The cultural dynamics of identity formation: managing commercial-professional discourses in a Dutch newspaper and a British television station.
Daymon, C. and Ybema, S. (1999) The cultural dynamics of identity formation: managing commercial-professional discourses in a Dutch newspaper and a British television station. In: 1st International Critical Management Studies Conference, 14 - 16 July 1999, UMIST, Manchester, England
This study examines how members of media organisations deal with their increasingly commercialised working environments. We explore the experiences of members of two media organisations, an established Dutch newspaper and a new British television station, and trace how journalists, editors and others involved in producing and managing news and features construct their organisational realities. Our research methods are qualitative and we take a cultural approach to analysis.
We find that media organisations are characterised by conflicting ideologies which are exposed in the tension between commercial values concerning profits, and professional values concerning quality. We suggest that cultural values, ideologies and discourses are used situationally and strategically depending on individual and collective interests, emotions and identifications. In conceptualising the processes through which individuals and organisations interact to continually negotiate their contexts and identities, we note that change and continuity, harmony and conflict exist simultaneously; consequently, culture is best viewed as an ensemble of disparate meanings that mutually implicate, contradict or even confuse each other. This approach acknowledges the often paradoxical nature of cultural reality and highlights the interrelationship between conflict and order. The study serves as an 'extreme case' of the cultural politics that take place in all organisations which are concerned with both profits and quality.
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