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Culture plays a critical role in the functioning of any organization. It impacts customer behavior, their preferences, and expectations from a particular product or service. For this reason, planning an expansion or aiming at entering a new country, a company should acquire an in-depth understanding of local peculiarities to adapt its offerings to existing demands. If knowledge of culture is unsatisfactory, the risk of failure increases. The case of Euro Disneyland is analyzed from this perspective, as the insufficient consideration of French culture contributed to the inability to meet the desired goals. It will be analyzed using the Decision Matrix and Hofstede’s dimensions of culture to understand the central problems associated with the project.

Figure 1. Decision Matrix

Differences in the U.S. and French Cultures

The differences in mentalities peculiar to various nations can become a critical element preconditioning the effectiveness of a particular project and its popularity among the target audience. The case of Euro Disneyland shows that the inability to consider these alterations is critical as it might deteriorate the planned outcome. For this reason, applying Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, it is possible to outline the major differences between the USA and France.

First, the individualism/collectivism dimension should be applied. It shows the degree of independence peculiar to various society members and the importance of group interests. Comparing the two cultures, France has always been an individualist society (Hofstede et al., 2010). The traditional approach to upbringing a child presupposes making him/her emotionally independent from the group and acting as a single person. People prefer to focus on their own visions and values, avoiding some group demands or popular concepts.

In the USA, collectivist societies prevail and impact the mentality of people. They feel belonging to a part of the group, ready to share their feelings and emotions with other representatives, and they welcome emotional cooperation with others. For this reason, places such as Disneyland provide them a perfect opportunity to socialize and feel a part of a particular group, which is not critical for French people (Luthans & Doh, 2017). These differences should be considered when planning a new venture to avoid failure.

The second dimension is uncertainty avoidance demonstrating the degree to which people are ready to accept unexpected events or plan their future. For France, the high levels of uncertainty avoidance are peculiar. It indicates that the nation is not ready for surprises or radical changes in r daily activities. They prefer to have a certain schedule and follow it as a part of their everyday life (Hofstede et al., 2010). For this reason, little attention to breakfast in Disneyland distracted French people from it. They view this meal as a fundamental one and have specific traditions associated with it.

For the U.S. people, the low rates of uncertainty avoidance are typical. It means that they prefer to avoid planning and are ready to engage in new activities without preliminary preparation. They can also welcome surprises and unusual or unexpected events. The daily routine can be easily changed as there are no necessary traditions. In such a way, the difference between these two parameters shows that U.S. and French individuals might have different visions on how the work of such entertainment areas should be organized, which also preconditions the need for a special approach.

The power distance dimension demonstrates the degree to which people are ready to accept that individuals are not equal. For the French society, the strict hierarchy is peculiar as the culture scores high power distance (Hofstede et al., 2010). Citizens agree that any community is unequal, and there are various opportunities available for different classes. Under these conditions, it is critical to act within the current group and obey the existing regulations. This factor also impacts the readiness to follow the rules outline in specific guidelines.

For U.S. citizens, the lower power distance is peculiar. People are ready to struggle for similar or equal opportunities for each other and consider themselves a part of a tolerant society with similar chances available for all people. This difference between cultures can be seen in how managers work with clients and employees. In such a way, there is a big difference between the USA and French culture as they have a different vision of how to behave in various situations presupposing observation of particular laws or readiness to engage in multiple processes.

Finally, the Masculinity/Femininity dimension indicates how people see competition, achievement, success, and the need to be a winner. For France, low scores regarding this dimension have always been typical (Hofstede et al., 2010). It means that they do not view career, achievement, and recognition as the final goal of their work; instead, they prefer to appreciate other values, such as enjoying life, having tasty good, and drinking good wine (Luthans & Doh, 2017). These ideas do not presuppose strong competition and the need to struggle with others. It means that French people do not appreciate activities or games with a powerful competitive element, which should be considered when organizing various projects, such as Euro Disneyland.

For the USA, the dominance of masculine values can be reported. People belonging to this culture accept rivalry, struggle and appreciate achievement as the major determinant of success. For this reason, they are ready to engage in processes that demand much effort to win and acquire a better position. They might sacrifice comfort to the ability to move further and enter a new level of their development. Under these conditions, French and U.S. culture are different, and the application of the Hofstede’s main dimensions help to acquire the improved vision of these differences and the role they play in the functioning of companies.

Three Major Challenges

Analyzing the case of Euro Disneyland, it is possible to outline the three major mistakes made by the company, which resulted in poor outcomes and unwillingness of French people to visit it. First, little attention was given to the local culture, precisely food habits. The company’s policy prohibiting alcohol in the park was unacceptable for French people who usually have a glass of wine for their meals. It shows that the company did not collect data about potential customers’ habits and failed to alter its policy to adapt to a new market. Moreover, the little attention to serving breakfast, which is viewed as one of the main meals by Europeans (Luthans & Doh, 2017). Disney was not ready to prepare an appropriate menu and failed to satisfy clients’ needs during the initial days. It became an issue affecting the image of the park and the attitude of local people to it.

Another problem is linked to the false vision of French entertainment culture. Disney’s manages built their strategies on the idea that the USA and France have similar ideas of how to spend free time. For this reason, most staff and resources were allocated on Fridays with low attention to Mondays, which turned out to be a great mistake and preconditioned the inability to satisfy clients during the busiest hours. Additionally, most Europeans considered such theme parks a place for one-day excursions, meaning that luxurious hotels built by Disney were mainly empty (Luthans & Doh, 2017). The company thought that families would spend at least four days in the area; however, only a few visitors acted this way. In such a way, the poor understanding of the entertainment culture preconditioned the failure in managers’ expectations and the inability to follow the initial plan.

Finally, Disney failed to create an appropriate working culture. The company introduced the same demands to appearance as it used in the USA. However, for French people with their unique views on fashion, style, and clothes, it was unclear and posed a significant difficulty. Moreover, working in the entertainment sphere in the USA presupposes constant smiling and being polite to all visitors of the park (Luthans & Doh, 2017). For most French employees, it was an unusual practice, and it preconditioned high turnover rates (Luthans & Doh, 2017). At the same time, numerous specialists from the USA were hired to work in Disneyland in France. It was considered a threat to the local labor force, its skills, and the ability to perform complex tasks. In such a way, these three central challenges introduced the additional complexity in managing the theme park and adapting its functioning to the local needs.


Altogether, the case of Euro Disneyland shows the critical importance of culture and how it might affect a certain business project. Any company planning the extension and operations in new countries has to collect data bout the peculiarities of local people, their mentalities, tastes, values, and attitudes. It will help to determine the attractiveness of a new project, conclude whether the available resources suffice, and create a strategy that takes into account all cultural aspects. Using Hofstede’s dimensions, it is possible to acquire the relevant data about a state and select among products and services that will help to fulfill the needs of the local population. Otherwise, the project might fail, and the target audience will not appreciate it.

Reference List

Decision matrix analysis. (n.d.). EPM. 2021, Web.

EPM. (n.d.). Decision matrix analysis [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (3rd ed.). McGraw Hill Education.

Luthans, F., & Doh, J. (2017). International management: Culture, strategy, and behavior (10th ed.). McGraw Hill Education.

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