The achievements or shortcomings of an organization determine its success or failure, which is influenced by its behavior. It is essential to comprehend organizational behavior in order to shape the future of a company. In the competitive business environment, organizations utilize certain concepts to secure profitability and preserve a stable workforce.
Having a strong understanding of organizational behavior concepts is essential for any organization to succeed. This knowledge not only affects employees’ daily performance but also becomes noticeable to customers. The Disney Company serves as an example of a company that prioritizes organizational behavior by cultivating a positive organizational culture and structure. They achieve this by encouraging group behavior, making efficient decisions, fostering effective communication, and implementing successful human resources practices. These endeavors enable the company to uphold its leadership status in the global entertainment industry.
Founded in 1923 by Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966), The Walt Disney Company has always prioritized delivering exceptional entertainment experiences for people of all ages in various family entertainment sectors worldwide. One of Disney’s main objectives has been to establish a comprehensive organization encompassing studios, parks, resorts, media networks, internet websites, and consumer products. This approach enables them to fulfill their mission of providing entertainment for individuals spanning all age groups. Initially, Walt Disney embarked on his venture by creating films that blended live-action with animation within the Alice Comedies universe.
Mr. Disney’s shift to full animation and creation of Oswald the Rabbit, the first animated character, occurred as his films gained more success. Despite numerous close calls with failure, he made the decision to maintain sole ownership of his properties in order to ensure that his company would never go bankrupt (Danielski, 2009).
Afterwards, the concept of creating a theme park emerged. Disney was aware that he had to act promptly in order to generate income to launch this new family-oriented concept, so he turned to television with cartoons. Mr. Disney realized early on that the company’s future depended on making sound decisions, progressing from television to resorts. He once expressed that “one can dream, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality” (Waltz, 2007).
The declaration from Mr. Disney demonstrated his dedication to realizing people’s aspirations and his utilization of organizational behavior knowledge to ensure the future triumph of the Disney Company head-on. Mr. Disney recognized that unless he strategically integrated his mindset into all employees, including management, there was a high possibility of his vision failing and he would not achieve the familial atmosphere he sought. With success as his goal, Walt Disney established a corporate culture that prioritizes customers, necessitating extensive training courses for employees to adopt the same customer-centric perspective.
Every employee at Disney is given the knowledge and training necessary to create unforgettable experiences for customers. According to Waltz (2007), this training is crucial in ensuring that every visitor has a memorable time. The Disney Institute, established in 1986, has been instrumental in providing employees and business professionals with insights on enhancing work environments and customer service skills. Additionally, it motivates management and employees to enhance the company’s overall productivity.
The Institute provides various courses on people management, quality service approaches, leadership, orientation, human resources management, customer loyalty, and other business-related subjects required to ensure customer satisfaction (Waltz, 2007). Thus, regardless of their role within the company, whether they are a cartoon character or the President, all employees must undergo hands-on training to familiarize themselves with Disney’s organizational culture and think as a cohesive unit.
Disney’s organizational culture emphasizes the convergence of quality, innovation, and decency within the company. It also highlights the customer service offered by employees to guests (Disney’s Organizational Behavioral Concepts, 2008). Disney is dedicated to making family vacations affordable and unforgettable. Consequently, it has become one of the leading entertainment organizations with a continuous expansion of its influence.
The Disney Company has expanded internationally, creating resorts and theme parks in different countries such as Japan and France. President Robert A. Iger recognizes the importance of positive group behavior across all departments and business units due to this diverse global presence. Group behavior is a key factor in the company’s success throughout its 80-year history. The company promotes employee engagement by encouraging innovative thinking, creativity, and enjoyment in their work. Employees actively engage in activities, communicate effectively, make decisions, and solve problems with enthusiasm to contribute to the company’s achievements.
Employees who participate must adhere to rules and regulations, as they are crucial in driving the company towards success. The Disney group promotes the philosophy of involving employees in the magic by using training programs that instill the company’s dream, mission, and service ideas in their minds and hearts. Disney’s objective is to excel in all aspects of entertainment, with a primary emphasis on children.
The open lines of communication at Disney support and encourage employees to provide suggestions and opinions. This unique chain of command, combined with Disney’s open-door policy, is the main reason why the company has an exceptionally low attrition rate compared to other companies nationwide. Ashby (1999) reported that Disney’s attrition rate was only 15%, while the rest of the hospitality industry had a rate of 60%. This statistic highlights the effectiveness of Disney’s training protocol. According to Ashby (1999), Jayne Parker, director of Training and Development at Disney Institute, explained how the company achieves such a low attrition rate.
