The Walt Disney Control Factors

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Chris Harper
April 10, 2012
Management and Organization
Dr. Scruton
The Walt Disney Company’s Control Factors
Disney has different types of controls that help their business run efficiently on a daily bases. Two examples of controls are financial and operational. Also, Disney has information systems that play a role within their company. Disney has different managerial innovation practices from encouraging their employees to possess entrepreneurial spirit to their job tasks. In response, Disney has ethical dilemmas that they face from giving employee empowerment to seeing how technology plays a role in managerial practices. Disney may or may not show social responsibility. This leaves to question if Disney an organization that I would want to work for in the future? Using evidence from various sources I will attempt to answer these questions about controls, managerial practices, and accessing whether or not I would want to work for Disney.

What does it mean for control to happen inside an organization? For control to be achieved inside an organization there has to be a process of monitoring, comparing, and correcting work performance that is going on inside an organization (Robbins, 487). Control is one of the management functions and it is a very important one. Disney’s process of controlling is done through these main areas “standard work is an in-control process, employees are called “cast” members because they are always “on” [stage], controlled processes require ongoing improvement for them to continue to satisfy customers, attention to details should be a way of life, committing to the message is as important as the message itself” (Free, 2007). This information was taken from the Management Update Conference held at Disney World in Orlando, FL. Miles Free which was an attendee of the conference who wrote an article that explained Disney’s emphasis on control, so through his article he will inform us on what those controls entail. Free states that the standard work is an in-control process pertain to Disney’s use of Standard methods. One way Disney uses standard methods is through “costuming” is an easy-to-spot standard that controls the appearance of the theme park, thus affecting [the] guest’s experience and perception of Disney World” (Free, 2007) By doing this the employees at Disney buy into the standards by being involved in improving the standards [that are set forth]. Therefore, Disney achieves its goal of controlling the customer experience, while allowing employees to be a part of the process. From, this type of model it shows why Disney has been so successful over the years. Next, Free mentions how employees are called cast members because they are always on stage. Every Disney employee is considered a “cast” member, and this distinction goes beyond semantics… Disney recognizes that its purpose is to perform a “production” for its guests. Therefore, all employees have a part to play in the production. Human performance is variable in that some people perform better than others. The Disney cast member approach assures that all employees know and behave as if they were on stage [meaning that they are always on display]. This is [considered a] high standard, yet it is consistently achieved at Disney [because of their vision] (Free, 2007). From my personal experience of attending a few YES (Youth Education Service) Program leadership conferences at Disney World this past spring break I saw this philosophy first hand and heard it from some of the “cast” members themselves. The Performance Art Director explained their business model to my class and mentioned how the cast members played an important role of control of that model. She did this through a formal speech at Soarin ride while my class participated in the YES Program. Disney uses the W. Edwards Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle as part of their control process to improve and satisfy their consumers (Free, 2007). The W. Edward Deming’s...
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