A OVERVIEW OF Pixar Animation Studios Business Essay

Pixar(2010) Pixar is an American animation development company located in California, United States. The company was started in the year 1979 as the part of the computer department of Lucasfilm and was bought from the Walt Disney Company in the year 2006. The business during its 17 years of existence has shipped several videos that has redefined the world of aesthetic technology and computer animation. Pixar is known for its a few of the basic beliefs that form the building blocks of its unbeatable success. People at Pixar are extremely talented and there exists an open collaboration among people coming from multiple disciplines. However, a formal composition is implemented at the business where it is necessary for every member to ensure improvement of three inter-related areas of the business, particularly, 'management', 'process' and 'accountability'.

Leadership is used very critically at Pixar which is ensured that leaders have the ability to tune their marketing communications, and value the eyesight of the organization and produce the ability to provide lots of ideas (Jeremy, 2010) Professionals as well as employees of the venture have the flexibility of expression so that their eye-sight and ideas can be communicated easily that helps the business to come up with innovative ideas making sure a sustainable position on the market (Morris, Jeremy, 2010). Another important factor of Pixar's environment refers to its collaborative way towards work. It is fine to own talented people appointed in the business, but it is similarly important to make these folks work in a determined manner towards achievements of organizational goals (Milter and Matveev, 2004). At Pixar, many people are made to recognize that his/her success lies in the success of all other members. This helps in relocating a collaborative manner to ensure that everyone employed in the company succeeds. The team spirit at Pixar helps in development o fold hires and new hands in an identical fashion with a wholesome respect for the other person resulting in an environment of reliability and trust prevailing throughout the business. Apart, from both of these elements, accountability forms the foundation of the working environment at Pixar. Market leaders and professionals at Pixar follow a clear type of accountability that helps them in seeking ways to boost themselves. Every job is headed by the Director/Manufacturer duo, to whom all associates of the job are accountable. These directors and providers are subsequently accountable to leaders of the company and also have the possibility to make use of the experience and understanding of older filmmakers who will be the part of top management of the company. In a nutshell, Pixar follows a highly structured process aims at fostering a significant collaboration producing a culture that include value for capacity and contribution of others.

Cultural Analysis

Before taking a discussion on ethnical analysis, we need to understand the meaning of culture in an effective manner. Various scholars and academicians have given several meanings for culture. Formally, culture has been defined as a structure of shared values that were produced by a group throughout the process of exterior adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be looked at valid and, therefore, to be taught to new people as the way in which to understand, think, and feel in relation to those problems. Martin (2002) described that everyone understands about the communities, organizations, and societies in which certain values and prices prevail at cross purposes with the values of others, resulting in a condition where issues and ambiguity prevails in a high degree. This is the consequence of insufficient balance prevailing among participants, insufficient shared record of experience, or the existence of several subgroups with difference in their personal experiences (Thorngate, 2004). Many a times conflicts and ambiguity also results due to fact that an individual is not really a part of an individual groups but belongs to many different groups and this has an effect on the assumptions and values that a person brings to a specific group and is affects by the assumptions that re appropriate to some other communities to which a person belong.

Khan (2005) argued that it's necessary that folks are matched up with the business in order to have success of the company. There's a set of collective rules by which a corporation operates, which is termed as the culture of the organization. (Conolly, 2008) explained that employees of the enterprise should be well aware of their work environment that will clearly identify appropriate and improper behavior.

In today's paper, an examination of cross-cultural issues arising from the merger of The Walt Disney and Pixar will be performed. It makes it essential to understand this is of cross-cultural evaluation. Under a cross-cultural research, an investigation is manufactured into the ways through which people coming from different backgrounds communicate with each other. Whenever any merger occurs there is an amalgamation of the culture of the two organizations taking part in the merger (Stening, 2002). Here several cross-cultural issues may arise as a result of interaction of people coming from two different groups with different record, beliefs, prices and functions. Cross-cultural evaluation thrives to funnel the utilitarian function of culture to be able to use it as a mode of increasing the version of men and women and bringing a noticable difference in patterns of communication (Nigel, 2001). It is one of the self-control of international management that give attention to cultural encounters, aiming at finding of methods that can be adopted to handle cultural variations that often bring about issues, ambiguity and miscommunication.

