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➢ Executive Summary:

The Disneyland which is an American theme park, first started in California then it

become more popular and opened in Tokyo and Florida with great success. Taking

inspirations from the previous success Walt Disney company went to the Europe and

opened the Disneyland in France. It was opened with the great expectations that golden

run will continue. After the so much planning and development it opened in Paris,1992.

But during the first year of its operations Disney faces new challenges and problems and

ran into trouble.

Q.1) Using Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions as a point of reference, what are some of the

main cultural differences between the United States and France?

➢ Power distance is one of the four dimensions in Hofstede’s theory indicating the cultural

differences between United States and France. Power distance index measures the extent

to which lower class of the society accept the ruling by the leaders of the society. i.e.
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unequal distribution of powers. In United states the power distance index is fairly low

compare to France, in other words there is much greater equality between society levels.

French people feeling like foreigners in their own land when ads for job bids in English,

further, most of the supervisors were American who were not good in speaking French.

Uncertainty Avoidance: It is the extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous

situations. (). The UAI is much lower in America; whereas in France it is very high.

Euro Disneyland is determinedly American in its theme. The percentage of people who

visited the euro Disney shows that French people are highly ambiguous.

Individualism is another dimensions, which indicate the tendency of the people to

mainly look after themselves and their immediate family.().In both the countries

individualism is very high. By imposing the Strict Appearance code like example men’s

short hair and banned beards or mustaches, French people feel insulted about their


Masculinity: society with the high masculinity places more values on success and

money. United states has very high masculinity; on the other hand France has pretty low.

French culture was never a priority for the Disney at When the Euro Disney started.

Q.2 In what way has Trompenaars’s helped explain cultural differences between the United

States and France?

➢ Trompenaars has explained the cultural differences in the following way:

Universalism vs Particularism :

Universalistic countries place more emphasis on formal rules than the relationships. It is

the belief ideas and practices can be applied everywhere without modification. United

States is highly universalistic, they often ignore culture of different countries.

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Whereas, particularistic countries place more emphasis on relationships. It is the belief

that situations dictate how ideas and practices should be applied.

Neutral vs. Emotional :

A neutral culture is one in which emotions are held in check. People don’t show their

feelings and maintain their composure. Whereas an emotional culture feelings are

expressed openly and freely. Both United states and France are the emotional countries.

Specific vs. Diffuse

A specific culture in one in which individuals have a large public space and they allow

other people to enter and share the space. America show a strong separation between

work and private life.A diffuse culture possesses similar sized public and private spaces.

France has a diffuse culture where work and private life are closely linked but carefully


Time Orientation:

Cultural differences may arises due to the way in which people do their work in respect

of time. In sequential cultures like the United States, people tend to do one activity at a

time. Appointments are strictly kept, with a strong preference for following plans.

In synchronous cultures like France, people usually do more than one activity at a time.

Appointments are approximate, subject to change at any moment.

Q.3. The mistakes done by the Euro Disney in managing its operations:

➢ Lack of Management:

One of the mistakes leading to the failure of Euro Disney was wrong self-assessment

which ended up in taking wrong management decisions. Walt Disney company owned

high stake in Euro Disneyland which resulted in most of the decisions taken by the

American executives who did not have knowledge of French culture.

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➢ Appropriate Staff :

The second mistake committed by the Euro Disneyland was lack of staff management.

They miscalculate the peak days and off-days which in resulted in extra work load for the

employees. Further Disney’s demanding requirements regarding dress and appearance

and other bans caused poor union relations.

➢ Cultural Errors:

There were numerous mistakes made in operations which affected the French culture. Firstly,

the policy of not serving alcohol has caused astonishment and rebellion in France where a

glass of wine for lunch is given. More, it failed to provide proper customer service which

were Euro culture. Most of the restaurants were of American theme which were not

prepared as per habits and times of European culture.

Q.4. The company should have the following lessons:

➢ Better understandings of Euro culture:

The Euro Disneyland management should be aware of the cultural environment of the

France like the life style, habits and eating preferences. The company should act globally

to expand the business but think locally.

➢ Managing workforce:

The Euro Disney should handle their personnel department in a better way. The highest

positions possessed by the Americans might go well in domestic culture but it might not

deliver the same performance in European culture. In other words, some management

positions should be given to local employees in order to get better results. The other thing

that company should do is to solve the staff problem by allocating enough staff so

workload can be controlled in a efficient way.

➢ Develop more realistic planning:

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Euro Disney has no previous experience in European market, Disney plans to go ahead in

to the second phase based on the assumptions that first phase would meet expectations. It

was risky gamble to undertake. Having no experience in European market in operating

theme parks the management should have anticipated some problems and set backs. And

based on that the expectations regarding growth should have been more cautious. Until

the problems facing the first phase were corrected the planning for advancing the second

phase should not have been allowed. Otherwise, company risks would be duplicating and

compounding the problems encountered with its first phase.

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Hodgetts, Richard.M;Luthans Fred; Doh Jonathan.P. (2006). International

Management. McGraw-Hill.