Business Culture: Past Reflections

By Laura Colantonio, Trending Editor

Business operations and the way they represent themselves has inarguably changed in response to and with the implementation of new technology, business practices, and socialistic views. It also is no question that businesses find difficulty with fostering change, especially on large scale, because of many reasons including those who are reluctant to change. Tradition is highly valued and therefore reforming away from traditional approaches can bring about distrust and as a result, disconnect to the organization from those who feel tied to former ways. The past is difficult to move forward from, because for many businesses, it was the foundation that started their successful business: it is what defines their culture.

In terms of social change, generally, business used to be primarily run by white men. In ways, some may say it still is, but approaches are being made to diversify business leadership. In addition to mixing up the workforce, business is in need of adopting views that appeal to other social agendas as well. Businesses are speaking out more than ever before for social causes, including social rights, especially recently for gay rights. Disney, among these companies, appeals to the gay community by including gay characters in some of their Disney XD shows and by most recently making Lefou have affections for Gaston in the Beauty and the Beast live action. While many disagree with Disney’s approach with over 133 thousand petition signatures on Life Petitions, many support their views and changes.

Although individuals speak out against changes made to appeal to new ways of thinking and backlash at any company for innovating their views with their practices, but companies still tend to recognize the values of innovation and new approaches, whether it be towards supporting social rights or business practices.

Similar companies to start off, Blockbuster was a chain where people could rent movies and Netflix began as a company that sold movies on DVD for rent online. Both companies have ended up in completely different places in result of their response to the changing world. Blockbuster, although reached its peak in 2004, lost significant sales in the early 2010s and closed all its stores. Netflix, on the other hand, changed their business model by moving into streaming in 2007. Netflix created Qwikster in 2011 for focus on DVD distribution once again, but the idea received such negative consumer response that Netflix did not pursue the idea in fuller extent. This goes to show that streaming was the factor that saved Netflix from experiencing the same fate as Blockbuster.

Technological innovations and moving forward should not be taken lightly by businesses, because staying reluctant to change could end up being the downfall of any business.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 21st print edition.

Contact Laura at

laura.colantonio@student.shu.edu

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