Case Study Disney Essay

918 Words Sep 20th, 2011 4 Pages
Case 11.1 (p. 337) “Conflict at Walt Disney Company: A Distant Memory? |

1) How would you describe the conflict between Michael Eisner and the Weinstein brothers, the two board members (Disney and Gold), and Steve Jobs? Was it functional or dysfunctional?
Ivancevich (p. 311) defines functional conflict as a confrontation between groups that enhances and benefits the organization’s performance’ while he defines dysfunctional conflict as any confrontation or interaction between groups that harms the organization or hinders the achievement or organizational goals. Though, a point the Ivancevich makes (p. 311) is that in most cases, the point at which functional confrontation becomes dysfunctional is impossible to identify precisely.
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The conflict of Eisner and Jobs at first was the perceived stage due to the negative comments Eisner made at congressional hearings; Jobs took the comments personally and so was very emotional about the words.
As the feud continued and escalated, Jobs took the perceived stage to the last stage of conflict—manifest. As the feud escalated, Jobs threatened to not renew the Disney-Pixar relationship after the release of Cars in 2006 if Eisner was still CEO of Disney. Thus, Jobs acted upon the conflict with this threat which would have had dire financial losses for Disney.
3) Which of the following best describes Michael Eisner’s and Bob Iger’s approaches to resolving conflict: dominating, problem solving, avoiding, or accommodating? Explain:
Certainly Eisner’s approach to resolving conflict would fall into the dominating category; dominating approach is the person/group’s maximum focus on meeting its own concerns, coupled with a minimal focus on meeting the concerns of other group (Ivancevich, p. 319). It seems Eisner fought or had difficulty with all key persons with the other companies he dealt with; apparently maintaining these key relationships was not a high priority with Eisner. I think as Eisner still continued to be successful in spited of these issues, he probably gained a sense of unlimited power and authority; while he may have kept the

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