Euro Disney was known for their famous recreational parks that were providing the best entertainment facilities and were the attention of thousands of visitors that visits these parks. The reasons for the decline of Disney were that they were unable to access and consider the demands of the foreign visitors that visit most in these parks. Despite the challenges faced by the company, this report will also shed light on the major decision-making flaws of the company. The major complexities that were faced by Disney will also be discussed in this study. This report will also insights the major cultural differences between the two countries. For this, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are used. In the last of this report, we will discuss the major mistakes and blunders that were committed by Disney for their expansion in other countries. (Driskill & Downs, 1995)
Cultural challenges faced by Disney due to expansion in Europe
Since the beginning of Disney land in Europe, Disney had faced many challenges in many cities due to its failure to assess the cultural change there. In the start, Disney had made some big investments for the development of different theme parks and other entertainment parks in Europe. At the initial stage of the expansion, they have to face the rejections of thousands of visitors. These thousands of rejections had a bad and shocking impact on the company, and they had to face the dynamic challenges for the expansion in euro Disney land. (Driskill & Downs, 1995)
With the reflection of this case, it is obvious from this study that the company, when it expanded its operation they totally ignored the cultural challenges and failed to execute the cultural operations in those countries. Another major loss Disney faced was the death of the owner of Disney at that time. At that time in 1966, suddenly, the Disney management failed to implement the strategic vision and mission of Disney due to the death of the owner. In that situation, Disney management failed to introduce innovative ideas for the creation and development of the parks in other countries. These drawbacks had badly impact on the business portfolio of the company and on their strategic plans. (Packman & Casmir, 1999)
Another challenge that was faced by Disney across the borders was the protest of local farmers and the competent authorities. This protest was called by the farmers and equally by some legal and relevant authorities against the development of these parks in their locality and across the borders. They called Disney that they have violated the rules and illegally created these parks across the borders. In that scenario, many other parties and authorities had also stood up in protest against Euro Disney land. Many of the posters written “Disney go home” were represented at the protest against Disney at that time. (Packman & Casmir, 1999)
Variables that influenced the challenges
There were many variables that influence the challenges for Disney, but the first and most variable that influences the most was the loss and failure of the commitment of sub-contractors. At that time, these subcontractors were unable and failed to determine the set of requirements for the development of these recreational parks of euro Disney land. As these contracts were not fully filled hence, this factor creates many conflicts for Disney to develop the recreational parks across borders. (Packman & Casmir, 1999)
Euro Disney had implemented many strategies, and one was very applicable for them in the development of the parks. This strategy was created to make opportunities for employment for foreign labor. They choose this variable for the employment concentration in the hosting country. Furthermore, they have also estimated to develop more restaurants, café, shops, swing spots, and other recreational shops. These strategies and variables were the key points in order for their expansion in the other countries. But somehow, in these strategies, they were failed to allocate the demands and needs of the foreign visitors. (Whitfield & Lainsbury, 2003)
Another negative response was received by Disney is from the local Labor union of these regions. As they expected, it was totally opposite, and the Labor union started to protest against the Disney euro because they believed that Disney had violated the rights of land for recreational parks. These challenges were serious challenges that were faced by Disney at that time. (Whitfield & Lainsbury, 2003)
Highlighting Cultural Differences between US and France using Hofstede’s Dimensions
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions briefly describe the differences in the culture of different countries. The different dimensions used by this framework are power distance index, masculinity versus femininity, uncertainty avoidance index, individualism versus collectivism. By using these indexes, the cultures of different countries can easily be determined and study.
For this study, Hofstede’s dimensions are used to point the differences between the culture of France and the United States. These cultural differences can be beneficial to overcome the challenges and determine the alternatives for the euro Disney failure (Doh & Luthans, 2018).
The results of four dimensions of Hofstede’s dimensions are analyzed and evaluated by using the online evaluation. Following are the results of the evaluation of the dimensions:
Power distance Index:
The power distance index shows the equivalence viewpoint and the extent of receipt by society. For the above statistics, the power index of France is about 68, which is relatively greater than the United States. The statistics show that there is much more centralization of the system in France as compared to the US. But in the other manner, the statistics of the above power distance dimension show that the authority structure is different in France, i.e., there are gaps between the authorities in France. However, the authority structure of the US is different ad there are fewer gaps between the authorities of the US. These differences are the cultural differences between the two countries. (Hofstede, 2011)
Individualism and Collectivism:
The Index of this dimension shows the behavior and working mechanism of individuals of both countries. The above statistics show that the Index of individualism in France is comparatively low than in the US. It means the people in France likely to work in groups if they have the habits of collectivism or collaborative working. While on the other hand, the people of the US likely to work individually instead of working in teams. They are not open in nature and live in an individualistic society. (Hofstede, 2011)
Index of this dimension represents the factor of strength level of society. If the culture of the society comprised of masculinity factor, then it indicates that the society has high strength level and they are dedicated towards their achievements. The Index above is showing that the culture of the US has a high masculinity factor which means that the people in the US have high strength levels, they are self-motivated, and are dedicated to their goals and work. While on the other hand, the Index of France is showing the culture of France towards Femininity which means they primarily prefer to maintain their lives. (Hofstede, 2011)
The Index of this dimension represents the perception of people towards uncertain future events. This level of Index shows the level of acceptance of the uncertain events. The above statistics of the uncertainty avoidance of the US is low it means the people in the US are able to avoid the uncertainty of future events. While on the other hand, the uncertainty avoidance of France is high, which means they have less tolerance towards future events. This Index shows that the people of France are proactive towards their future events, and they are effective decision-makers. (Hofstede, 2011)
Three mistakes of Euro Disney Land
Even since Euro Disney started their markets across the borders, they had made many mistakes and blunders, which resulted in the lack of management activities during the expansion in France. One of the biggest mistakes was the lack of operational efficiencies of Euro Disney. They failed to locate these activities. Regarding this case, the Disney Euro has supported many operational mistakes. One of the mistakes was that they had made the operational assumptions according to their experience in America without determining the culture of France. In the case of America, few people visit the park at the starting of the week and mostly visits at the end of the week, but in France, the case was opposite to the US. (Yue, 2009)
Another mistake Euro Disney had committed that they hired inexperienced labor at their work which results in the form of lack of training and lack of operations. Another mistake for the Disney euro was based on the lack of service practices in the region of France. The study shows that they were unable to present the alcohol in lunch for the people of France, which results in the form of lack of services and people’s absence of recreational parks. (Yue, 2009)
In the above discussion, the study concluded the consequences of the Euro Disney Failure. The main reasons for the failure of Disney were discussed in this study. Due to a lack of cultural knowledge of both the countries France and the US, they failed to execute their expansion which resulted in the form of failure of Disney land in France. Hofstede’s dimension was used to study the dimension of the cultural change that correlates with the culture of France and the US. In the last three mistakes that were committed by Euro Disney and became part of their failure.
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Packman, H. M., & Casmir, F. L. (1999). Learning from the Euro Disney Experience. Gazette (Leiden, Netherlands), 61(6), 473–489. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016549299061006002
Whitfield, S., & Lainsbury, A. (2003). Once Upon an American Dream. The Story of Euro Disneyland. Vingtième Siècle. Revue D’histoire, 80, 171. https://doi.org/10.2307/3771795
Yue, W. (2009). The Fretful Euro Disneyland. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.5539/ijms.v1n2p87
Doh, J., & Luthans, F. (2018). International Management: Culture, Strategy, and Behavior. McGraw-Hill Education.