The importance of understanding culture in the workplace is important in order for an organization to adapt to the changing globalization of commerce across the globe. The ability of a business to navigate successfully through challenges of different cultures at the workplace will determine their performance and success as a business. The difference in culture can affect businesses that are on an expansion curve and are entering into new markets and such organizations are expected to adopt policies that will address such problems in order to stay internationally relevant and competitive.
Risk in international business is associated with the possibility of unforeseen occurrences happening within a business. Such risks may include political and exchange risk in the country of operation. The legal issues attendant to expanding to new markets is the regulatory framework which regulates the shareholding and ownership of the business. The laws that govern trade within the new country will affect the operations of the organization in the country it is entering. The finance can be considered from the foreign direct investment to be made, the models of franchising and licensing, joint-ventures as well as other financial strategies of finance which are strategic.
Culture at Disney is important where they have a strong organizational culture that is based on values of innovation, storytelling, decency, optimism and community which works alongside the vision to make their customers happy ( Cacciatore, McClanahan and Muhonon 2014).This culture is made operational worldwide by the use of casting which is centralized to recruit talent that will embody its core value so as to ensure consistency globally. Each cast member promotes the organizational culture while working by treating as a valued guest each attendee and not as a consumer who is impersonal.
When the company expands to new markets with different cultures, it offers an international program where new staff is allowed to work and live at Disney World. The individuals get to interact and connect with people from diverse cultures, learn service skills and presentation (Uzkurt, Kumar and Kimzan 2013).They also get exposed to the work culture and ethic at Disney. This training helps to promote a team that is culturally competent to work in different cultural settings.
The dominant culture in Seoul is based on a social hierarchy that is rigid with women struggling for equality with men and the value of hard work being a desired virtue. Education is also highly valued within the society (Kim 2014). The work culture is characterized by politeness to superiors even if they don’t agree with them on certain issues. They then tend to display their grievances on online platforms. The work culture emphasizes loyalty to the team leader and the staff will stay in the office even when idle until the leader departs, resulting in high overtimes but little productivity.
Most workers have poor communication channels due to the constant socializing and drinking which blurs the line for official and social communication. The lines of communicating are not clear and results in poor organizational communication. There is a culture that emphasizes on form and appearances rather than substance. The form of presentation is more valued than the substance in it (Hong, Cho, Froese and Shin 2016). This results in workers spending an inordinate amount of time beautifying simple presentations that can take less than one hour to make.
The above cultural tendencies may affect the expansion in several ways. The workers may want to please their superiors at the expense of the customers and this will affect the quality of experience for the customer. Used to working overtime, they may not find work which monitors efficiency as attractive and may not work for long at Disney leading to high turnover of staff (Dwivedi, Kaushik and Luxmi 2013). The worker who is used to after work socializing will also have difficulty in adapting since staff are expected to be sober the next day and not suffering from hang-over’s.
Disney can implement a work plan that emphasizes the positive (hard work) and training (education) at their new operation in Seoul (Al Saifi 2013). Supervisors will be trained to encourage honest feedback and communication from their juniors and at the same adopt a new culture of delineating the boundary lines of socializing. The staff will need to improve their productivity and efficiency by adopting a culture of substance and not form that will please their superior, but rather the customer coming to the premises. Overtime should be discouraged while the staff should concentrate on effective productivity during the normal working hours.
In conclusion the expansion plan for Disney will need a comprehensive look at several factors in order to achieve success. The company needs to look at the risks involved, the legal and financial implications before expanding into the new market. The cultural challenges will also need to be addressed so as to fit with the organizational culture at Disney. This may call for a program of training and cultural values retraining in order to operate within the values of the organizational culture of Disney.
Cacciatore, S., McClanahan, S., & Muhonen, W, 2014. ‘The Walt Disney company: reinforcing culture and values to employees.’ Stacy Cacciatore’s digital project portfolio.viewed 12 May 2017 < https://stacycacciatore.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/the-walt-disney-company-reinforcing-culture-and-values-to-employees/>
Dwivedi, S., Kaushik, S., & Luxmi. 2013. Impact of Organizational Culture on Turnover Intentions in BPO Sector in India. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 48(4), 679-691. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/23509823
Hong, G., Cho, Y., Froese, F.J. & Shin, M. 2016, "The effect of leadership styles, rank, and seniority on affective organizational commitment", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 340-362.
Kim, H. 2014, "Transformational Leadership, Organizational Clan Culture, Organizational Affective Commitment, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: A Case of South Korea's Public Sector", Public Organization Review, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 397-417.
Uzkurt, C., Kumar, R., Kimzan, H.S. & Eminoglu, G. 2013, "Role of innovation in the relationship between organizational culture and firm performance", European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 92-117.
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