The paper "Three Mistakes Made by Disney Management in Managing Euro Disneyland " is a perfect example of a management case study. Walt Disney created a world of fun and fantasy through his cartoon characters and the development of theme parks. Initially in California and then Florida, the American theme parks have grown into a series of theme and entertainment centres that even become a big success in Japan. However, in 1992, the icon of American popular culture underperformed significantly when it expanded to Europe, with the development of Euro Disneyland just outside Paris.
The following section discusses some of the cultural differences between the United States and France and the way Trompenaars research influences our understanding of these diversities. It will also talk about the three mistakes made by Disney management in managing Euro Disneyland and the lessons they should learn from the experience. Some of the main cultural differences between the United States and France The most widely used framework for understanding national and organisation cultures was developed by Geert Hofstede. He identified five dimensions by which national and organizational culture can be described- Power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation (Palmer, Cockton, & Cooper 2007, p. 65).
The United States, with reference to these dimensions, has high individualism (91%) or IDV ranking (Hofstede 2009b, p.1). This implies that Americans are more individualistic, self-reliant, and care more for themselves and members of their family. Countries with IDV such as the United States give importance to employees’ personal life and emphasised emotional independence from the company. Individual initiative is socially encouraged and individual decisions are considered better than group decisions.
The level of individualism will affect the level of employees’ willingness to comply with organisational requirements and in high IDV countries, employees are expected to look after their own interests (Young & 1996, Nie p. 95). The United States uncertainty avoidance index received the lowest ranking for the five dimensions and it is suggestive that Americans, unlike the French with almost 80%, are open to any opinion and tolerate various ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. In addition, the United States’ power distance or PDI, compared to France with nearly 65% and the world average of 55%, is way below at 40%.
This means that the American society, compared to the French, has a more stable cultural environment provided by greater equality and shared interaction across power levels (Hofstede 2009b, p.1). Although relatively individualistic at 79%, the French and other Europeans who scored high on uncertainty avoidance index are more conscious, emotional, and are not tolerant to opinions that are dissimilar to what they believed (Hofstede 2009a, p.1). According to Johnson (1996, p. 59), a high UAI is a phenomenon where a culture feel threatened by uncertain or unknown situations.
The index measures the extent to which people tend to be challenged by ambiguity and less inclined to take risks. To avoid or counter such challenges, these people developed beliefs and institutions that would provide them with uniformity and formalised structures, particularly in the workplace. Interestingly, France has a high score and is renowned for its rigid bureaucratic structures and formalised work processes (Stredwick 2005, p. 452). The major cultural difference between the United States and France as shown by Hofstede’ s study is the fact that the Americans are more confident and open-minded.
In the in-depth study of Euro Disneyland by Luthans & Doh (2009, p. 234), the French were found to be inherently suspicious, culturally restrained, and unbendable. The French perceived their culture as superior and humility is difficult even in the face of political and economic reality.
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