The case is the elaboration of tiring efforts of incorporation of Disney’s project into the cross-cultural boundaries. The need of the case is to encounter the cultural differences and problems faced by the penetrating brand into the European niche and geographical region for expansion. Disney land is a famous theme park that is magical and mystical for attracting many local habitants of the US and tourists due to its unpredictable beauty in its animated and cartoon characters. This was the basic idea upon which the company decided to expand its business operations through theme parks, hotels, business center or film house into the European countries, Chinese regions, and many other different localities worldwide (Doh & Luthans, 2018).
The cultural challenges posed by Disney land are the ideological differences among the two different regions in the US and Europe (France). The Euro Disney land face extreme criticism from French analysts, farmers, local habitats, political leaders. The primary and foremost problem was a cultural difference that contributes to a language barrier. The difference in managerial approaches is also a significant variable that acts as a problem causing factor for Euro Disney management. The US culture is individualistically based, with an emotional touch, with workaholic nature and practical approach, but the French differ in these approaches is given in the next section.
Expansion & Cultural challenges by Euro Disney Land
The expansion becomes a major problematic field for the Euro Disneyland. The cultural challenges in the decision-making matrix for the organization are much diversified. The variables to explain cultural problems with formal authority, Group orientation, individual orientation, hierarchal organization, proper administration, language, ethnicity, orientation (long-term/short-term) and cultural preferences of Food, clothing and philosophical interpretations, including Communist behaviours or non-communist Universalist behaviours (Doh & Luthans, 2018).
Expanding business operations find the diversification in mission, governance, strategy, the structure of the organization, culture, technological differences with marketing tactics, finances and personnel practices moulded according to the penetrating culture. The decision matrix helps in analyzing various options in the rational decision-making process. The sequencing of factors and variables help in identifying the decisions as most important as per the factor and the ones with the least important factor according to the need (Yue, 2009).
Imagination and innovativeness is the top priority of the French culture with analysis, leadership traits and reality as a part of a chain. The Hierarchal order and proper verbal and non-verbal communication help understand the culture. On the other hand, the American are much practical
Hofstede’s Cultural dimensions & Difference in US and France
The differences in cultural aspects of different geographical regions are described under Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. The Euro Disney land and Californian Disney land case explain the significant and essential differences in the cultures’ approaches in both regions. The cultural diversity in the US focuses on freedom, independence, self-reliance, equality, individualism, competition, openness, and directness. The European culture is Collectiveness, Cooperation, Quality, Preferences, Equality, liberty, Hospitality, Patience and group harmony are few significant differences in both cultures (Doh & Luthans, 2018). The four major dimensions of Hofstede’s Cultural influences, explaining the difference in behaviours due to cultural change are listed under power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism and collectivism with masculinity and femininity concepts are as follows
The intent and extent of power in organizational culture with the equality and acceptance perceptions of society, culture is descriptive meaning of power authority or power distance. There is more focus on the hierarchal organizational structure in France following the power distance index more efficiently and effectively compared to the US. The authoritarian power structures and organizational power influences are much reduced in the American culture. The obedience of the French public and employees to the administrative managers with senior management, middle management and lower management structure follows the rule of power. The centralized power culture is established in France or European countries, while the American Culture influences decentralization in organizational culture. The encouraging equality behaviour is associated with the US cultural perspectives, and the French ones are much of inequality promoting cultural aspects and values (Newell, 2013).
Masculinity vs Femininity
A region that focuses on money, success, things as a dominant value in their culture are represented as masculine in the behaviour. On the other hand, femininity is a caring societal culture that promoting behaviours linked with better quality of life. It is focused on societal perceptions and societal influences on culture. The case represents that the USA is more masculine in nature and achievements, high level strengths, and more economic integration, showing a significant focus on money, income, and stability. While in France, the index is lower, revealing the Femininity prioritization explaining the quality of life is more before the societal culture of France (Newell, 2013).
