Disney Animation - John Lasseter
There are several forms of interpersonal power evinced within the Lasseter case study. Foremost among these is coercive power, which is subservient to relationship power in terms of empowering the individual (Boldt et al., 2007, p. 43-44). Since Lasseter went above his immediate supervisors to get the pilot for computerized animation, his immediate supervisors coerced the studio head to dislike the idea and ultimately used it. This sort of coercive power was also responsible for Lasseter's firing after the failed pilot. There is also an example of legitimate power in this case study, as Lasseter obtained his positions at Disney and Pixar through his own prowess at animation. Reward is also evinced, as Lasseter was able to reward Jobs for employing him by making stellar contributions to the former's company.
The two faces of power appear in this article in that there are situations in which power is both centralized and decentralized, and used for both negative and positive purposes. The centralized, political hierarchy that Lasseter encountered and which got him fired is demonstrative of the centralized, negative potential of power. The fact that he was able to go to another company and eventually spawn...
It is quite clear from an analysis of those events that Lasseter was fired for personal reasons -- which largely conflicted with the professional aims of Disney Studios. Because Lasseter had forsaken some of the mechanisms of power in those studios (in the form of the vaunted chain of command) and had gone above his "direct superiors" (McCuddy), those individuals made sure that Lasseter would regret doing so by effecting his termination. In fact, Lasseter's firing is a clear demonstration of personal interests conflicting with professional ones. Because Lasseter's immediate superiors did not like the fact that he had forsaken them, they did not like him. Since they did not like him, they made a point to utilize their power for personal reasons and get him fired, which is unethical behavior.
The firing of Lasseter certainly is indicative of political behavior in the Disney organization. His firing is reflective of the chain of command in effect at this organization, which is a demonstration of…
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(3) Then, aside from unethical behavior, the firing of John Lasseter also indicates the existence of political behavior within the company. As Lasseter had observed upon his employment with the firm, management at Disney had been based on loyalty to the firm and seniority, rather than actual performances, competence or innovative style. As he put it: "You put in your time for 20 years and do what you're told, and then you
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