‘The Smile Factory: Work at Disneyland’ Case Study Solution
‘The Smile Factory: Work at Disneyland’ Case Study Solution 1
The Smile Factory: Work at Disneyland
Relating from the topic, the case study presents the “all smiles” that has made Disneyland one of the best ranked organizations in terms of performance and customer satisfaction. It all zeros down to the culture established at the organization and the sense of identity that employees within the organization have adopted to. Despite the organization being made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds, it has surpassed the cultural barrier that may interfere proper interaction among the employees and between the employees and the consumers by establishing its own culture, by which all the employees are expected to abide (Van Maanen, 1991, p. 59). Considering different interpretations of rude words, false moves, insincerity, and boredom that may exist across cultures and the detrimental impact that such interpretations could have on the general performance of the employees, the organization has established a language that could be considered as neutral and admirable across all the cultures. This has in turn promoted consumer friendly behavior within the organization, with individual employees overlooking their cultures in view of improving the experience of the consumers. The established culture ranges for the general outlook of the employees in terms of their dressing to the simple words they choose as opposed to others (Van Maanen, 1991, p. 61).
The authors of the case emphasize that there are words that are considered a taboo to use at the organization, which would have otherwise created contrasting feelings among both the employees and the consumers and in turn affected their relationships and the general sales (Van Maanen, 1991, p. 62). This culture has been incorporated in all the departments of the organization and is instilled in the employees right from their recruitment. The authors point out that when individuals apply for a job at the organization, they apply for “a job” without specifying the kind of job they want as the organization expects all persons to efficiently fit in any area of the organization (Van Maanen, 1991, p. 66). Homogeneity has been promoted through establishing costumes that are worn by different departments or areas of the park. Such uniforms are meant to create a sense of belonging and communicate a given message among the employees, getting rid of the other status based factors such as the level of education, looks, and areas of expertise. It is important to note that adoption of the corporate culture is based on the individual cultures, whereby the organization is more interested in empowering the employees to bring out the best of themselves as opposed to sticking to a strict regime. Nevertheless, the official corporate culture comes into play when the employees are under pressure due to a high number of visitors at the park (Van Maanen, 1991, p. 70).
Case Study – Strategy and Culture in Practice
The case study presents the importance of developing a business strategy for ZTC as an organization. It is important to note that business strategies provide direction for the business and allow managers to establish a framework based on which they can rate the performance of their employees and the general performance of the organization. The case identifies the importance of strategy to the survival of the organization considering the fact that it is through strategic management that the organization can be able to identify the trends within the market and align its operations with the expectations of the consumers and society at large (Watson, 2001, p. 109). Culture stands out as one of the most important influences of strategy. Different individuals within the organization come from different cultural backgrounds and hence have varying expectations, all of which they expect the organization to meet. As such, without proper negotiation and establishment of compromise among such expectations, the coordination of individual efforts in the organization is unlikely to occur and the organization is likely to fall into chaos (Watson, 2001, p. 110). Organizations tend to develop a common ground in terms of corporate culture, with which all individuals within the organization are expected to comply in order to facilitate cohesion and shared values. Such a culture is established based on the values that are shared among the individuals, requiring each party to compromise and accommodate the other within the organization (Watson, 2001, p. 115). Nevertheless, the authors express the unlikelihood of such a culture prevailing within the organization, noting the common nature of individuals adhering to their unofficial cultures.
Managers are faced with the task of ensuring that a
cohesion is established between the official and unofficial cultures as it is
only through this that the organizational stakeholders can be swayed towards a
common organizational goal. Language is an important determinant of culture
within the organization (Watson, 2001, p. 118). As such, according
to the case, as much as individuals may vary in terms of their language, if the
variations are allowed to extend further, effective communication within the
organization may be hampered. As such, it is important for the organization to
create an organizational identity that leaves room for the diversities of
individuals. This can be achieved through establishing a shared corporate
language that would encourage individuals to work together without cultural
impediments, while also allowing them to effectively embrace their diversities
and not to forego their self-interests. Such a language should not be such that
it is too formal that it limits interactions among individuals in attempts to avoid
communication (Watson, 2001, p. 123).
Van Maanen, J., 1991. The smile factory: Work at Disneyland. In: P. Frost, et al. eds. Reframing organizational culture. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, pp. 58-76.