The cultural domain in which the safety and protection of the people are focused. The extent of being threatened due to a specific situation or harassed due to making ambiguous scenarios that organizational culture should avoid or try to sort out is studied in this culture. The structuring of Organizational culture activities with written rules helps reduce uncertainty avoidance using the less risk-taking managers, higher turnover of labourers and more ambitious employees. The responsibility of actions by the employees of organizational culture is regarded as the ones with a higher level of uncertainty avoidance and risk-takers. The public of France is more oriented towards uncertainty avoidance compared to the USA cultural perspectives. The structured decision making with the pre-determined results and recommended alternatives are part of the organizational goals in France. The US culture focus on innovative and identified culture with risk intervention and lower uncertainty avoidance (Yue, 2009).
Individualism vs Collectivism
The individualist culture is the one that focuses on the needs of the individual, and work can be done in every domain with an individualistic society. The collectivist is the one that focuses on the communist and collective nature of the workforce with the values in collaboration and teamwork behaviours. The people of America are keener towards individualistic views, and the collectivist nature is linked with France’s cultural perspectives. The compelling nature of technological advancements, economic growth and gaining stability are individualistic gains associated with the USA organizational practices (Shymonyak, n.d.).
Mistakes in Managing Operations
In managing operations of Euro Disney, the managing operations have many mistakes regarding the management of Disney Land in the European Region. The major problem was the diversification through different socio-cultural aspects and then altering management approaches in the context of the possible growth attainment and earning profits. The operational issues are ineffective in publicizing and promoting the recreational park and theme park with hotels and studio projects in a different region. The strategic development of Euro Disney land was based on the population growth factor of France, in Marne-la-Vallee as the closest approachable area to the world’s tourism capital England, Germany, France, Belgium. The transportation, metro subway and train line and Paris to inter-state borders is also the reason for choosing this location. But the issue with Disney land’s operational management is cultural imperialism, financial stability, Food and services, and strict job codes, which are a few functional problems faced by them (Doh & Luthans, 2018).
Cultural Imperialism is the strong reaction of nationalists of France against the USA’s individualistic culture, with perspectives that the project is hitting their collectivist approach of culture. The slogans like Disney go home, Don’t gnaw National Wealth, etc., are few examples of imperialism faced by the project of Disney in France’s region. Farmers, politicians, residents, or the public protested against the project due to cultural differences (Yue, 2009).
The French and European states enjoyed the perks of welcoming nations to Disney projects and taking a 49% stake of the project, out of which the top stock is distributed over government and European organizations. However, the scarcity of supplies, reduced sponsors for the park, declined payoff due to lessening admission fees, Food, merchandising, incentive fee etc. Moreover, the cultural penetration with Tomorrow land, Discover land, 360-degree French movie culture, multilingual guides, and Fantasyland needs more operational and management functioning (Yue, 2009).
Food Services and Accommodation:
American menu in different styles and French concepts of folklores or innovative ways to reflect food services with fable’s country origin Pinocchio German culture, French Cinderella, Bella in Italian with food order of American style but European taste was the central issue faced by Disney land in Europe. The reflection of regionalism is a significant issue. The dress code and strict clothing, hairstyling, and job-related appearance were also the considerable flaws of Euro Disney land. It is considered a casting centre approach that restricted human dignity as an example of Disney’s food and job accommodation problems (Irene, 2017).
The case is a detailed elaboration of issues faced by the organization in penetrating international borders for economic growth and cross-cultural location for tourism and recreational park or theme park. The financial and operational matters were essential but masked by the cultural dimensions of the French population with different opinions on individualistic grounds and masculinity perspectives or other Hofstede’s dimension comparable to the USA. Therefore, it exhibits the importance of understanding cultural aspects in the decision-making matrix to obtain maximum growth.
Doh, J., & Luthans, F. (2018). International Management: Culture, Strategy, and Behavior. McGraw-Hill Education.
Shymonyak, M. (n.d.). EURO DISNEYLAND. Www.academia.edu. Retrieved June 1, 2021, from https://www.academia.edu/17275765/EURO_DISNEYLAND
Newell, L. A. (2013). Mickey Goes to France: A Case Study of the Euro Disneyland Negotiations. Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, 15, 193. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/cardcore15&div=9&id=&page=
Yue, W. (2009). The fretful Euro Disneyland. International journal of marketing studies, 1(2), 87.
Irene, Y. (2017). Investigating the poor financial performance of Disneyland Paris. Openrepository.com. https://doi.org/http://hdl.handle.net/10034/620822