Disney and the Perception of Work

On Saturday 3 March an article published on CBIA featured research undertaken by Professor Martyn Griffin, Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour. The article titled ‘Do Disney Animated Films Negatively Influence Kids’ Perceptions of Work?’ looks at Professor Griffin’s research findings that suggest Disney animations are likely to significantly shape children’s learnings about organisations.

The research team analysed 56 feature-length animated films, from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1937 to "Moana" in 2016 and identified which workplace-related themes were portrayed by each film. The themes included:

  • Subjection to dangerous, dirty, or unfulfilling work
  • Manipulation and/or deception by managers or overseers
  • Staying positive in the face of adversity and abuse
  • Being rescued and returned to a non-working environment
  • Leaving unrewarding work and renewing identity in a new working role

Professor Griffin commented:

While common knowledge might suggest new entrants to the workforce are blank slates ready to be moulded by their organizations, our research shows managers and organizations will need to take into account the ideas about organizational life that began as soon as they were old enough to watch their first Disney movie.

Further coverage of the research was published in the Independent on Wednesday 14 March. 

Read the article on CBIA

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