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Title: An exploration of culturally diverse experiences of the Disney Cultural Representative program
Authors: Maistry, Pearleen 
Keywords: Walt Disney World Company;International employment opportunities;Disney Cultural Representative Program (DCRP)
Issue Date: May-2020
Globalisation together with travel and tourism has become a driving force for the efficient movement
of people, products and services internationally. People around the world appear to be increasingly
open-minded in seeking international employment opportunities. In recent years, these opportunities
have become more apparent to the theme park industry. The Walt Disney World Company in
Orlando, Florida can be recognised as one of the major theme parks offering international
employment opportunities. Therefore, the core focus on this research is the experiential aspects of
the Disney Cultural Representative Program (DCRP). The present research aimed to explore the
varying experiences encountered by participants in the DCRP with diverse demographic traits and
assessed differences and similarities amongst the experiences; analysed motivational aspects to
participate in the DCRP as an international employment opportunity and discovered what
preconceptions and attributes were the most influential.
The utilisation of the online self-administered Lime Surveys prior to conducting the semi-structured
Skype interviews in this mixed methods design afforded the researcher familiarity into the n=33
participants lived experiences of the DCRP. This form of sequential data collection posed useful for
identifying any gaps between the first phase and led to constructing the Skype interview guide for the
n=5 participants that aimed at addressing these gaps between the overall research questions.

Participants revealed multiple motives for choosing to participate in the DCRP; however, the need
for achievement and development was a common motivational aspect amongst the dichotomous
demographic categorical variables. Although comparisons and conclusions were drawn from the
findings in relation to nationality, gender and age, phenomenography described the variations of
participants’ perceptions of the DCRP collectively. There were variations in the experiential aspects
in terms of the multicultural living and working environment, meaningful, relevant and impactful
experiences as well as discovering the cultural aspect of the DCRP experience that outweighed
professional and personal development. These findings provided valuable insight into understanding
the meanings of the way in which the DCRP was experienced to stimulate prospective participants in
the future, render useful for Faculty members that play active roles in student placements with the
DCRP and be of interest to the recruitment teams of Disney.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of
Master of Technology in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2020.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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