The Walt Disney Company
Under his direction Disney built knew parks in the United States, and throughout the world. He renewed the excitement of Disney films with the production of movies such as; The Lion King, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, and more recently the Pirates of the Caribbean series (McCarthy, 2004). There was a second renewal strategy that Walt Disney has more recently undergone. Eisner brilliantly renewed the Walt Disney Company in 1984, but towards the end of his career Disney shareholders questioned his focus and were dissatisfied with his performance. At the 2004 shareholders meeting 43 percent voted to remove Eisner as the chairman of the board, clearly the stock owners wanted change. Roy Disney and Stanley Gold said ‘over the last seven or eight years he has underperformed. He chases away creative people. He has no strategic vision and the stock has languished’ and that Eisner is always looking for a ‘quick buck’ (ABCNews.com, 2004). Once, Bob Iger, took over the company they renewed the focus on customer service for the theme parks and making quality films.
Walt Disney Company has one of the most extensive programs geared towards the teaching the culture of company that I have seen. Now I will talk about some of my personal experiences when I worked the Walt Disney World theme park in Orlando, FL. Before each employee could start working with guests, they have to attend a week long class called ‘Traditions.’ Robbins and Coulter said Employees ‘learn’ an organization’s culture in a number of ways. The most common are stories, rituals, material symbols, and language’ (2009, p.49). The class utilized the stories of Walt Disney to teach the culture of the company. In addition to the stories of the company and founder, the class also took the employees to the park to witness key moments that the guest experience. For example, one day we witnessed a park opening. Guests are all held back by ropes and it was fun to see how excited they all were to start their day at Walt Disney World. It made me feel proud to be a part of a company that was so focused on creating a positive guest experience, and I wanted to be a part of it as well. It honestly inspired me to be a great employee and to create ‘magic’ for the guests. I would say that the Disney Corporation utilizes a value based management style (Robbins & Coulter, 2009). Through the stories and rituals, the company does an excellent job inspiring their employees to interact with guests in a manner that is aligned with their corporate culture. Marty Sklar an executive for the company said this about the company’s culture.