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Managing Innovation Teams at Disney

Disney Questions

Case Analysis 4 – Managing Innovation Teams at Disney (40 pts)

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Why does Disney keep its development team small?
  2. What are the pros and cons of the teams being so autonomous?
  3. Is Disney’s team approach most suited to creative projects, or would it work equally well in other kinds of industries?
  4. Importantly, apply as many of the COs (Course Objectives) as you can to the case. These are given for reference below.

Your Case should be 2 1/2 – 3 pages (approximately 600 – 750 words), double spaced, have at least three references using APA format (you may use one or two references cited from the case but you should have at least one additional unique reference from your own research) , and typed in an easy-to-read font (Times New Roman 12 font recommended) in MS Word (no pdfs or rtfs or non standard formats). Please include a cover sheet with your full name, the case name, our course number (NETW583), and the date you submit.

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Answer preview

Unlike bigger teams, small teams are focused on delivering organizational goals since there are significant interactions between team members. The Director of Systems, Jonathan Geibel, realized that small teams were beneficial to a team and resorted to reorganizing the development team. The changes included ensuring that a group has between two and six members. One advantage that Disney benefits from small teams is easy communications. In small teams, a project manager coordinates communication within the group. Small teams are also led by a leader who has technical capabilities and can rally all team members towards the organizational objectives. The rest of the team members are primary participants, and they assist the team leader in achieving the team’s goals. Schilling (2017) says that with a small group, members have more control in decision-making, which is beneficial for the team and the organization. The small team approach that Jonathan Geibel has adopted enhances productivity and efficiency in the organization. Černevičiūtė & Strazdas (2017) says that team creativity is best achieved in small teams, especially in the creative industry, and this could be the reason Disney prefers small teams.(647 words)