Every organization has its own unique behaviors, attributes, traits and values that define the organization’s methodology of forming amicable relationships by accomplishing human, social and organizational goals. Organizational studies are the research and application of human behavior within an organization as individuals and as a member of a team.
Some of the basic organizational concepts are motivation, group behavior, decision making, corporate culture, structure, power and politics, communication, human resources practices and change management. These organizational concepts have to be studied in order to judge the failure or the success of an organization; especially, how well these concepts are dealt with by the employees or management.
Motivation is the driving force of the organization towards its goals; group behavior refers to the team work within the organization and the relationship of employees with one another; decision making is the selection of an option from various alternatives using cognitive abilities; corporate culture is the reflection of the organization’s core values, missions, goals, traditions and beliefs based on which the organizational practices take place; structure is the basis for the organization’s operational activities, that is, the organization’s arrangement and formation or even hierarchies; power and politics refer to the authority, external control and influence; communication is extent to which the ideas are shared within an organization; human resources practices refers to the structure, tasks, importance and rights of the employees of the organization; and change management refers to the extent to which the organization is molding itself for success in accordance with the external stimuli.
The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923 by Walt and Roy Disney. Since then, Walt Disney Company along with its affiliated companies have been faithfully serving their fans by producing unique and remarkable entertainment with quality and creativity oozing from its content and exceptional stories. The Walt Disney Company is the biggest international media enterprise with four divisions; media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products. Examples of these divisions include, Hanna Montana, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mickey Mouse, Disneyland Park, Disney Line Cruise, Interactive Studios, www. disneyshopping. com, Disney Channel and ABC entertainment.
Almost every organization has one uniform behavior that needs to be implemented for the foundation building of the organization – corporate culture. Corporate culture is a set of core values, beliefs, traditions, operational styles, work ethics, employee behavior and basic business principles on which the business is based. All the activities and procedures taking place in the organizations are a reflection of the organization’s corporate culture (Moir, 2008). Only if an employee is able to adapt to the corporate culture can he work in accordance to the requirements of the organization; in fact, the corporate culture is a guideline for them. There are two types of cultures – adaptive and unadaptive.
Adaptive cultures are suitable for ever-changing environments where strategies and structures might be needed to change due to changing external stimuli such as markets, legal-political, international pressures, economical conditions, social fulfillments or simply customers, competitors and suppliers (Fuentes-Garcia et al. , 2008). Adaptive cultures are further divided into visible and invisible cultures. Some parts of the culture are visible, such as slogans, symbols, artifacts, dress, and office layout and even ceremonies – things that an outsider can observe and use for judging the organization’s culture. The other division is the invisible culture which includes the beliefs and values that are embedded within the system and employees’ heads; this part of the culture helps them take decisions based on the organization’s culture.
On the other hand, unadaptive cultures are ones in which change is rarely brought about and also with great difficulty due to the rigidity of the organization’s practices and traditions. This unadaptive culture is usually an unhealthy one which is further divided into cultures that are hierarchy and politics based, that show resistance to change, those that do not like opening up to the external environment and are inwardly attentive, and lastly are unethical and driven by illegal factors such as greed. Such culturally structured businesses usually do not have a high quality performance and do not facilitate strategy execution. However, even if the culture is adaptive, once an organization’s corporate culture is established, it is difficult to bring about changes in it.
This is because everything in the organization is developed and designed in accordance with the culture; bringing a major change in every petty thing is a very costly act. Corporate culture and strategy come together as a ‘culture-strategy fit’ – the tighter this bond is, the more the culture helps in designing the strategy execution by directing and leading the behavior and practices of the employee into the success direction. Therefore, multinational corporations should formulate a culture that fits within all countries so that its strategy execution is possible all around the globe (World News Connection, 2008). Like every other organization, Disney also uses its corporate culture to formulate strategies. The core values of Disney are quality, innovation, decency, and employee justice.
Since the day the company started operating, it has focused excellence, class, value, and worthy production. All the stories, animations and entertainment resorts etc by The Walt Disney Company are of eminence and unparalleled. Innovation is the most important characteristic of this company; no customer or viewer is interested in watching things that have been shown earlier on television – they demand for something new and unique every time. This need is fulfilled by Disney at all costs, as it is one of their competitive advantages – creativity! This pool of new ideas every time is the reason for the success of the company and the reason for its growth by the day.
Disney also focuses on ‘family’ entertainment; thus, it tries to ensure decency so that people of all ages can enjoy a certain clipping together. In a corporate environment when there are hierarchies involved, employees at a higher level tend to use their authority on those under their control. This tends to irritate employees and reduce their job satisfaction which directly affects their productivity and commitment to the company. Therefore, The Walt Disney Company makes it a point to give equal treatment to all employees; in fact, give them importance as they would to a guest. This helps to build cordial relations among the employees and management, causing the sharing of ideas to take place. It creates a comfort level causing the employees to enjoy participation.
Naturally, this involvement increases their loyalty to their company and shoots their productivity. Cultural diversity is also a major constituent of Disney’s culture – this is evident even in their products. There is not just Disney World and Disneyland anymore, there is Tokyo Disneyland Resort and Hong Kong Disney Land – people from various cultures and nationalities can enjoy the magic of Disney closer to their homes. Motivation is normally defined as a force that drives a person towards a goal. In the world of business, motivation is to drive the employee towards enhanced productivity by exploiting the abilities to the maximum potential, by improving the job performance.
