Competitive Television Management

A Case Study of the Management of Swedish Television 1997-2000

Publication

Author
Johan Lindén

Supervisors
Sigurd Allern, Jesper Strömbäck

Publisher
Stockholms universitet

Abstract

In the years around the turn of the century, the media landscape changed. This thesis studies how these challenges were met by Sveriges Television. The aim is to describe and analyse how SVT was managed and organized, between 1997 and 2000, and to describe how new strategies for the 2000s were developed.

The analysis reveals that the organization is primarily concerned with those wielding political power and technological developments. Of central importance to SVT was to be perceived as an autonomous broadcasting company within the journalistic institution. The structure of SVT is complex as a result of creative needs, but equally the result of adapting to political demands. The analysis shows the lack of connection between the different objectives set by each decision-making level. It also shows how SVT by itself broadens the content objectives set by the government in order to raise competitiveness towards commercial rivals. The central position of the planning function in the decision-making process is identified. In a political economic perspective, this is where the political intentions of public broadcasting are interpreted, and the funding allocated.

When SVT management set out to change the organizational culture to adapt the organization to a market situation, they were also determined to change the institution's foundations. During the field study, clear tendencies towards so-called organizational structurally isomorphic behaviour were observed. Through the processes involved in organizational structural isomorphic behaviour, SVT’s internal processes were integrated with market logic.

A key conclusion in the analysis is that the greater freedom government gives SVT to operate in the commercial media market, the more important is the commercial logic of the market, and the further the company moves from the original objectives anchored in social responsibility theory. This exposes SVT to criticisms of marketization, commercialization and trivialization.

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Details

  • Type:
    Doctoral Thesis (peer reviewed)
  • Published:
    2011
  • Publisher:
  • Language:
    Swedish
  • ISBN:
    978-91-7447-395-7

Reference

Lindén, J. (2011). Competitive Television Management: A Case Study of the Management of Swedish Television 1997-2000. Diss. Stockholm: Stockholms universitet.