Disney Pixar Essay example

5510 Words Dec 14th, 2010 23 Pages
Making Disney Pixar Into A Learning Organization *
James M. Haley and Mohammed H. Sidky
This study examines how leadership, teamwork, and organizational learning can contribute in making mergers and acquisitions work. Our intention is to identify critical factors and practices needed for merger success. Our research is part of an ongoing project, and builds on previous analysis of merger success/failure in such organizations as Standard Oil, Exxon Mobile, and Time Warner-AOL. In this paper, we turn our attention to the recent merger of Pixar and Disney. In our view, the Disney-Pixar case seems to be a good example of a successful merger in progress. This is demonstrated very clearly by recent box office successes such as Academy Award
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The evolution of a business, learning to be more efficient and effective, is complex. Copying another organization's proprietary knowledge is also quite difficult. It is thus easier to acquire another firm’s organizational learning by simply buying the company (Haley, 1986).

According to the RBV view of competitive advantage, counting copyrights, trademarks, patents, manufacturing plants, stores, employees and market share, are “good” measures of success. From this perspective, M&A activity becomes similar to playing monopoly with companies accumulating tangible resources. If this is the case then, why not simply count the number of deals that a company does? Clearly this view misses the point, because most merger deals end in failure.

The resource based view (RBV) of a firm’s performance has evolved to incorporate intangible resources that possess inimitability, variety, and nontradability (Cho & Pucik, 2005:556). But empirically it is hard to find confirmation of this more sophisticated RBV model of sustainable competitive advantage, (Newbert, 2002). Competitive advantage however, is a dynamic, not a static concept. The failure of the conventional approach lies in its inability to explain how individuals, teams, and organizations actually learn, and how they interact in dynamic, and often times chaotic environments. Let’s look at an example of merger failure. AOL-Time Warner: A Classic Failure A classic example of…

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