Pixar: Animated Geniuses Essay

1. ) Problem: Pixar maintaining its position in the movie animation industry despite the forging alliance of major production companies. 2. ) Facts of the Case: a. ) Wild Brain inked a five-picture deal with Dimension Films, a unit of Miramax (owned by, of all companies, Disney). b. ) Perhaps Pixar’s closest competitor is Dreamworks, headed by former Disney impresario Jeffrey Katzenberg and backed by media luminaries Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.

c. ) Disney entered into talks to buy Pixar. d. He invested more than $50 million in keeping the company afloat, refusing to concede defeat and even releasing Alvy Smith after repeated personality conflicts. e. ) But a good part of Pixar’s success stems from its ability to generate intriguing stories that warm the hearts of audiences. 3. ) Objectives: To find out if Pixar can still be on top of the animated movie industry now that it is under Disney. 4. ) Assumptions: a. ) Pixar will still be able to do well in the industry. b. ) Pixar will be able to come up with movies better than their previous ones. . ) Alternative Actions: a. ) Not investing that much money to keep the company afloat

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b. ) Lowering the price of the software 6. ) Conclusion: I therefore conclude that Pixar will still be able to reign the movie industry when it comes to animation. Discussion Questions: 1. ) For Steve Jobs, with all his wealth and success, how can the needs theories explain his motivation? The needs theories helped him to be motivated to do what’s best for their company. He didn’t consider failure to be his option. He wants to be satisfied with his decisions. 2. When Pixar was struggling and Jobs was investing more and more money to keep it afloat, he could have made the decision to sell and go off to invest his money and time in other pursuits.

But he didn’t. How can Job’s decision to stick with Pixar be explained using (a) Vroom’s expectancy theory and (b) Bandura’s self-efficacy theory? (a) Jobs desired success not just for himself, but also for the company. This motivated him to do everything he can for the company. He believed that his efforts will lead to a good performance and that he will be offered attractive rewards. b) He saw the other companies also trying to stay afloat when he entertained offers from Oracle, Microsoft, Hallmark, and Disney. This motivated him to pursue success for his company since the other companies are doing it as well. 3

. ) Pixar relies heavily on creative people who are motivated to do their best under production schedules that can sometimes be highly stressful. How could a human resource executive utilize the notion of “flexibility” to provide a highly motivating work environment for such people? He can utilize flexibility by making necessary changes in the workplace to provide a highly motivating work for such people.

CASE STUDY Southwest Airlines: How Herb Kelleher Led the Way 1. ) Problem: The ability of upcoming successors to keep Southwest afloat in the airline industry 2. ) Facts of the Case: a. ) When Herb Kelleher relinquished his role as Southwest’s CEO, investors worried, because so much of Southwest’s success came from Kelleher’s unique management and leadership. b. ) It has won the monthly “Triple Crown” distinction-Best On-Time Record, Best Baggage Handling, and Fewest Customer Complaints-more than 30 times. c. ) Management worries about the effects that limited promotion pportunities will have on morale.

d. ) The company has created employee satisfaction by focusing on its internal “Customers”, who are then positively motivated to show the same degree of concern for external customers. 3. ) Objectives: To know if Gary Kelley can also maintain Southwest’s culture and success 4. ) Assumptions: a. ) Kelley will be able to think of ways for Southwest to still be successful despite the climb of fuel prices and security consolidation of airlines. b. ) Southwest will still have an edge in the competition since they have profits to share consistently unlike the others. . ) Alternative Actions a. ) Since Southwest is very profitable, it wouldn’t hurt for them to spend money on necessary changes for the company.

b. ) Hire more employees since some employees hit the maximum compensation level for their job. 6. ) Conclusion: I therefore conclude that Southwest can stay ahead of the competition by making good decisions for the company. Discussion Questions: 1. ) Does the history of Southwest Airlines indicate that Herb Kelleher was a visionary leader, a servant leader, or both? How do you support your answer?

Herb Kelleher was both a visionary and servant leader because he recognized what to do and what not to do for the sake of his company. He also focused on customers, both internal and external. 2. ) What leadership style predominates at Southwest Airlines, and how has this style influenced the firm’s culture and management practices. Southwest Airlines’ leadership style is Achievement-oriented leadership. The company has created “job families” with different grade levels so that employees can work their way up within their job. This influenced the firm to be enthusiastic and hard-working.

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