Strategic Media Entrepreneurship: Theory Development and Problematization

Strategic Media Entrepreneurship: Theory Development and Problematization

Sven-Ove Horst (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) and Paul Clemens Murschetz (Berlin University of Digital Sciences, Berlin, Germany)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/JMME.2019010101


Entrepreneurship and strategy enable media organizations to create new ideas and bring them to the market. However, despite their practical importance, synergistic combinations of these theories are currently under-investigated. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to theoretically explore the phenomenon of strategic media entrepreneurship and lay the foundations for further investigation and theory development. The paper highlights a convergence of strategy and entrepreneurship and shows how they add to organizational success through developing visions, exploring and exploiting opportunities, managing people, building networks, driving creativity, and facilitating strategic planning. Ultimately, the paper contributes by uncovering and reflecting on the assumptions of current theoretical approaches in strategic media management and media entrepreneurship through targeted problematization. This provides the basis for opening new discussions, generating new theories, and exploring emerging phenomena around strategic media entrepreneurship.
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Media entrepreneurship is a growing field of research around underlying phenomena that are quickly developing. Media firms need to become more entrepreneurial (van Weezel, 2010; Will, Brüntje, & Gossel, 2016), and manage digitization internally (Habisch & Bachmann, 2017; Pérez-Latre & Sánchez-Tabernero, 2015), as well as capitalize on the use of digital media to connect with audiences and stakeholders (Evens, Raats, & von Rimscha, 2018). In this regard, media entrepreneurship shares many challenges and opportunities with general entrepreneurship around the mediatization of entrepreneurship (cf. Couldry & Hepp, 2017; Hjarvard, 2013; Lindgren, 2017). This is reflected in recent overviews along core journals in the field, who invite a re-thinking and re-conceptualization of entrepreneurship and strategy in regards to digital technology (Nambisan, 2018; Plesner & Gulbrandsen, 2015; Shen, Lindsay, & Xu, 2018). The theoretical relevance of this paper, therefore, is grounded in their calls for more research and theoretical developments towards better understanding entrepreneurship in times of increasing digitization and mediatization.

The practical relevance of this paper is seen in current trends around digitization, eroding boundaries of the media industry, and increasing competition from new players in changing media markets, which create pressures for organizational survival and opportunities for innovation. These developments are consequential for media managers and organizations for two reasons. First, because they need to act more strategically and find new ways to conceptualize these challenges for being able to respond adequately to them (see for example Daidj, 2018; Horst & Järventie-Thesleff, 2016; Järventie-Thesleff, Moisander, & Villi, 2014; Küng, 2017b; Maijanen & Jantunen, 2014; Oliver & Parrett, 2018). Second, because they need to continually drive new ideas and more radical innovations to sustain success (see for example Achtenhagen, 2017; Baumann & Brüning, 2017; Evens et al., 2018; Hasenpusch & Baumann, 2017; Khajeheian & Tadayoni, 2016; Price Schultz & Jones, 2017; Zboralska, 2017). Towards this aim, Hang (2016, p. 3) explains that in today’s environment “adaptation to the newness and proactive transformation are crucial to achieve and sustain business success. Therefore, media firms need to develop strategic tools that enable new business creation and facilitate capturing opportunities arising from the emerging fields”. This means, media organizations need to become more entrepreneurial (Will et al., 2016), but necessarily so in strategic manner. As a consequence, media organizations need to manage entrepreneurship strategically.

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