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April 20, 2024

The Symbolic Frame

The Symbolic Frame

Case Assignment

After you have reviewed the contents of the Walt Disney Company website, read the materials included at the Background page of Module 4, and performed additional research from the library and the internet, write a 1800 words minimum paper paper in which you do the following:

Using the following five assumptions of the Symbolic Frame, complete an in-depth assessment of the Walt Disney Company:

  1. What is most important is not what happens but what it means.
  2. Activity and meaning are loosely coupled; events have multiple meanings because people interpret experience differently.
  3. In the face of widespread uncertainty and ambiguity, people create symbols to resolve confusion, increase predictability, find direction, and anchor hope and faith.
  4. Many events and processes are more important for what is expressed than what is produced. They form a cultural tapestry of secular myths, heroes and heroines, rituals, ceremonies, and stories that help people find purpose and passion in their personal and work lives.
  5. Culture is the glue that holds an organization together and unites people around shared values and beliefs.

The Symbolic Frame

The Symbolic Frame

The key aspects of this assignment that are to be covered in your 1800 words minimum paper include the following:

  1. Briefly describe the theory underpinning Bolman and Deal’s Symbolic Frame, discussing its usefulness in organizational analysis, and its utility in our understanding of organizations.
  2. Using Bolman and Deal’s Symbolic Frame, choose 3-4 examples of symbolic characteristics of the Walt Disney Company (you may choose some aspect of the organization’s culture – e.g., artifacts, stories, values, belief systems, etc). Then, examine your chosen examples using the above assumptions of Bolman and Deal’s Symbolic Frame.
  3. Of the 3-4 examples you have discussed above, which do you believe is the most salient mechanism or process by which the Walt Disney Company creates meaning for its members? Is this mechanism or process made explicit or tacit (or both) for Disney’s members?
  4. What conclusions can you draw from your use of the Symbolic Frame as it is applied to the Walt Disney Company? In other words, what have you learned about the company? How is use of the Symbolic lens helpful relative to informing outsiders as it concerns the organization’s approach to leadership?
  5. In the final section of Chapter 4, conclude by commenting on which of the Four Frames (or combination of frames) you believe is most useful to our evaluation and understanding of the Walt Disney Company. Explain.
  6. The background readings will not give you all the answers to the Case. Therefore, you are required to perform some research in the library, and use a minimum of 3-4 scholarly sources from the library to support and justify your understanding of the case.
  7. Your paper must demonstrate evidence of critical thinking (if you need tips on critical thinking, this is an excellent resource). Don’t simply restate facts – instead, be sure to interpret the facts you have accumulated from your research.

The Symbolic Frame


Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2003). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (3rd ed.). San Francisco: John Wiley.

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. In Reframing organizations: artistry, choice, and leadership (6th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Available in the Trident Online Library [Proquest eBook Central database].

Jacobs, R. M. (n.d.). Theories of practice: The symbolic frame. Villanova University. Retrieved on May 8, 2014 from http://www83.homepage.villanova.edu/richard.jacobs/MPA%208002/Powerpoint/8002%20MPA/symbolic.ppt

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (1996). Might and magic. Leadership Excellence, 23(6), 15. Retrieved from ProQuest.

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2009). Battles and beliefs: Rethinking the roles of today’s leaders. Leadership In Action, 29(5), 14-18. Retrieved from EBSCO – Business Source Complete. APA.