate decision makers when deciding whether products will be consistent across geographic borders or will vary based on the culture in local regions. Many levels of standardization and localization are available; many companies choose a balance between the two extremes. Numerous examples exist for companies expanding overseas and experiencing failure because of a lack of research into local priorities. Disney is one of the most prominent American companies and has had a significant learning curve in reaching international audiences. Disney has encountered many roadblocks in the path to global success. The idea that th corporate cultures would transfer into new egions was sadly mistaken; countries such as China and France were too different from American customers. In France, for example, Disney's new park opened to dismal attendance recrds and low customer service scores. The company's leaders examined the causes and found that French people wanted to be able to drink wine in the park with meals as they were accustomed to at home. Additionally, local employees were highly offended by being told specifically how to look. In France, individuality is key and while following guidelines for a job is acceptable, the stingnt rules at Disny were preceived as unneccessary, specifically pertaining to facial hair. Disney requires that no cast member (the name for employees) have facial hair. Background
One option for companies expanding to new regions is standardization which is also referred to as global homogeneity. Reference
Globalization Executive. (2009). STRATEGIC INSIGHTS: TO STANDARDIZE OR LOCALIZE. Retrieved from...
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