It becomes self-explanatory that it is the job of the manager to monitor and control the human resource available by motivating the employee and instilling in them a positive attitude towards the tasks assigned to them. This helps in accomplishing the tasks that would not be fulfilled otherwise (Nohria et al. , 2008). Therefore, it is crucial for a manager to understand different theories and various techniques of motivation. Motivation is a state of mind – different people get motivated by various different things. However, there are certain fixed factors that motivate a person by nature. These factors include money, prosperity, popularity, success, higher knowledge and happiness (Campbell, 2002).
A successful manager would target employees in groups depending upon the factor that influences them. Also, a person should try to self-evaluate oneself in order to learn what influences them or what drives them towards their maximum potential. For example, an extremely poor clerk with a big family to provide for is well aware of the fact that a greater wage would motivate him towards doing whatever is expected of him. When provided with incentives, the behaviour or attitude of the employee towards the task changes and he becomes more involved and devoted to it. In order to receive the reward that is set for him, he tends to give top priority to the work assigned and finish is as soon as possible.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1943) from a business point of view portrays physiological needs (salary, ambience), safety needs (pensions, insurance, medical care), belongingness needs (social gatherings, relationship with co-workers), self-esteem (job title, post, authority) and self-actualization (opportunities to display skills, development opportunities) ranking from one (most important) to five (least important) respectively. The Walt Disney Company has a clear knowledge of all this incentives and motivational tactics; thus, it chose to give importance to its employees as a boost to their confidence.
The rise in self-respect and prestige that they received by requesting for their ideas to be shared for the betterment of the company motivated them to work. However, there was a time earlier on when there were rigid hierarchies at Disney. But now, the company has a culture of teamwork – they believe that every employee is capable enough to give his or her suggestion for the company. Their structure reduced rigid hierarchies and an authoritarian style of management.
In fact, people maintained friendly relations and held an open forum for discussion of various issues. Even Disney believes in giving small rewards to its workers to give them an incentive to work harder for success. Disney even has sessions and seminars for instilling the corporate culture into the employees and motivating them to raise productivity bars. At the Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, out of the 180 recognition awards, one is called the Fred Award; it was named after an employee but also is an acronym for friendly, resourceful, enthusiastic and dependable. Other awards generating from this Fred award are Spirit of Fred Award and even The Lifetime Fred Award, which is a bronze statuette of Mickey Mouse (Disney Magic, 2008).
This, along with other extremely coveted awards, is a driving force or incentive for the employees to work more proficiently so that they can receive this award. The world is progressing in every aspect of life. There is intense development and urbanization taking place. Day after day, as population increases, demand for goods and services also increases; this creates a need for more companies and more employment. Almost everyday we hear names of new companies who have recently joined the market competition. As more and more companies are emerging, there is naturally a greater supply of similar goods in the market; some of these goods are better than the other which increases the standard of competition.
Competition is not only restricted to your local market; with increasing globalization, the entire international forum is becoming your playing field. Competition is becoming so intense by the minute that no company can afford to slack off for even a day; every company needs to be operating at its maximum level to make its place into the market. The secret to a successful organization is its management – if there is a smooth managerial supervision with each department working efficiently and effectively, the company is guaranteed to succeed. Even if a company has the best of employees and human resource available, unless and until everything is well-structured and well organized, the company cannot reach successful heights.
As the world around us advances, we need to keep in pace with them and cope up. At times to bring about a positive change in an organization, there is a need for restructuring, switching to more innovative methods of production, technological advancement and even use of research and development. This organizational behavior concept is called ‘change management’ – it is the shift of organizations, teams, or even individuals from the existing stage to a preferred stage in the future (Burge, 2008). Disney started off with marvelous creative ideas and kept working with them. They earned a big share of the TV audience and earned great revenue; for this reason, they were extremely satisfied with what they were doing.
However, due to a shift in the environment, suppliers, customers and competitors, the strategic context of Disney had changed a bit. This alteration of the strategic context was not working out; there was a 13% decline of the ABC network ratings among 18-49 years aged people. This was the time when it was obvious that the company had stopped growing – children of age 9-10 were not interested in Disney characters that came from history or myths and had shifted to contemporary cartoon characters made by Nickelodeon. There was structural and cultural, both, resistance to change at Disney and there was a severe need to eradicate this. Disney depended on its old way due to the extreme interdependence of the organization’s structures, schemes and procedures.
Disney had a very smooth corporate culture which is also mentioned earlier; this same culture led to great success. But at the same time, it brings a halt to the improvement; that is, organizations become content and do not strive for more. According to Fortune, 1999, this resistance to change caused great difficulty for Disney. However, Disney has currently regained its success by working on change and a more flexible culture and structure – realizing where they went wrong, what the customers want, and then bringing that change in the organization accordingly. Each organization might have one or two important behaviors, but usually practice all of the above mentioned organizational behavior concepts.
The driving force for the employees at Disney is respect, prestige and accolades; corporate culture includes quality, innovation, decency, and justice with employees; lastly, on realizing that sales and market share were falling, change management was adopted. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that although like every other organization, even Disney follows all these organizational behavior concepts, but motivation, change management and corporate culture have been mostly evidently seen since the past. It is very important for us to study these organizational behavior concepts in-depth as they help us in understanding the needs of the people and the organization itself.
Courtney from Study Moose
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