Media management is not a new practice, but it is a relatively new field of academic investigation and scholarship. It has roots in historic traditions of media economics, and the study of media and of management have even longer, deeper roots in respective disciplines. However, it is nonetheless important to observe that the conjunction of the two aspects comprising our field is comparatively new and that much of the work to date has been derivative rather than specifically about the management of media firms, and is often more descriptive than theory-oriented.
The 2012 EMMA conference took a step in contributing to the maturing of our field as a mutual endeavour, focusing on the management of media firms as an area deserving emphasis in empirical research, critical scrutiny, and the development of theory.The panel of reviewers gave consideration to all papers addressing the theme of the conference. Special consideration was given to international comparative studies and papers that extended theory. Potential topics of particular relevance included:
- What aspects of managing a media firm are little or no different from managing any enterprise?
- What aspects are especially different, and why?
- How do the roles and functions of media make unique demands on managers?
- Are the demands different in various sectors (e.g. TV versus radio versus newspapers versus online services, etc)?
- Do requirements and expectations vary greatly across national or regional contexts?
- What international trends (convergence, consolidation, recession, content management, etc) are especially important in signalling new areas for competence development among media managers, and which competencies?
- What is being emphasized in the graduate level coursework and training among the various programmes EMMA members are offering? What do they have in common, what are the core assumptions, what are the differences that make a differences, and are there lessons to be learned that would be of general relevance?”
- What currents in management theory are dominant in media management studies? Has their utility been adequately demonstrated?
- What have the schools of management and media theory to say to one another? Is our engagement with these schools of thought sufficiently critical?