Digital technology and changing consumption habits are driving media organisations to gain more insights into their audiences. At the same time, they are required to identify sustainable revenue models while also creating innovative content on different platforms to offer audiences compelling experiences. At times like these, a call for more actionable approaches by media management scholars and practitioners can contribute to our comprehension of the aforementioned disruptions.
Actionable knowledge reflects an organisation’s learning capability to connect heterogeneous elements (social, political, economic- technological) so as to inform future action. Its focus is on (learning) practice as a form of self-organisation that is fluid, dynamic and emergent. Actionable knowledge is therefore pragmatic engagement with the social complexity of organising and is thus a central concern in organisation studies on at least two levels.
First, it illustrates the relationship between theory and practice and shows the impact of organisational research through the generation of actionable knowledge i.e. knowledge implementable by the stakeholders whom it is intended to engage (business practitioners, policy-makers, researchers). Second, it seeks to advance our theoretical understanding of the nature of action as a phenomenon as well as the relationship between action and knowledge (modes of knowing) in organisations. Attention is on the conditions that underpin the relationship between knowledge and action and the potential benefits and outcomes for organisations who succeed in effectively ‘managing’ both what they know and how they act on what they know. After all, – “there is nothing so practical as a good theory”-, according to Kurt Lewin’s famous 1943 assertion.
The 2019 Annual Conference of the European Media Management Association (emma) in Limassol, Cyprus invited papers relating to the following key questions, aiming to explore the relationship between media management theory and practice through actionable knowledge:
- How can media management research best result in actionable knowledge?
- How can management transfer and share actionable knowledge in media organisations?
- What are the mechanisms by which actionable knowledge can be operationalised for media stakeholders?
- What influences decision-making in media?
- How rational (based on knowledge) is decision making?
In terms of topics, we welcomed both paper and poster proposals that addressed either the specific conference theme or more general issues regarding the management of media organisations. Topics of relevance included:
– actionable knowledge
– digital transformation
– big data
– creativity simulation
– media consumer trends
– media value chains
– copyright issues
– competition of audiovisual platforms
– brand management
– working and labour conditions