Watson, T. J., 2001. Strategy and Culture in Practice. In: T. J. Watson, ed. In Search of Management: Culture, Chaos and Control in Managerial Work. London: Thomson, pp. 109-134.
Smile Factory Case Study Solution 2
Organization Culture at Disneyland.
- Characterize the culture of Disneyland. Consider artifacts (visible, testable, smellable, feelable, hearable elements of culture that provide insights into deeper elements), espoused values and beliefs, and basic assumptions about the way things are and ought to be in the organization.
- Disney’s culture can be characterized as playful, aiming to bring happy feelings and amusements to the customers by integrating a range of artifacts, values, beliefs, and assumptions while making the employees the change agent.
- The various characteristics are described below;
- There are several cultural artifacts in the Disney theme park.
- Artifacts are observations and feelings which may need assistance from members of the organization to understand.
- Artifacts in Disney include; Disney media networks, which include; ESPN, Disney/ABC, parks, resorts, studios that encompass music and movies theater and digital platforms.,
- Provide a concrete understanding of Disney’s culture since they are spoken in the words of its members.
- They provide a record of behaviors common in the organization. They are observable in;
- Strategic philanthropy
- Traditional values
- Nostalgia for the past
- Visions for the future
- Disney citizenship
- Believes inequality and opportunity
- The diversity of Disneyland provides a chance for citizens to learn of their culture and that of others.
- Believe in the commonness of happiness and amusements created through integrating various artifacts to ensure maximum happiness and fun.
- Believes in fantasy, storytelling, and art
- Basic assumptions
- The basic assumption of Disney is changing the roles of people to adapt to their culture of arts. For instance, workers refer to themselves as cast members; when they are on break, they say they are backstage, while when working, they say they are on stage.
- Workers refer to themselves as actors, storytellers, or scriptwriters to be able to fulfill the desire of their consumers.
- Visitors are referred to as the audience (Van Maanen et al., 1991).
- New employees are taught Disney’s vocabulary, which is crucial in their culture.
- Characterize and analyze the employee control systems used by the organization. Why does it use the control systems it does? How effective are these systems?
- The employee control system used in Disneyland is behavioral.
- With the organization adopting the American culture, employees are expected to go beyond cultural, religious, racial, and ethnic boundaries.
- Employees are well conversant with storytelling, which is useful to their target market.
- Employees are well conversant with the organizations’ products and services as the 10-member BoD consists of global industry leaders, and the employee’s posts are filled with cast members of various stories, movies, and fantasies.
- The organization uses the control system to generate the best creative content, foster innovation, and utilize the most recent and developed technology in its products and services.
- The control system is very effective, especially in America, since it meets Disney’s target market expectations.
- Disney also transformed the employer-employee relationship as stage production of cast members ((Van Maanen et al., 1991).
- Identify where the organization would fall in the fall 8 styles of organizational
- The culture in which Disney would fall under playful work environments.
- Disney is described as the “Happiest Place on Earth” since it capitalizes on its target audience’s amusements.
- The motions of well being and laughter are core goals for to measure customer satisfaction.
- Disney is characterized by employee engagement, high morale, and fun.
- The management of Disney stresses emotional display rules, which are amusement based.
- The organization also focuses on high consumer engagement, which is based on their expectations and met desires in the services rendered.
- Disney is a “Feeling business” that aims to change consumers’ feelings from sadness to happiness (Cheng & Groysberg, 2020).
- What are emotional display rules, and what are the effects of such rules? What are emotional display rules in effect at Disneyland?
- Disneyland brands itself as the “happiest place on earth” it, therefore, expects its employees to make the visitors experience the fun and amusement from the park.
- Emotional regulation is expected from the employees so as they can sell Disney as a feeling business.
- Employees are expected to integrate and internalize the vocabulary words such as cast, onstage, backstage, and cast members. New employees are trained in the Disney
- language, which there are supposed to use to improve and illustrate their emotional display.
- Employees are denoted as cast members, while visitors are referred to as the audience.
- When an employee is in public, they are on stage, backstage when they are on a break.
- Disney’s culture and operations enable the employees who are constantly referred to as actors or cast members to believe they are such and later appreciate the production and culture that is Disney.
