Competing value orientations within a Dutch daily newspaper and a British television station: the micro-dynamics of cultural hybridisation
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In professional organizations undergoing commercial change a natural dilemma presents itself between two competing value orientations; one more market-driven, the other based on an occupational or ideological ethic. As a natural hybrid the cultural industry may be considered as an extreme case in this respect, due to the inherent tension between being both ‘cultural’ (i.e., a focus on professional quality, public good) and ‘industry’ (a commercial imperative and market orientation). In this paper internal negotiations resulting from this inherent tension within two media organizations are analysed. The study examines how members of an established Dutch newspaper and a relatively new British television station deal with their increasingly commercialised working environments. By analysing everyday talk and text competing cultural discourses and rhetorical strategies are discerned, showing the politicised nature of cultural change. Theoretical implications of the findings for culture theory are discussed by critiquing clear-cut boundary thinking. The focus on hybridity (or hybridisation) helps to clarify the complexity of cultural change in organizations that become infused with commercial values and, more specifically, the way cultural boundaries are reinforced and transcended in this process.
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