The role of Culture


In the Beginning
‡ Disney s story is the classic American rags-to-riches story ‡ In 1955, Walt Disney had the brainstorm of sending his movie characters out into the real world to mix with their fans. ‡ Management Change
E. Cardon Walker (CEO) & Ronald W. Miller to Michael Eisner (CEO) and Frank Wells became president

‡ The first Disneyland opened in Anaheim. California ‡ Disney envisioned a place where people from all over the world would be able to go for clean and safe fun. California on July 17. ‡ Disneyland strives to generate the perfect fantasy .Disneyland in Anaheim. 1955.

. a collection of foreign villages. ‡ World Showcase. Florida ‡ Disney embarked on an ambitious $1 bn. ‡ This new park consists of two large complexes: ‡ Future World. to show the technological advances of the next 25 years. hotel expansion plan.Disney World in Orlando.

Tokyo s version of Frontierland The problem: how to dispose of some 250 tons of trash that would be generated weekly by Tokyo Disneyland visitors? Solution: trash compactors. ‡ Slogans and ads written in Japanese English ‡ They were uneasy about a rustic-looking Westernland. Cultural differences: ‡ 100 public telephone booths and snacks countertops were placed too high for Japanese. The Japanese proposal: pigs to eat the trash and be slaughtered and sold at a profit. .Tokyo Disneyland ‡ ‡ In 5 years half of Japan s population had visited it. ‡ Lines for attractions had to be redesigned. Disney had no equity in this project.

‡ Within a day s drive or train ride of some 30 million people in France. signed a contract for the building of a Disney theme park at Marne-la-Vallee. 1987.Euro Disneyland ‡ On March 24. ‡ Location is advantageously close to one of the world s tourism capitals. Michael Eisner and Jacques Chirac. England. . the French prime minister. and Germany. Belgium.

Protests of Cultural Imperialism Disney faced French communists and intellectuals who protested the building of Euro Disneyland. ‡ Disney launched an aggressive community relations program ‡ Invited 400 local children to a B day party for Mickey Mouse to area hospitals ‡ Hosted free trips to Disney World for local .

and Brussels stock exchanges. Paris. ‡ This investment soared to $2. . ‡ Disney invested $160 million to fund this project.4 billion after the stock offering in Europe.Financial structure and layout of Euro Disneyland ‡ Disney kept a 49 percent stake in the project. ‡ Remaining 51 percent of stock was distributed through the London.

‡ Recipes were adapted for European tastes. .Food Service and Accommodations at Euro Disneyland ‡ Restaurants were a showcase for American foods with exception Fantasyland which re-creates European fables.

Disney s Strict Appearance Code ‡ Pronunciation problems .France pronunciation Howdy sounds like Audi ‡ Wearing policy-Rules ± Video presentations ± Provided detailed guide handbook Japanese didn t like it .

‡ Thousands of dollars spent on pre-opening ceremony. .Opening Day at Euro Disneyland and the problems ‡ Half a million visitors were expected with 90000 cars but just 25000 vehicle came filling just half of the parking capacity. ‡ They were expecting impressive long traffic jams on the auto route but failed to see.

The percentage of people who visited the euro Disney shows that French people are highly ambiguous.Ques 1: Using Hofstede s four cultural dimensions as a point of reference. the power distance index is fairly low compare to France (much greater equality between society levels.e. what are some of the main cultural differences between the United States and France? ‡ Power distance ± Measures the extent to which lower class of the society accept the ruling by the leaders of the society. unequal distribution of powers. French visitors were only 29% of total while the expectations were 50%. ± Euro Disneyland is determinedly American in its theme. i.) ± Most of the supervisors were American who were not good in speaking French. ± The UA is much lower in America. ‡ Uncertainty Avoidance ± Extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations. ± In US. . whereas in France it is very high.

± By imposing the Strict Appearance code like example men s short hair and banned beards or mustaches. ± US has very high masculinity. on the other hand France has pretty low. Feminity ± Society with the high masculinity places more values on success and money.‡ Individualism vs. . French people feel insulted about their traditions. ± In both the countries individualism is very high. ‡ Masculinity vs. Collectivism ± Indicate the tendency of the people to mainly look after themselves and their immediate family. ± French culture was never a priority for the Disney at When the Euro Disney started.

Whereas. they often ignore culture of different countries. . Emotional ± ± ± ± A neutral culture is one in which emotions are held in check. ‡ Neutral vs. People don t show their feelings and maintain their composure.Ques 2: In what way has Trompenaars s research helped explain cultural differences between the United States and France? ‡ Universalism vs. United States is highly universalistic. An emotional culture. feelings are expressed openly and freely. 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. particularistic countries place more emphasis on relationships. It is the belief that situations dictate how ideas and practices should be applied. Both US and France are the emotional countries.

Appointments are approximate. ‡ Time Orientation ± Cultural differences may arises due to the way in which people do their work in respect of time. with a strong preference for following plans. ± A diffuse culture possesses similar sized public and private spaces. ± America show a strong separation between work and private life. ± France has a diffuse culture where work and private life are closely linked but carefully protected. people usually do more than one activity at a time. ± In synchronous cultures like France. Appointments are strictly kept. people tend to do one activity at a time. In sequential cultures like the US.‡ Specific vs. Diffuse ± A specific culture is one in which individuals have a large public space and they allow other people to enter and share the space. . subject to change at any moment.

± 23 US employees held most of the top jobs which resulted in failure of understanding European way of doing work.Ques 3: In managing its Euro Disneyland operations. . ‡ Lack of Management ± 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. what are three mistakes that the company made? Explain.

the policy of not serving alcohol has caused astonishment and rebellion in France where a glass of wine for lunch is given. Most of the restaurants were of American theme which were not prepared as per habits and times of European culture.‡ Cultural Errors ± Firstly. ± Legalistic approach taken by the Disney also bogged down talks with govt. ± More. ‡ Appropriate Staff ± Disney s demanding requirements regarding dress and appearance and other bans caused poor union relations. it failed to provide proper customer service which were Euro culture. ± Disney guests faced problems of people getting too close or pressing around. .

what are three lessons the company should have learned about how to deal with diversity? Describe each. habits and eating preferences. ‡ Better understandings of Euro culture ± The Euro Disneyland management should be aware of the cultural environment of the France like the life style. ± The company should act globally to expand the business but think locally.Ques 4: Based on its experience. .

.‡ Managing workforce ± The Euro Disney should handle their personnel department in a better way. company risks would be duplicating and compounding the problems encountered with its first phase. Otherwise. ± Some management positions should be given to local employees in order to get better results. the management should have anticipated some problems and set backs. ‡ Develop Realistic planning ± Having no experience in European market in operating theme parks. ± Until the problems facing the first phase were corrected the planning for advancing the second phase should not have been allowed. And based on that the expectations regarding growth should have been more cautious.

Thank you! .

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