There are a number of different models that can be used to carry out a cross-cultural research. Various models includes those recommended by Hawkins (1992), Terpstra and Sarathy (2000), Hofstede (1994), and Wills (1991). The platform advised by Hawkins and Terpstra are similar in dynamics and explains some of the normal elements such as values, education and learning, social position and organization. Hawkins has attempted to deal with culture from the point of view of a consumer lifestyle, while Terpstra approaches culture in somewhat wider contexts. Thus, it is much more user friendly the model advised by Terpstra and Sarathy. In addition, Hofstede's model will be used to understand the various proportions of culture that are established upon individualism, ability distance, masculinity and uncertainty avoidance. Wills (1991) considered learning as the main element element of their style of culture. This will likely explain the normal notion of culture at Pixar as after the merger with The Walt Disney, the major aim of the company was to establish Pixar as a learning corporation. The measurements of learning are being used to look at a style of cross-cultural analysis suggesting a romance between high/low context of a culture and the rate at which new products are designed.

In addition, it is usually to be noted that culture and authority are interconnected. These are viewed as both attributes of the same gold coin, in that market leaders first create cultures when they create organizations and organizations (Edgar, 2004). Once ethnicities exists they determine the criteria for leadership and thus determine who'll or will never be a leader. The initial function of command helps in controlling the existing culture in the event the elements of a culture becomes dysfunctional. Command also manages progression of culture and change in such a way that the group can prosper in a adjusted environment also (Bal, 1999). Thus, it is right to say that it is essential to understand the culture both for group users as well as for their leaders. The cultural analysis in relation to leadership roles may also be discussed and analyzed for Pixar.

Cross Cultural Issues at Pixar

The Walt Disney obtained Pixar with the view that Pixar would be able to bring some creativity to Disney, which acquired lost the luster in its animation. However, various major factors of the success of a merger were recognized by both the parties plus they emphasized on

The concept of transformational command and the value of its living for the success of the merger

Creating a fresh strategic eye-sight and mission for the new organization that is shared by both the parties to the merger

Developing and preserving learning teams resulting in fostering a learning environment throughout the business.

Creating and keep maintaining a learning culture throughout the merged firm.

Pixar established fact for its culture of collective creativeness. Management think in a way to build capacity to recover when some failures appear and not in direction of preventing the risk. It is thought that smart people are more important when compared with good ideas (Catmull, 2008). The company aims at boosting the power of creative people and builds a creative culture on the foundation of active opinions among peers. An available culture and communication prevails in the organization where people whatsoever levels support each other and help one another to turn out their best (Catmull, 2008). All members of the organization respect each other and there are incredibly rare circumstances of any bad conflicts with communities having significant problem-solving powers that become an inspiration to be creative and innovative. However, with the merger of Pixar with The Walt Disney, the culture of both organizations also merged and then arouse several cross-cultural issues that could have led to failing of the merger if not supervised properly (Haspeslagh, 2006). The Walt Disney is characterized with a highly regimented culture while Pixar is well known because of its unique, free-spirited, indie work vibrant culture (Lam; Chi and Lee, 2007). The successful mixture of these two completely different cultures was the hallmark for the success of the merger. In the event Disney would have made any try to get the people of Pixar work under great pressure to create efficiencies, even though the way of increasing its productivity or causing an eradication of the overlapping support positions, could have resulted in high rates of turnover with skilled employees going out of the Disney Pixar (Lam and Lee). It is to be noted that many a time sin such very skilled establishments such as computer animation and communication, people are allowed to let go because of skill distance. However, it is the issue of ethnical gap which makes the majority of the skilled people change companies frequently in computer animation and communication industry (Keating, 2006). It's the clear knowledge of magnitude of synergies which makes the mergers successful.