According to Parker, Disney’s training emphasizes the importance of serving the guest across all departments. This is evident in their programs for ethics, diversity, integrity, professional development, and computer skills (Ashby, 1999). The company believes that if employees are not happy, the guests will not be happy. Therefore, continuous motivation is crucial for maintaining happy employees.
Therefore, Disney’s extraordinary human resources practices not only keep employees happy and motivated, but also demonstrate the company’s primary focus on achieving 100% customer satisfaction for both internal and external customers. This organizational culture has allowed the CEO and management to develop a strategy that creates and maintains the best organizational structure, which is responsible for Disney’s renowned “magical excitement” that guests seek. Despite receiving minimal attention from the news media and community, Disney’s structure stands out as unique.
According to Danielski (2009), the organization is renowned in the hospitality industry for being a food-based, ride-based, and character product-based vendor. Regardless of its classification, visitors are consistently drawn to the magical places that never fail to bring smiles to their faces.
Although Mr. Disney’s main priority was ensuring guest happiness, profit was necessary to sustain this dream. As Waltz (2007) notes, Mr. Disney himself acknowledged that money posed a significant challenge since it required a substantial amount to fulfill everyone’s dreams.
The Disney Company announced in May of 2008 that it would enhance its organizational structure to adapt to technological changes. This involved creating new positions, restructuring departments, and aiming to increase retail sales to over 50 billion dollars or more. According to Danielski (2009), a list was formed which outlined five key changes: the establishment of new leadership teams, fostering future growth through international and new business developments, aligning worldwide operations, leveraging expertise, and prioritizing alignment with The Walt Disney Company.
Disney is expected to achieve its financial goals by implementing changes in key areas. The company’s drive to deliver entertainment services, such as movies, theme parks, and branded consumer products, has been propelled by customer demand and has proven to be a lucrative source of income. This continuous motivation allows Disney to consistently provide excellent services, benefiting all parties involved. As mentioned earlier, Disney aims to create a magical experience for everyone it serves.
Disney motivates its employees to provide outstanding customer service to every person they encounter. The company’s dedication is evident through the thorough training given to each employee and the exceptional level of customer service provided to guests, which contributes to the company’s revenue generation. Although all businesses aim for profitability, Disney also values treating their customers with respect. As Mr. Disney famously said, “offer everything imaginable to the public, uphold cleanliness, and cultivate friendly attitudes” (Waltz, 2007).
Mr. Disney always prioritized customer safety and security, implementing extraordinary measures to ensure the well-being of both employees and customers. To promote safe practices for children, Disney has created a website (Disney’s Organizational Behavioral Concepts, 2008). Additionally, employee training on health and environmental safety is conducted by the company to minimize risks. Furthermore, all consumer products undergo review by the Product Integrity group before being distributed for safe usage (Safety and Security, 2009).
The Disney Company’s commitment to safety and organization has consistently led to significant profits. The company recognizes that the security of its attractions is vital for attracting and retaining guests, as individuals are more inclined to visit and enjoy places they perceive as safe. It is noteworthy that The Disney Company, with a history spanning over 80 years, has successfully achieved growth and retained employees at a remarkable rate, an accomplishment few hospitality organizations can claim.
Walt Disney’s intelligent choices have resulted in the ongoing success of the company, as it continues to fulfill the dreams of families. The Disney Company owes its existence today to Walt Disney’s prioritization of people over profit, a perspective that sets it apart from any other company. In the 1920s, Walt Disney started with a comedy series called Alice set in an animated world. This eventually led to the creation of animated cartoons, motion pictures, television shows, amusement parks, resorts, and various other affiliates and business ventures.
The Disney Company has achieved success in more than five countries, demonstrating the effectiveness of its organizational structure and culture in how it treats employees and customers. Disney’s focus on ensuring children’s happiness has positioned it as a leading provider of family entertainment, thanks to sound decision-making, transparent communication, employee motivation, and outstanding human resource practices. While extensive training processes have long been integrated into the company’s operations, the techniques developed by the Disney Institute have had such a significant impact that other businesses are now adopting them to enhance their reputation.