Happiness at the House of Mouse: How Disney Negotiates to Create the 'Happiest Place on Earth'
113 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2012 Last revised: 30 Sep 2014
Date Written: July 1, 2012
Poets rhapsodize about it, the Beatles sing about it, philosophers debate it, psychologists study it, and chocolate induces it. Disney, on the other hand, claims title to it: happiness. This Article examines, in the context of Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro's "Core Concerns" framework and general negotiation theory, the degree to which The Walt Disney Company creates happiness for those at the Walt Disney World Resort, particularly Walt Disney World's guests and cast members. It begins with a brief discussion of happiness and of negotiation theory. This Article next examines how Disney creates at Walt Disney World a negotiating environment conducive to the stimulation of happiness. It then analyzes observational evidence of Disney’s negotiations with guests and cast members and offers suggestions for how Disney could negotiate more effectively. Finally, this Article concludes with a judgment about Disney’s success in presenting Walt Disney World as the "Happiest Place on Earth" and with contemplation of how lessons learned from Disney are applicable to other companies.
Keywords: happiness, negotiation, core concerns, Disney, emotion, Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR
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