- Disney has a multidivisional (M-form) organizational structure which is common in diversified companies with many interests. Supporting these interests are six business-type segments that leverage Disney’s brand equity and are operated by centralized command.
- Disney’s functional groups serve to coordinate growth between its various business segments in such a way that each benefit. Movie characters from the Studios Content segment, for example, may be incorporated into rides and merchandise for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
- Four geographic divisions also help to manage various socioeconomic and cultural differences among the company’s many markets. These are U.S. and Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin American & Other Markets.
Disney, formally known as The Walt Disney Company, is an American entertainment and media conglomerate that was founded by brothers Walt and Roy Disney in 1923.
Disney has a multidivisional (M-form) organizational structure which is common in diversified companies with many interests.
In the following sections, let’s delve into this structure in more detail in addition to some secondary characteristics of Disney’s structure.
Business-type segments or divisions
Critical to Disney’s organizational structure are segments or divisions arranged that focus on specific business types or industries. Each segment is managed by centralized corporate management and leverages the company’s brand equity as a competitive advantage.
There are six business-type segments:
- Disney Parks, Experiences and Products – this includes Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Publishing Worldwide, and Disney Cruise Line.
- Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution – comprised of various direct-to-consumer streaming services and international business units. Examples include ESPN+, Hulu, Hotstar, and Disney Music Group.
- Studios Content – these are the studios responsible for producing movie and streaming content for Disney brands, including Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, and Lucasfilm.
- General Entertainment Content – or any producer of entertainment or news content such as ABC News, ABC Entertainment, Disney Branded Television, FX, National Geographic, and Freeform.
- ESPN and Sports Content – a standalone segment for the acquisition and production of live sports programming, news, and other non-scripted content.
- International Content and Operations – responsible for the development and production of entertainment and sports content outside of the United States. This group encompasses Disney’s geographic divisions which are outlined below.
For Disney, functional groups are those that serve to coordinate growth between its various business segments in such a way that each benefit. For example, popular movie characters from the Studios Content segment are regularly incorporated into Disney Parks, Experiences and Products as rides and merchandise. The Studios Content segment also works with Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution when streaming adaptations of the popular Star Wars film franchise are produced.
Centralized corporate management is responsible for fostering effective coordination between the various segments. Groups are headed by executive leaders who report directly to CEO Bob Chapek and include Corporate Affairs, Enterprise Technology, Compliance, and Global Communications.
Geographic divisions help Disney manage sociocultural and economic factors that influence mass media, entertainment, and parks across different markets. For example, the amusements, menu items, and overall customer experience differ markedly between Disneyland Hong Kong and Disneyland Paris.
To manage these differences, there are four geographic divisions:
- U.S. and Canada.
- Asia-Pacific, and
- Latin American & Other Markets.
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