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The localities of mediatization: How organizations translate the ideas of media in everyday practices
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2017 (English)In: Dynamics of mediatization: Understanding cultural and social change’ enclosed / [ed] Stig Hjarvard, Göran Bolin, Andreas Hepp & Olivier Driessens, Boston: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The rationale for this paper departures from the argument that current literature would benefit from more systematic studies of how mediatization unfolds in organizations (Jensen, 2013). We suggest a perspective where the media – similarly to other institutions– is dealt with in terms of rationalized ideas that are actively translated and transformed in and by organizations (Sahlin & Wedlin, 2008; Sevón & Czarniawska, 1996). This means that media can be addressed as locally negotiated in relations to other institutions that permeate contemporary organizations (Pallas & Fredriksson 2014). This also means that media can be better understood if it is examined as a set of elements - rather than as a monolithic logic - where each element is interpreted, made sense of and negotiated under their own specific conditions often with different outcomes depending on the actual institutional figurations (cf. Hepp & Hasebrink, 2014).

Our previous studies (Fredriksson, Schillemans, & Pallas, 2015; Pallas & Fredriksson, 2013; Pallas, Fredriksson, & Wedlin, 2016) as well as work of others (Kunelius & Reunanen, 2012; Schillemans, 2012; Thorbjornsrud, Ustad Figenschou, & Ihlen, 2014) provide support for this claim. Among other things it is obvious that mediatization has to be seen as a set of rather disparate processes (Heusinkveld, Benders, & Hillebrand, 2013; Meyer & Höllerer, 2010); which in turn means that way in which mediatization unfolds in specific context will be characterized by great diversity and complexity (cf. Røvik, Andersson & Eriksson-Zetterquist 2008). This is especially likely in organizations that operate at the juncture of fragmented streams of interests (Levay & Waks, 2009) and in organizations that are populated by representatives of various professions (Suddaby & Viale, 2011).

That said, the ideas of media are vague and imprecise in many ways and with an apparent shapelessness in contrast to other types of rationalized ideas (e.g. Service Management, Lean, Balanced Scorecards) accompanied by and supported by formal rules, standards and best practices (Morris & Lancaster, 2006; Mueller & Whittle, 2011). Consequently, the translations of the media are open for interests, values and preferences of different professions that in organizations embody the rationales of mediatization. Here, mediatization becomes a way of mobilizing meaning (Waldorff, 2013), as the various interpretations and understanding of media become subjected to various –and often conflicting– professional principles or frames (Kunelius & Reunanen, 2012).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Boston: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.
Keyword [en]
Mediatization, translation, rationalised ideas, professions
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies; Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-277193OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-277193DiVA: diva2:904051
Swedish Research Council, 2014-36150-113533-18
Available from: 2016-02-17 Created: 2016-02-17 Last updated: 2016-02-17

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