Analysis of the cross-cultural issues at Disney Pixar

As discussed in the previous section, to control cross-cultural issues at Disney Pixar, management focused on four important elements of transformational leadership, shared eye-sight, learning team and learning culture. These elements and Disney Pixar's approach to these are talked about the following:

Transformational Management at Disney Pixar

It is necessary that an business have transformational leaders in order to develop creative thinking and problem resolving to foster organizational development. Transformational leaders are those who lead through public exchange. They help their followers grow and become leaders by giving an answer to individual supporters' needs by empowering them and by aligning the aims and goals of the individual followers, the first choice, the group and the bigger company (Riggo and Bernard, 2008). It's the elements that can encourage organizations to build up and change quicker in order to be able to meet difficulties of dynamic and competitive conditions.

Disney Pixar implemented the way of defining and expanding the transformational control. The company made a decision to follow the strategy to make employees easily change the new culture, which is a mixture of the cultures of two organizations. It really is thought that creative forces come from creative management (Riggo, 2008). It really is so because effective management assists with effective development of support constructions, the required resources and usage of the knowledge and understanding of the top management of the business. At Pixar, access to the brain trust of the organization was possible for all individuals due to its self-employed and free-spirit culture. However, it was for Disney's culture to adopt this key feature to become successful in the competitive environment. Transformational authority was chosen as a route to achieve this objective and make Disney Pixar a learning business.

Shared Strategic Vision

Another key factor guaranteeing the success of a merger is the writing of a distributed eye-sight of goals and aims by the merging business. This can help in providing proper advice and minimizing the anxieties and uncertainties associated with the procedure for merger. It's important in case there is a merger to build up an environment of learning throughout the organization. That is possible only when there can be an option of diverse learning groups that are led by market leaders who are posting a common strategic vision. An organization is able to create a sustainable competitive advantage through such a process (Jemison, 2006). This further helps it be easy to manage the increasing complexities associated with economies of level and then competitors find it more difficult to copy a company's operational methods (Janik, 2006). As described by Gill (2010), controlling through a distributed vision demonstrates to be much more productive as compared to the management done through coercion or control. Creation of the shared vision refers to the process where a consensus needs to be achieved on the path of the group and on the desired results. The essential aim is to help make the members of the team approach their use aim of attaining same goals for the future and being guided by same key points. A shared perspective is also essential for expanding and fostering learning and change in an organization.

In the truth of Disney Pixar, a formal team of market leaders was created to be able to integrate the two companies. Among these steps, the Vice President of Pixar was appointed as the chief creative officer of Disney's and Pixar's computer animation studios. Despite of his getting the power to "green light" motion pictures for both the studios, the ultimate expert to approve rested in the hands of Disney's CEO. The primary aim was to keep the Pixar's culture. However, it is not enough to develop teams of market leaders. It's important that leading teams emerge throughout the business and leaders try to develop learning of each and every individual about the new ethnic values, objective and perspective of the organization and the objectives for which the various procedures are being completed in the organization (Gancel and Rodgers, 2002). Every specific must have a committed action towards the proper perspective of the merger. There is a need of incorporating the best skills as two organizations to enhance the writing of the tactical vision and steer clear of any social issues.

Developing Team Learning

At Pixar, it is presumed that providing flexibility to use decisions assists with development of groups. People are given full chance to be creative and use their ideas in order to discover from their success or failures. The cofounder of Pixar and his executives gives tremendous specialist to their directors. All decision-making power rests in the hands of groups and no solitary individual is recognized as a decisions making power. The rule is usually that the views and advice received from the "brain trusts" of directors will be used only as an advice and directors have full specialist to refuse their suggestions if it does not fit their plans. However, Disney having a tight control culture, implemented a strategy where corporate executives micromanage by keeping restricted control over budgets and coming into in the departments to take final creative decisions. Both of these different approaches resulted in several social issues after the merger. Many of the key employees kept the business because of Disney's dominating ethnic values. Ed Catmull, the cofounder of Pixar acquired recently transformed his vision to build the business where everyone work in direction of developing a magic even though the directors and cofounders have died (Prokesh, 2008). This needed a strong change in the culture of the organization where professionals were likely to do something of themselves even though people carrying out the organization weren't there. Same was expected out of Disney, and sadly Disney's staff lacked the spirit and failed to create a strong learning approach towards their work.

