It is essential to be conscious of various cultural values across the world for fruitful execution of international human resource and business strategies. The organisations must think locally and not globally, they must try to fit into the culture of the country or region they are about to venture into (Hofstede, Jonker, & Verwaart, 2012). Euro Disneyland is an organisation that failed to think locally and did not try to fit into the French culture rather, dictated their terms on the way the most famous lucrative amusement park would function in France. This report distinguishes the cultural differences between America and France, using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, brings to light the various operational mistakes by Disneyland and also some key learning from their mistakes which Disneyland should consider.
HOFSTEDE’s CULTURAL DIMENSIONS -
1. Power Distance -
Power Distance is a measure of the extent to which power is distributed unequally amongst the members of the society or organisation. France has high power distance when compared to the United States of America. Disney was negotiating with the French government by demanding a tax cut on Value Added Tax (VAT) from 18.6 per cent to 7 per cent. Also, Disney was primarily hiring only American expatriates into the top positions at Euro Disneyland most of whom did not have a command over the local language, French. In contrast, United States of America have a lower power distance.
2. Individualism -
Individualism focuses identity based on the individual, personal goals and individual rights. According to Hofstede, people focus only on themselves and their families. USA is more individualistic and France is collectivist. Disney had forced its employees to a strict dress code and code of conduct and wanted them to smile and greet the guests, which was not a part of the French culture. Americans are open, friendly, warm, while in the other hand the French are closed, reserved and cold. The food being served in the Euro Disneyland was more American than the local’s preferences; also there was an alcohol ban in the park which agitated many French persons. (Tian, 2009)
3. Masculinity -
Masculinity means one’s decisiveness towards making money and earning success. France scores low whereas USA scores very low according to Hofstede’s index. Disney was focused only on earning money by opening the theme park, even if it meant they that they had to ignore the cultural values of France. America is a highly masculine country, they live to work.
4. Uncertainty Avoidance -
The extent to which an organisation wishes to take any kind of risk defines uncertainty avoidance. Disney could have considered opening the theme park in Spain instead of France, Spain offered them 20,000 acres of land and on the other hand France offered to only improve the highway and speed up a subway project access to the proposed sight, it included spending of only a meagre $128 million compared to what Spain offered them. Disney still considered opening the theme park in France, USA is low on uncertainty avoidance compared to France which is high.
5. Long Term Orientation -
Long term orientation defines the societies’ time horizon, they take decisions keeping future events into consideration. USA is more long term oriented than France (Peterson, Dibrell, & L., 2002). Disney kept in consideration only to earn money in the future and wipe out France’s national wealth.
Table comparing USA and France according to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions-
S.No.Dimensions as basis of comparisonUSAFrance
Obtained from (Hofstede G. , 2011)
THREE MISTAKES OF EURO DISNEY -
1. Stringent Rules -
Disney had forced stringent rules for its employees, as they had to comply with the rules such as, a strict appearance code and they hired only...