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Walt Disney Company’ Conflict Case Study

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Updated: Jul 7th, 2020

How would you describe the conflict between Michael Esiner and the Weinstein brothers, the two board members (Disney and Gold), and Steve Jobs? Was it functional or dysfunctional?

Michael Esiner was a successful leader after joining Walt Disney Company. He transformed Walt Disney Company to a formidable American business. The leader also created new conflicts at the corporation. The conflicts experienced at the company were dysfunctional. The CEO was at loggerheads with the Weinstein Brothers and Steve Jobs. These conflicts can affect the performance of every business organization (Bercovitch, Dean, & Jackson, 2009). Esiner’s abrasive leadership style resulted in numerous disputes at the company. Esiner was always making negative comments against Steve Jobs and his Apple Company.

This situation also strained the relationship between the CEO and the company’s stakeholders. This dispute between the CEO and the two members of the board also affected the company’s performance (Northouse, 2009). Such dysfunctional conflicts explain why the Board of Directors wanted Esiner to resign. This conflict became very overwhelming. It strained the relationship existing between Walt Disney Company and its business partners. These conflicts also destroyed the social solidarity that kept the stakeholders together. This situation affected the company’s performance. The company needed a new CEO to restore the company’s moral positions. The company reconsidered the best practices and conflict resolution strategies in order to restore its reputation.

Think back to the stages of conflict described in this chapter. Which stage best described the conflict between Esiner and Jobs? Was it perceived, felt, or manifest?

Business leaders and managers can “identify the stages of conflicts in order to present the best solutions” (Deutsch, Coleman, & Marcus, 2011, p. 74). The manifestation stage best describes the conflict existing between Esiner and Steve Jobs. The case study also explains why Esiner’s comments angered Steve Jobs. The rivalry between Steve Jobs and Esiner was evident to the public. Esiner was already making negative comments against Steve’s Apple Incorporation. The CEO had taken such comments seriously. Steve Jobs also stopped working with Walt Disney Company because of the CEO’s comments. The “manifestation stage occurs when every person in an organization observes the conflict” (Deutsch et al., 2011, p. 48).

The conflict also affects the contribution of the affected parties. The new CEO decided to address the existing conflicts in order make Walt Disney Company successful. Robert Iger inherited a failing business. Iger addressed the conflicts in order to restore the company’s reputation. This leadership strategy made Walt Disney successful despite the severe recession experienced in 2009. This case study explains why every organizational leader should use the best managerial strategies to address every conflict (Ivancevich, Konopaske, & Mattson, 2012).

Which of the following best describes Michael Esiner’s and Bob Iger’s approaches to resolving conflict: dominating, problem solving, avoiding, or accommodating? Explain.

Michael Esiner did not resolve most of the conflicts affecting Walt Disney Company. The former CEO failed to address most of the challenges. This practice affected the company’s performance. He also strained the relationship between the company and its business partners. The CEO was always dominating. He was the supreme leader at Walt Disney Company. He avoided every issue affecting Walt Disney Company. This practice affected the company’s image (Karmakar, 2010). Robert Iger presented a new leadership strategy at the corporation.

Iger used the best problem-solving approach in order to address every conflict affecting the business. He negotiated with different companies in order to have better business relationships. The new CEO and his team made the best decisions for the company. The CEO also repaired every key relationship. The leader’s decision-making and problem-solving strategies made Walt Disney Company prosperous. This situation explains why “every leader should use the best leadership strategy in order to make his or her business successful” (Bercovitch, Dean, & Jackson, 2009, p. 57). The new CEO made Walt Disney Company a prosperous and competitive institution in the United States.

Reference List

Bercovitch, J., Dean, R., & Jackson, V. (2009). Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods, and Approaches. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Deutsch, M., Coleman, P., & Marcus, E. (2011). The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice. New York: Wiley.

Ivancevich, J., Konopaske, R., & Mattson, M. (2012). Organizational Behavior and Management. New York: McGraw Hill.

Karmakar, A. (2010). Principles and Practices of Management and Business Communication. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Northouse, P. (2009). Leadership: Theory and Practice. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Tabak, A., Celik, M., & Turkoz, T. (2011). Self-leadership in Public Sector. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(3), 113-134.

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