Organizational culture and communication

Topics: The Walt Disney Company, Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney Pages: 5 (1014 words) Published: June 1, 2015


Walt Disney Company Organizational Behavior and Communication Chantelle Morris
COM/530
05/11/2015
Mr. Byron Johnson

Introduction
The Walt Disney Company, founded by Walt Disney himself, was built upon the values of hard work, team work, and good fun for all (Daniel, 2002). Walt Disney's main focus was to create an experience that people would remember for the rest of their lives (Kelly, 2007). However, the Walt Disney Company often struggled to keep its espoused values in line with its enacted values. "Walt was said to have ruled with an iron fist." As his employee, you could be fired for just about anything that he did not agree with. At one point, several of his employees went on strike due to unfair salaries, poor work conditions, and a parochial code of behavior. In conclusion to the strike, Walt failed to recognize the newly formed union and even fired some of these employees (Boje, 1995). The Walt Disney Company later on goes to be ran by CEO Michael Eisner. Like Walt, he exercises control rather than collaboration. "Unit heads are afraid or unable to make decisions (From, 2007). Disney becomes known for operating for profit and return of investment rather than fun and fantasy. Michael Eisner becomes a "controlling, obsessive, authoritarian who takes credit for the work of his underpaid, underappreciated employees while struggling to make ends meet in an evolving industry (Daniel, 2002)." As you see, these actions practiced by the former Walt Disney Company leaders do not represent the initial values and philosophies first expressed at the formation of this organization. Communication, Perception, and Culture

With the misalignment between the espoused values and the enacted values and the authoritarian practices, communication and perception was definitely a problem. Communication is a key part of an organization's culture. Negative organizational culture usually leads to poor communication. When you have such controlling leaders, it's hard to feel comfortable expressing your needs as well what you feel the organization needs. As an employee, you are also reluctant or even forbidden from communicating you new ideas and thoughts to the boss or other employees. Poor experiences and communication with your superior leads to a lack of positive perception. Negative perceptions makes its hard to make individual decisions which is what Walt and Eisner wanted. This puts the organization at a disadvantage where it is slow to react. The organization is also prevented from keeping up with outside competition. This is a huge problem especially with a company such as Walt Disney, who has so many areas in one. Walt Disney Company has theme parks, studios, cruise lines, resorts, manufactured items, and more. No matter how much control these leaders want, not one person can do everything. Conflict and Communication

Due to bad leadership and poor communication conflict arose on Eisner's hands. The board began to have several communication problems amongst its members. There were a few members who were not in agreement with Eisner's way of doing things and were deeply concerned about the success of the company. They tried to communicate their concerns but Eisner did not want to listen. To gain further guaranteed control, he began to put many of his friends into high positions on the board and within the company. The same few who were not in agreement with his ways of running the company continued to challenge Eisner. This were Roy Disney and Stanley Gold. They proceeded to push Eisner to name a successor but he refused. Eisner then attempted to push Disney and Gold out of the way by making sure that they were not re-nominated for board membership. After, this move Disney and Gold officially resigned from the Walt Disney Company. However, the two still continued to attack Eisner's leadership abilities and the future of the company in his hands. Finally, Eisner stepped down a year before his...

References: Boje, D. (1995). Stories of the storytelling organization: A postmodern analysis of Disney as "Tamara-Land" Academy of Management Journal, 38(4). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from ProQuest Central.
Culture and Diversity. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from http://disneycareers.com/en/working-here/culture-diversity/
Daniel, D. (2002). Understanding Disney. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 79(4), 1025-1030. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from ProQuest Central.
Disney 's boardroom drama. (2003). Stategic Direction, 19(4), 4-7. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from ProQuest Central.
Gross, D. (2004, February 4). How Michael Eisner continues to hang on at Disney. Slate, 1-2.
Kelly, K. (2007). LEARNING FROM WALT DISNEY. Automotive Design & Production, 119(11), 28-31. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from ProQuest Central.
From beast to beauty: The culture makeover at Walt Disney. (2007). Strategic Direction, 23(9), 5-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02580540710779681. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from ProQuest Central.
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