The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923 by Walt and Roy Disney, and has become globally known and worth billions. It began as motion picture company and eventually expanded to include television, tourism, hotels, sports, retail, and book publishing. The company’s Mickey Mouse logo is one of the most famous throughout the world and considered to be one the world’s most influential businesses. The Walt Disney Company has five entities that include: The Walt Disney Studios, Parks and Resorts, Disney Consumer Products, Media Networks, and Disney Interactive. The Walt Disney Studios is one of Hollywood’s major film studios today, and includes Pixar Animation and Lucas Films in their group. The Park and Resorts segment of the company includes the theme parks, resorts, and Disney Cruise Lines. Disney Consumer Products includes all merchandise, clothing, toys, and food that is based on their Disney properties.
The Disney Media Networks contain various networks and cable channels including, ABC Television Network, ESPN, and the Disney Channels. Disney Interactive includes all of Disney’s social media, websites, and computer games. “The mission of The Walt Disney Company is be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.” The resort, media, film, and products target the family audience with a focus on children. The majority of their products, attractions, shows, and films center on the cartoons that the world has grown to love.
In the last ten years the company has expanded with the acquisitions of Lucas Films, ABC network, and ESPN sport cable network it expanded to a more mature audience for the company. Nonetheless, the bulk of the companies’ profit comes from their award-winning animated films and the millions of people that visit the Disneyland resorts every day. The Walt Disney Company is an open system since its profits are based on communication with the public outside the system and their responses to the products and services. “The more open an organization system is, the more communication it has with those outside the system.” (Richmond & McCroskey, 2009, pg. 4) This type of company needs communication with the outside to determine what direction will be more favorable to maintaining its popularity and reputation as being an innovator. Each segment in the company has their own individual system at work to produce results.
For example, The Walt Disney Studios depends on the roles of their producers, animators, designers, directors, and casts to be successful in their department. In 2005, Bob Iger took the reigns as The Walt Disney Company’s CEO and chairman of the organization. Each division and subsidiaries of those have their hierarchy’s within, for example, the President of Pixar Animation Studios is Edwin Catmull. Each subsidiary within the organization has their distinct leadership taking place with Bob Iger overseeing the whole operation. The organization orientation for The Walt Disney Company would be considered as achievement orientation. “These people are high achievers, sometimes overachievers.” (Richmond & McCroskey, 2009, pg. 88) The employees working within this company work endlessly to come out with best animated films, and innovate the newest attractions for their customers. “Each of our companies has a unique ability to harness the imagination in a way that inspires others, improves lives across the world and brings hope, laughter and smiles to those who need it most.”
The employees within this organization work for one of the most influential companies in the world, and with that platform have the opportunities to make an impact. Leadership within the billionaire dollar organization is crucial to the success and the maintenance to stay at the top. Having positions that require unique skills such as, an animator require leadership skills that keep their employees happy. These types of individuals that work on films and imagine new attractions are not easily replaceable, and for that reason the leadership must maintain a concern for their people. The leadership within the organization must keep in mind deadlines, and constantly focus on the tasks to on schedule for various projects. The leadership approach best suited for this would be a moderate leader. “This person is concerned with adequate output and will have adequate concern for personal issues.” (Richmond & McCroskey, 2009, pg. 113) The communication style for management is the consult and join approach when interacting with their employees.
The majority of the divisions work with their employees and consultants to produce products, film, and attractions. For the lower level employees working in the tourism divisions of the organization, the management communication approach is more on the telling side. Those types of positions do not require feedback from employees, so the majority of communication is leadership instructing employees to successful complete their operations. The leadership within this organization uses positive reinforcement when handling their employees. Overall, the environment in The Walt Disney Company is positive, and that supportive atmosphere is seen throughout the resorts, stores, and studios. Praises of employees are recognized for their work in films, television, and attractions throughout the company. There is mainly form communication networks throughout this type of organization, but with different flow and impact throughout.
In most corporate organizations, there is formal communication where there is a process how critical information is released, and feedback released by upper management, this type would be downward communication. The Walt Disney Company atmosphere for their employees down involve upward communication from lower level employees. Horizontal communication is a flow within the organization and involves the communication from peer to peer. There are thousands of employees within The Walt Disney Company compared to the leadership, and this type of communication can improve employee satisfaction. The Walt Disney Company is poised for more growth and expansion for years to come. The recent acquisitions of Lucas Films, Pixar Animation, and the branching out with television networks will keep the company relevant. This organization has been around for years, and it continues to expand its business within their markets. For years to come, the movies will keep coming out with new characters for children to love and products to purchase.
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