BA420 Power and Politics
The case focuses on John Lasseter, who currently is the creative head of Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, both of which are owned by The Walt Disney Company. The case chronicles Lasseter’s interests in animation from a young age, the relationship he developed with the Disney organization, his developing interest in computer-animation and consequent demise at Disney Studios, his subsequent award-winning success with computer animation at Pixar Studios, and his recent ascension to creative head of Disney’s Animation Studio as part of the Pixar-Disney merger. The case provides a marvelous illustration of the many types of interpersonal power ¾ reward, coercive, legitimate, referent, and expert that exist within an organization. The case also shows how power can be used to promote the well-being of the organization and its members or to benefit specific people’s interests at the expense of others’ interests. Herein, the two faces of power positive and negative come into play. Another linkage between the chapter material and the case occurs in the form of concerns about the ethical versus unethical use of power. Finally, the case can be used to explore the concepts of organizational politics and political behavior in organizations. Organizational politics often has a negative connotation, and some of the case facts lend themselves to reinforcing this negative connotation.