- How does working in an organization where you are constantly monitored by customers, supervisors, coworkers, and even technology affect employees?
- There is increased employee surveillance at the Disney smile factory.
- Being watched by visitors works positively for the employees since they are able to make their acting roles a habit and a culture.
- However, the surveillance may reduce their privacy, especially during their daybreaks, thus affecting their performance.
- Employees may perceive surveillance from management as a sign of mistrust.
- Employees may reduce the sense of role satisfaction because of alleged mistrust.
- Disney involves interacting with people, and therefore employees have close contact and surveillance from the visitors (Ball, 2010).
- How does selection and socialization act to perpetuate organizational culture? What are the implications of these things for diversity within the organization? Use examples from the reading to illustrate
- Organizational culture is a definition of the vision and journey of the business.
- Culture is not created in a single day. It is time-consuming which involves a lot of communication.
- The culture of Disneyland is that of diversity, which is aimed to result in a playful workplace that is ready to provide amusements.
- The culture is based on happiness and fun.
- Socialization of organizational culture is the process through which workers become acclimated to the culture of a workplace.
- Selection and socialization ensure that continuity of organizational change is achieved.
- New workers of Disneyland are introduced to the workplace dictionary, which they are supposed to adhere to.
- Vigorous training is done to the new workers to introduce them to the organization’s culture to ensure growth and continuity (Schein, 1988).
- Are the employees motivated? If so, what is the basis of their motivation? If not why?
- Employees are motivated in various ways, even in the Disney smile factory.
- The two most common types of motivation are extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
- Extrinsic motivation is the motivation that comes from outside. Mostly from the management through gifts, rewards, and promotion.
- Intrinsic motivations are motivation which comes from internal reasons. This motivation results from personal satisfaction derived from performing a certain role in the workplace.
- The culture of Disney trains workers to have an intrinsic type of motivation.
- Through taking roles as cast members, employees can be what they wished, such as directors, storytellers, and so on (Van Maanen et al., 1991).
- Are the employees committed to the organization? If so, what is the basis of that commitment? If not, why?
- Disney respects and abides in a diversity of human differences.
- The visitors of Disney hail from different backgrounds in terms of race, religion, and cultural background.
- Employees are as diverse as the visitors, with each employee tasked with selling what they are good at.
- The rich opportunity of service and offers at Disney provides visitors as well as employees with a deep sense of responsibility.
- Diversity among the employees makes them feel valued, represented, and encouraged to do what they do better.
- With a culture of inclusivity and appreciation, employees are committed to the organization.
- The type of commitment is affective, which signifies that the employees identify with Disney’s goals and vision.
- Therefore, the employees are able to sell Disney as a feeling business through the effective emotional display, which comes from the heart and practice (Carvalho et al., 2018).
- Can corporate culture be used positively, effectively, and ethically to motivate and control employees? How or why not? What examples or experiences do you have to back up your claim?
- A corporate culture can be used either positively or negatively. Negative culture demotivates employees and makes them less enthusiastic about their work, thus reducing output.
- A positive culture encourages workers to behave in an ethical, responsible way resulting in team collaboration, a happy workplace, and worker empowerment.
- There are several examples a corporate culture can be used positively;
- The culture can emphasize employee wellness through providing breaks and enough time to study, such as what was done by Disneyland.
- Disney land also promotes the culture of inclusivity, diversity, and playfulness, which motivates and controls employees to serve the customers better.
- Fostering social connections through team works also assists workers to become more goal-oriented (Schein, 1988).
Van Maanen, J., Frost, P., & Moore, L. (1991). The smile factory (pp. 58-76).
Ball, K. (2010). Workplace surveillance: An overview. Labor History, 51(1), 87-106.
Manuela Bárcenas (2012). 8 Types of Company Culture: Which One Is Yours? Retrieved from: https://fellow.app/blog/human-resources/types-of-company-culture/
Carvalho, C. R. S. P., Castro, M. A. R., Silva, L. P., & Carvalho, L. O. P. (2018). The relationship between organizational culture, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction. Rebrae, 11(2), 201-215.
Schein, E. H. (1988). Organizational culture.
Cheng, J. Y. J., & Groysberg, B. (2020). Gender diversity at the board level can mean innovation success. MIT Sloan Management Review, 61(2), 1-8.