Walt Disney Company’s Strategic Management Inputs

Analyzing inputs is crucial for a business to build a strong organization and maintain a competitive advantage. Activities such as exploring the industry environment, identifying trends, threats, and opportunities, and working on competencies and recourses are necessary for success (Hitt et al., 2017). The Fortune 500 companies showcase how addressing strategic management internally and externally helps firms operate at the top of their industries for decades. Indeed, the Walt Disney Company is an example of sustainable leadership in mass media and entertainment (Fortune, 2021). The excellence of this firm is achieved through timely input analysis and constructive response to technological changes and demands (Fortune, 2021). This paper explores strategic management internal inputs and discusses how they influence the Walt Disney Company’s operations.

Strategic management internal inputs examination helps an organization to evaluate its performance in the industry and identify growth perspectives and potential challenges necessary to overcome through various business operations. The analysis includes addressing the external environment’s aspects, such as rivalry and industrial segments, discovering core competencies, resources, and capabilities, creating value, and defining strategic competitiveness (Hitt et al., 2017). A firm must perform strategic management internal inputs examination multiple times a year to ensure no crucial changes in the field are missed.

External environment analysis is crucial to identify the right direction for a company’s growth, evaluate the rivals’ advantages, and timely discover the possible threats. The segments of the outer conditions are demographic, economic, legal, technological, sociocultural, global, and sustainable; thus, a firm must assess itself and its competitors based on these elements (Hitt et al., 2017). External environment analysis includes scanning the trends, observing the changes, forecasting the perspectives to which companies would develop, and determining when and how the progress would affect an organization (Hitt et al., 2017). These strategic management inputs, performed by most companies in an industry, help one another identify their advantages, opportunities, competencies, threats, and growth vectors.

Internal inputs are part of strategic management necessary for discovering core competencies and building the business around them. Indeed, the process includes analysis of sustainable advantages such as value, rarity, cost of imitation, and non-sustainability, along with value chain studying (Hitt et al., 2017). Internal strategic management requires the executives to consider all company aspects and exercise a holistic approach to achieving stable growth and competitiveness (Lozano, 2018). The inputs’ analysis of resources, capabilities, and core competencies is valuable for managerial decision-making. Indeed, financial, organizational, physical, technological, human, innovation, and reputational assets for a company’s identity and potential (Hitt et al., 2017). A firm’s capabilities in essential functional areas such as distribution, HR, marketing, manufacturing, and development determine the optimal execution strategies (Hitt et al., 2017). Core competencies, revealed through the value chain or four criteria of sustainable competitive advantage analysis, help a company develop unique paths to achieve its goals according to its mission (Hitt et al., 2017). The industries’ leaders perform a sophisticated combination of external and internal strategic management inputs analysis to help them maintain solid positions and adjust to the changes.

The Walt Disney Company is an example of a successful corporation that has operated for almost a century and maintains leading positions in the family media and entertainment industry worldwide. The company operates in various markets, such as theme parks, animation studios, vacation experiences, and consumer products and must have well-built strategic management inputs to sustain its competitive advantage (The Walt Disney Company, n.d.). Indeed, Disney’s executive decision-making must be evaluated through the external environment and forecast the internal changes it would cause (Griffin et al., 2018). For instance, in 2021, the strategic management of Disneylands requires scanning how other theme parks reacted to the COVID-19 outbreak. Then, the company needs to observe consumer demand changes, predict how the industry would operate in the post-pandemic world, and determine the most affected departments. These aspects of external environment analysis are necessary to revise and adjust Disney’s strategic management internal inputs.

Based on the family media and entertainment industry situation, Disney today threatens to lose its advantage in the theme park section. However, their opportunities to enhance studio production of animated films, online presence, and expand the consumer products line have grown over the last few years (Havard, 2020). Consequently, Disney’s strategic management internal inputs are now adjusted to improve the performance in the strength sections.

The company uses its value and reputation earned through the history of high-quality products and well-known brands to get contracts with new studios and manufacturers to expand the range of products. Furthermore, the company invests in innovative assets to help the industries develop novel opportunities, such as 3D animation and machine learning in manufacturing (Havard, 2020). Disney’s capabilities are specifically strong in the distribution and marketing areas because of the brand’s high recognition and authority. Based on the history and the company’s best products, the core competencies are quality of service, strong leadership, and excellence in customer experiences (Griffin et al., 2018). These internal management inputs inform the executives and help develop strategies aligned with Disney’s mission to entertain and inspire people worldwide through storytelling, innovation, and creativity (The Walt Disney Company, n.d.). Each aspect impacts the company’s strategy, helping it maintain leadership positions even in times of uncertainty.

The Walt Disney Company is an example of an industry leader who continuously observes and analyzes the external environment to timely address new trends and changes. Besides, Disney’s presence in animation, theme parks, and consumer products markets profoundly impacts its competitiveness forcing the other firms to strive for the same level of excellence. Strategic management internal inputs correlate with the company’s mission and the value it displays; therefore, the decision-making inside of it is being performed based on the core competencies and available recourses.


Fortune. (2021). Fortune 500: Walt Disney

Griffin, M., Learmonth, M., & Piper, N. (2018). Organizational readiness: Culturally mediated learning through Disney animation. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 17(1), 4-23.

Havard, C. T. (2020). Disney vs. Comcast: Lessons learned from the corporate rivalry. Graziadio Business Review, 23(1).

Hitt, M. A., Duane Ireland, R., & Hoskisson, R. E. (2017). Strategic management: Competitiveness & globalization: Concepts and cases (12th ed.). Cengage.

Lozano, R. (2018). Sustainable business models: Providing a more holistic perspective. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27(8), 1159-1166.

The Walt Disney Company. (n.d.) About the Walt Disney Company.

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