Formalization refers to
how standardized organizations jobs are and the extent to which employee
behavior is guided by rules and procedures. In highly formalized organizations,
there are explicit job descriptions, numerous organizational rules, and clearly
defined procedures covering work processes. Employees have little discretion
over what’s done, when it’s done and how it’s done. However, where
formalization is low, employees have more discretion in how they do their work.
(Robbins and Coulter, 2011)
refers to the degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized. If
a job is highly formalized, the incumbent has a minimal amount of discretion
over what to do and when and how to do it. Employees can be expected always to
handle the same input in exactly the same way, resulting in a consistent and
uniform output. There are explicit job descriptions, lots of organizational
rules, and clearly defined procedures covering work processes in organizations
in which there is high formalization. Where formalization is low, job behaviors
are relatively unprogrammed, and employees have a great deal of freedom to
exercise discretion in their work. Standardization not only eliminates the
possibility of employees engaging in alternative behaviors, but it even removes
the need for employees to consider alternatives. (Robbins and Judge, 2012)
Formalization at Pixar Animation
Pixar is famous for being a company
that promotes imagination and flexibility.
Since its founding father, Steve Jobs, was a visionary CEO, he always
told his employees to think out of the box and bring in and discuss all
ideas. This free flowing attitude has
been extremely helpful and has resulted in Pixar Animation Studio making movies
that have won numerous awards around the world in a vast number of categories.
Formalization is at a minimum at Pixar and could almost be labeled as
Informal. When a new movie is to be
made, the developing staff is given a free hand over the theme of the movie,
the characters to be built etc. This shows the amount of trust that Pixar has
in its employees and the amount of professionalism present in the employees.
Despite the merits of
formalization, over systematic and formalized systems may halt the progress of
the program and increase organizational inertia as well as resistance to
change. (Haidar, 2016)
This shows that Pixar
has mastered where to be formalized and where not to be. The imaginative work
force is left on its own, while when a rough draft is created by them, the
rules become very strict. The development team is given clear cut rules and
instructions with very strict deadlines. As soon as the movies are under
development the advertisement team is brought into play. The advertisement team
is given guidelines on which age group to target, which region the movie would
be most popular in and what the budget should be. Everything except the
imagination studio is highly formalized and looked after with clear cut rules
and set deadlines.
to Stanton (director at Pixar Animation Studio) , having a job at the studio is
like being on a team of incredible athletes – or living in the Olympic Village.
“Everybody is an overachiever,” he says. “Everybody is trying to make something
the best they can and beat their time. They’re trying to break a record and
make something better-looking, funnier, and more entertaining. (Jackson.D).
the work environment is extremely competitive. Anyone who comes up with the
best ideas automatically gets promoted to handling, working and developing that
idea till its finish point. As there are no actors or movie cast involved, the
production teams are the actors and casts. The directors, as they would talk to
actors before every scene, talk to the people involved in the production to see
what they want to add to the scene and what the director wishes for. Keeping
the storyline and production in mind, an agreement is reached; this gives the
production team an elevated level in the making of the movies as they are the
real superstars making everything happen through their computers
perhaps no wonder, then, that the interview process is harsh. With an estimated
45,000 applications received for each new position, only a chosen few make it.
Shoebottom applied four times before finally getting the call from Pixar. “My
interview lasted eight hours,” he recalls. “They want to get as many people to
see you as possible – just to make sure everyone is comfortable with your
personality, how you hold yourself, if you fit in.”Oakley was similarly grilled
for a full day. “And if you look around you see why,” he says. “Most people
never leave here. So you want to make sure you can work with someone for the
next ten years. You’re in for the long haul.” (The Telegraph,2013).
average Pixar film has a four-year production cycle: As the director, Stanton
spends the first two years in story meetings and in an editorial room, where he’s
helping to rewrite the film’s script and simultaneously edit what he calls a “rough
draft of the movie.” Pixar employees then provide the voices and use temp music
to finish this rough cut. Once they’ve made a temp version of the movie they
like, they start working with big-name Hollywood voice talent to record
dialogue and gifted animators to make the CGI imagery pop. (Jackson.D).
highly complicated task, yet everyone is treated as friends more than an
employee. There are tons of meetings in screenings rooms where every scene is
talked about bit to bit, to every last detail. The management has a, no racist,
sexist or bigotry policy, and so, many scenes are taken into account in which
common social issues of today can be challenged. Recently released “Coco” gave
a representation to the Latin Culture and was appreciated by the South American
and Latin community. Therefore in short Pixar’s management has a demanding
policy when it comes to deadlines, hard work and commitment. Straight forward
rules against any controversial social issue. Yet, gives employees the space
and flexibility to imagine and create wonderful new movies.
at Dream Works Animation SKG:
DreamWorks Animation, home to visionaries, virtuosos and ogre
experts! Our employees are as colorful as our film characters. They include a
passionate team of artists, writers, technologists, executives and production
staff who not only love storytelling and filmmaking, but who are also hard at
work expanding the DreamWorks brand into such diverse areas as consumer
products, location-based entertainment, digital publishing and more.
Dreamworkers come from over thirty countries, bringing all levels of experience
and education. (DreamWorks Animation)
operations and high formalization allow decision making to be centralized.
There is little need for innovative and experienced decision makers below the
level of senior executives. . (Robbins and Judge, 2012)
and Pixar are both animation studios, creating award winning animated movies
but when it comes to formalization, they both have their differences. DreamWorks is considered to be highly formal
as compared to Pixar’s informal, free flowing attitude. Most of the major decisions are taken by the
senior executives including founders of DreamWorks, film director and producer Steven Spielberg,
former Disney executive Jeffrey
Katzenberg, and music executive David
Geffen. Decisions are usually taken between these highly powerful executives,
the ideas are then passed down to the imaginative task force which further
builds on the idea and gives a rough blue print to the production studio.
When it comes to the level of
the production studio, things become very common between DreamWorks and Pixar.
Both follow very vigorous deadlines and strict rules when connected to social
issues and society norms. No strict dress codes are followed in either studios
or formal attire. There are a number of meetings between the executives and
production studio so that set rules are being followed.. Very rarely is freedom
given to the production team after a rough blue print has been created by the
executives and passed on by the imaginative work force. Though the environment
and perks of working at DreamWorks is very impressive.
DreamWorks Animation is the dream job. For the fifth straight
year, Fortune magazine has named the studio one of the Top 100 employers. With
2,350 employees, the Glendale-based studio was the only Hollywood studio to
crack the list, weighing in at number 12 in 2013. The atmosphere at DreamWorks
is that of a college campus and features fountains, gardens and plenty of
greenery. Yoga classes are available, or if you are drawn to art, which most
animators are, sculpture classes are also available. An art show displays the
talents of employees, who represent almost 40 countries from around the world.