Disney Globalization Case Study

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Impacts of Globalization: Disney
Yip and Hult (2012) define globalization as a business operating in all four hemispheres. There is no question that Steam Boat Willie, the original 1928 Mickey Mouse and the original Disney character, has expanded the Disney Company into a global business. As Disney pursued global expansion, there were a lot of variables to contend with. In order to operate in any foreign environment, competition must be frequently analyzed. Additionally, adaptions often need to be made in order to compete and to meet the needs and wants of consumers in the local culture. Disney has become one of the most recognizable globalized companies in the world through theme parks, cartoons, movies, and merchandising in foreign markets.
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This may sound simple but it was a lot different than the Anaheim resort competing with the Six Flags parks in Los Angeles. However, Disney has consistently focused on high quality service and entertainment, keeping their branding relative to their family-oriented Disney characters (Disney, n.d.). Globalized Disney has been very successful due to their willingness and ability to make required adaptions for both cultural and competition purposes. This type of flexibility is often the key factor in making an organization successful when they seek to…show more content…
By keeping the parks American-Disney themed, people from other cultures such as China, Europe, and Japan could have an American experience in their own region without the costs of long distance travel. Additionally, in some areas there are state regulations that prohibited or limited travel abroad to local residents. In this way, Disney was able to offer a uniquely American experience to many who otherwise would not have those opportunities.
When Disney crossed international borders, they quickly established local and regional business relationships. Through these relationships, materials and manufacturing became much cheaper and gave Disney a competitive edge in their large merchandising sector. Long before it was commonplace in American business to outsource manufacturing, Disney was setting the precedent for what would one day be a normal competitive practice.
In addition to cheaper manufacturing, Disney’s division of labor practices have given them a financially competitive edge in their global operations. Disney is very strict on their practice of having the American company members do the intellectual and artist work of the company. However, in many areas they take full advantage of the cheap labor available to do the labor intensive work in both the manufacturing sector and the theme park sector (Tracy, 1999).

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