Creating a Learning Culture

Traditionally, organizations used to follow a top to down bureaucratic, manipulated and narrow approach to management. This process used to limit the training process in the business. In case of a learning firm, new guidelines of progress and development can be recognized and recognized that makes it possible to handle challenges and problems. In the current competitive global period, diversity and cross-cultural complexities have become the synonymous to the obstacles a business corporation face while improving their operational efficiency.

Disney Pixar didn't recognize the technique through which an organization can turn into a learning business (Keating, 2006). The process is being carried out efficiently at Pixar through developing relationships and recognizing the fact that skill is rare and thus its retention is essential. Ed Catmull thinks that the assumptions of the organization must be constantly challenged and the search for defects that can eliminate the culture of the organization should not stop throughout the businesses of the business. However, the process could not be undertaken effectively at Disney Pixar and resulted in several cultural issues. The brand new company was struggling to keep Pixar's talent together as there were vast differences between your cultural values and working varieties of the two companies (Haspeslagh, 2006). Management had not been successful in creating a learning culture throughout the business and the unionized culture of Disney may not efficiently coexist with non-unionized culture of Pixar.


Disney Pixar has failed at many levels while making the merger successful. The company has used strong steps to start learning in the business but it is doubtful whether such learning will be institutionalized throughout the organization. Some advice to foster learning and prevent any ethnic clashes are reviewed as follows:

A utilization of differences can be made by using matrix strategy. This can help in finding a perfect balance between the competencies of professionals of both the companies. In addition communication performs an important role in managing cultural distinctions (Lodorfos, 2006). Market leaders should allow available communication and integration between team members as well as between clubs to ensure even stream of knowledge and information. This can help in folks from both the group understand each others' ideals, values and working style resulting in more respect for each other's culture (Harding and Rouse, 2006). Treating the spouse company members with esteem is the main element to the success of a merger. Additionally, formal as well as informal training should be provided to the employees of Disney to be able to modify themselves with the available and free culture of Pixar. Your choice making authority should not rest in the hands of few regulators and professionals must be delegated more and more decision making electric power as in case of Pixar. Furthermore, Disney and Pixar studios are retained separate to be able to lessen the complications. However, it is preferred to design an individual studio where a combined set of values coming from the blend of the ideas of both companies should be fostered to ensure success of the merger. That is so because keeping both elements of the Disney-Pixar merger as independent organizations can create the conditions for separation in future. Such a separation will result in more differences on account of cultural beliefs and design of resulting in more clashes and issues among the individuals of two companies. Disney-Pixar should aim at creating a learning business through efficient movement of information and knowledge throughout the organization to become successful in future.


From these discussion, it can be figured proper management of cultural differences is one of the main element factors in success of your merger. Today's business environment is characterized with a growing variety of organizations desiring to avail the good thing about globalization. Many of the companies take the route of mergers and acquisitions to achieve the objective. Many of such mergers are unsuccessful due to ethnical clashes among people of different organizations. Each of the merged company must integrate the corporate cultures of these organizations. It is the management style, management styles and communication lines that are necessary to be developed and supervised in order to be successful in taking care of cross-cultural issues. It really is evident that there surely is always a likelihood of cross-cultural issues in case there is a merger that can't be avoided at any cost. However, you'll be able to take care of these issues through expanding the organizations into a learning organization in order to foster knowledge sharing throughput the organization ensuing a in an effective merger.

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