Management theories aim to improve the operational and financial performance of business organizations and help them in achieving their strategic goals. The internationally accepted Management theories provide a framework to organizations in every aspect of their business. The policies and procedures formulated in the light of these theories can give them a competitive advantage and a sustainable future in the industry (Tripathi & Reddy, 2006).
Organizations follow the internationally accepted Management theories to improve their productivity, organizational strategy and structure, leadership and motivational practices, control systems, workplace cultures, risk and quality management, information management, and human resource management practices.
The purpose of this report is to discuss the aforementioned thesis statement for one of the most renowned organizations in the World's Entertainment industry -- the Walt Disney Company, Australia. The report starts with an ample introduction to the company and its specific operations into the Australian region, and proceeds by giving a brief analysis of its internal and external environment. The main section of the report discusses the business practices of this entertainment giant in the light of international management theories, concepts, and models. The focus of the report is to highlight the major management issues in the corporate sector and what strategies does Disney Australia institute to encounter these issues in an effective manner.
The Walt Disney Company, Australia
The Walt Disney Company is a well-recognized multinational corporation engaged in providing family entertainment and media services. Its business operations are divided into five major segments; Walt Disney Media Networks, Walt Disney Studios, Disney Consumer Products (DCP), Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (WDP&R), and Disney Interactive Media Group. The history of Walt Disney Company dates back to 1923 when it started as cartoon studio. At present, it has been serving the worldwide customers of all age and income groups with a broad range of entertainment choices. According to the Fortune Magazine, Walt Disney is the world's most admired company in the entertainment industry. The Company entered the Australian region in 1956 with its traditional offerings, including Disney music, movies, television shows, books, merchandise, etc. With the passage of time, it has largely captured the entertainment industry with all its innovative, astonishing, and high-tech services which spectacularly attract the Australians to come and enjoy the modern outlook of the entertainment world (The Walt Disney Company, 2012).
1. Environmental Analysis
The business environment of Disney Australia constitutes the internal and external environmental forces; both of them impact its business operations and financial performance in one way or another. The internal environment consists of the strategic decisions and policies, strengths, weaknesses, and organizational culture which Disney Australia possesses in its business setup, while the external environment is composed of the threats, opportunities, and different political, social, economic, and technological forces which affect the local and international businesses operating in Australia (Brassington & Pettitt, 2006).
1. The Internal Environment:
Walt Disney is a renowned name in the world's entertainment industry. This brand recognition is the biggest strength for Disney Australia. It has won the crown of market leadership by keeping the business operations and customer services to their highest standards, and continuously adopting a growth strategy for its business in all the corners of the world. An extremely wide range of entertainment services for all age groups is another big strength of Disney Australia which gives it a competitive edge over its competitors. A strong emphasis on Total Quality Management, Risk Management, Sound Corporate Governance, strong organizational culture, and Business Ethics also contributes towards its competitiveness in the industry (Seymen, 2006). On the other hand, Disney Australia has some weaknesses in its business setup. First, it is not giving much importance to high grossing animated films. The major competitors in this category, like Pixar, Sky Blue, and DreamWorks Animation are producing these films more frequently and snatching the market share from Disney Australia. Second, its sales performance in the Studio Entertainment services has been declining for the last few years.
2. The External Environment:
Disney Australia has largely dominated the entertainment and media industry in Australia and New Zealand. However, there are various other competitors that are offering these services to the same target market; thus giving a stiff competition to Disney Australia with respect to pricing, customer reach, expenses on promotional campaigns, and customer services. These competitors are a threat to the Company's profitability and customer base. Secondly, the economic environment also impacts its business operations by making the costs of doing business greater and greater with each passing day (Mullins, Walker, & Boyd, 2008). On the other hand, the social, demographical, and political forces have always been favorable for Disney Australia due to the modern lifestyle of Australians and the rapidly growing economy of the Country. Disney Australia has great opportunities to expand its operations in the country by offering more innovative entertainment services in the potential local markets. It can take great advantage from technological advancements by making its service offerings more innovative and astonishing for the customers. The two core competencies, a strong customer base and a well-established brand image can be used to develop the business and make attractive returns. Therefore, making new investments in related services and industries can help it grow as a leading brand in the region (Groucutt, Leadley, & Forsyth, 2004).
2. Organization's Strategy
Disney Australia aims to provide the highest quality of entertainment services to its customers. To achieve this aim, it has instituted the best management practices in all the aspects of its business. The Corporate wide Organizational Strategy is to flourish the business by leaps and bounds through continuous expansion strategies and improvements in the current business processes (The Walt Disney Company, 2012). Through sound Corporate Governance principles, the Company aims to safeguard the interest of its shareholders, manage the risks and uncertainties present in the business environment, and ensure a sustainable future in the industry (Koontz & Weihrich, 2010). By keeping in view the best Human Resource Management theories, Disney Australia wishes to provide a challenging work environment and attractive growth opportunities to its employees. At the same time, it wishes to build long-term relationships with its supply chain members and business associates who play an important role in the provision of its highest quality entertainment services to its customers (Davidson, Simon, Woods, & Griffin, 2009). Finally, the company strategizes to prove itself as a socially responsible corporate entity by getting engaged in various social welfare initiatives (Epstein, 2008).
3. Organization's Structure
The organizational structure of Disney Australia is composed of different operational units; all of which are divided into departments. The different departments in the organization have core business areas to perform their duties. The main departments in the Australian business setup of the Walt Disney Company include: Production, Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, Quality Assurance, Risk Management and Internal Control, and Information Technology. All the five major business units fall under Project Operations; each unit is supervised by an independent Project Director. The Board of Directors is responsible for designing the company's long-term strategies and policies while the Top Management is dedicated with the responsibility of choosing the most cost-efficient procedures of implementing those strategies and policies (The Walt Disney Company, 2012).
4. Leadership and Motivation at Disney Australia
Leadership and motivation is one of the core functions of Management. It greatly contributes in the effective and efficient accomplishment of organization's objectives. At Disney Australia, employees are directed and keep motivated by their immediate supervisors. The most effective leadership strategy is to keep the employees equipped with the most advanced knowledge related to their job duties. It helps them in performing their current job responsibilities more productively and learning new things for personal and professional development. At Disney Australia, the employees get a number of training and development options that are customized as per their job types, nature of duties, or departments. The team leaders and supervisors choose the best training method for each employee (The Walt Disney Company, 2012).
Disney Australia has a performance appraisal system by which high-performers get fast career growth options and financial rewards by their managers. It also brings a sense of motivation in the low performers as well as the new entrants (Davidson, Simon, Woods, & Griffin, 2009). Moreover, Disney offers competitive salary perquisite packages to its managers and employees which also keep them committed to work for this organization for a long period of time. The managers at Disney Australia choose transformational leadership style by which each employee is given individual attention by his immediate supervisor. The supervisor leads his subordinates in a friendly manner; keeps an eye on their individual performance, identifies their strengths and weaknesses, and assigns job tasks and target which truly match their interests, skills, and competencies.
5. Organization's Culture
Keeping in view the Management theories and debates on the importance of Cultural Diversity, Disney Australia gives a strong emphasis on building a unique and esteemed organizational culture at its workplace (Leveson, Joiner, & Bakalis, 2009). It is composed of a highly respectful working environment…