The Wonderful World of Human Resources at Disney

14 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Lynn Isabella

Lynn Isabella

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

What kind of culture does Walt Disney Company (WDC) want to create? This case uses the experiences of a young visitor to one of WDC's resort hotels to set the stage for an analysis of selecting, hiring, training, and retaining and how those practices are governed by the culture of a large American company. The situation provides an opportunity to explore human resource policies, organizational design as well as how all those elements reinforce the culture. The case opens with an interaction between a young Animal Kingdom Lodge guest and an employee (or cast member as the company refers to employees). There were many different ways the exchange could have unfolded yet the experience was magical for the youngster. What made this exchange a memorable experience for this young guest? Would Walt Disney have been surprised?

Excerpt

UVA-OB-1051

Rev. Mar. 31, 2014

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF HUMAN RESOURCES AT DISNEY

You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.

—Walt Disney

Five-year-old Oliver wanted to see the animals during his overnight stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was early evening, too late to get in the park, so his grandmother took him to a scenic overlook at the back of the lobby. As Oliver walked around, there were no animals to be seen, only clusters of trees, some grasses, and dirt trails below the overlook. Oliver's grandmother could sense his disappointment. This was Oliver's first visit to a place that was supposed to enchant children, so parents or grandparents would bring them back. Expectations were sky-high.

. . .

Keywords: Brand personality, leaders, rewards, people management, human resource theory, chain of excellence

Suggested Citation

Isabella, Lynn and Yemen, Gerry, The Wonderful World of Human Resources at Disney. Darden Case No. UVA-OB-1051. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974827

Lynn Isabella (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4818 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/isabella.htm

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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