A nation’s culture is the shared set of beliefs, values, knowledge, and patterns of behavior common to a group of people. Effective international management requires knowledge of the home country culture as well as the host country culture. As multinational enterprises continue to grow and prosper entering foreign markets, challenges arise. The following video case details Walt Disney World’s expansion into international markets by pursuing a strategy that strictly adheres to the Disney values and beliefs while carefully adapting to the local culture.
The Walt Disney Company is a major multinational enterprise with operations in several countries including the United States, Hong Kong, and Europe. Founded in 1955 in Anaheim, CA, by Walt Disney, the Disney enterprise includes theme parks and entertainment products that all cultures find relevant—stories of love, humor, and fear. Yet, as the U.S. market composes only 5 percent of the world’s population, it is necessary to Disney to expand into foreign markets. As it does so, it is crucial to adapt to the local culture while still maintaining the Disney national culture that many visitors have come to enjoy. The secret to Disney’s success—to create a unique experience where each visitor can dream for just one day.
Discuss how Disney is able to thrive in multiple countries worldwide. Develop and share a list of five strategies that Disney successfully employs. Discuss any other areas of globalization and the importance of understanding cultural differences that may interest the class.