Dennis Hightower: Walt Disney’s Transitional Manager



This module/week transitions the focus from the impact on the recipients of change to the personal side of leading change. Consideration is given to those known as change agents who are involved in the process. Change agents may be teams or empowered workers. You will also review the specific issues change agents face, such as resistance, frustration, loneliness, and pain.

Discussion Board Forum Instructions

Create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 400 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and integrate at least 2 peer-reviewed articles.

Course textbook: Managing Change, Cases and Concepts 3rd ed. (ISBN:978-0-07-310274-0)

Discussion Board Prompt

In the case “Dennis Hightower: Walt Disney’s Transitional Manager,” you are introduced to how Hightower knit together a federation of independent country operations and created an effective center linking local subsidiaries to the center. As noted in the case, the process was extremely complex and placed immense demands on Hightower. Specifically, it required him to demonstrate intensive management of relationships, appropriate position of people, careful delegation of responsibility, and active nurturing of a healthy work environment. Reflect on the overall change in company culture, and respond to the following prompts as you prepare your thread:

  • Evaluate the pacing and sequencing of Hightower’s actions from 1988 to 1994.
  • How would you evaluate Hightower’s approach to bringing about change in his organization? Compare his approach with that of Jack Welch.
  • What should Hightower do about the apparel business?
  • What are some of the challenges of building a transnational organization?