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Pixar and Disney - Essay Example

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The paper considers: Pixar’s success and Disney’s decline explained through Nadler and Tushman’s open systems model and change of Management Plan…
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Pixar and Disney
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"Pixar and Disney"

Download file to see previous pages The success of Pixar and decline of Disney may be traced to how these organizations responded to the changes in their social and technical environments. Upon cursory reading, Pixar appeared to have made a name for itself primarily through the use of digital technology in animation, to which it owes its commercial success, while Disney remained dedicated to the traditional method which no longer found strong following in the market. Closer inspection shows that there was a fundamental difference in the way the organizations functioned that was separate from the technology each used.
Organizations may be seen to operate as open systems which interact with their environments in a complex and dynamic way. According to Ingols, Cawsey & Deszca (2011), open systems are called so because they are not isolated from their environment, but freely exchange information, materials, and energy with them. They are comprised of interdependent parts connected by a complex set of interrelationships. They move towards equilibrium, and once in equilibrium, will not change unless some energy is introduced. Individuals within a system would have a different perspective of the system’s function and purpose than those outside of it.
Looking at organizations as open systems enables managers to better identify areas of misalignment and risk.
The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model is comprised of inputs that shape the strategy. The strategy drives the transformative processes box which eventually leads to the outputs. Feedback loops flow back to earlier stages to complete the model. The transformative work process includes four categories, namely informal organization, formal organizational arrangements, individual, and task. (people), and task (work). The Congruence Model states that these four categories in the work transformation area should be congruent (i.e., should fit) with each other (Jones, Brazzel, & ITL, 2006, p. 196). Pixar is an example of an open system which takes full advantage of the dynamics within the organization itself, and between the organization and the environment. Within Pixar, the informal organization is as important as, if not more than, the formal structure. Pixar has developed a “culture of collective creativity” that “values people above ideas,” and tasks are boldly addressed because of the empowerment of employees. Feedback is swift because lines of communication are open; everyone feels safe to offer ideas, and innovation is highly prized (Catmull, 2008). Strong long-term friendships are forged, and as a result, the organization feels competent to take risks. This makes the external influences welcome within the company, thus it takes advantage of inputs from the academic community, the technical and artistic fields, and of course the demand from the market. In contrast, Disney is a highly traditionalist organization which emphasized hierarchy and centralization. Eisner insisted on maintaining strict control even over creative processes and roundly criticized ideas not in line with his own, thereby discouraging people from taking initiatives for fear of reproach. Regard for people took a back seat to revenues and stock performance. In other words, corporate Disney did not promote openness among its employees, lacked congruity or “fit” among its component parts, and discouraged open feedback and communication. It was unreceptive to outside influences, preferring to stick to its “proven” traditions harking back to early Disney years. It felt it has found its equilibrium, and resisted any risk that may disrupt it. In short, Pixar has taken full advantage of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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