Effectiveness of the Management in the field of media

In recent years, we have witnessed unprecedented scientific and technological developments, facilitating access to information and, in essence, increasingly outlining the characteristics of an information civilization.

The global characteristics of the public environment in which the media operate must determine the qualities of the management team and the choice of the right management strategy for each media.

The scale of the change

The scale of the change is extremely large. For this reason, many of the entities that have to regulate organizational and market policy at various levels still find it difficult to navigate the situation. One of the many reasons is old managerial reflexes and inertia in thinking. The negative consequences are multiplied by conceptual errors in explaining this reason. As popular practice shows, first-thought thinking inevitably pushes the crude political explanation of the phenomenon to the fore. There are usually several reasons for the inappropriate choice of management teams in the public media:
Conjunctural personalities are preferred, regardless of their political affiliation;

They are appointed by some mythical behind-the-scenes forces that pull the strings and other arguments according to the situation.

Many of these explanations are spread by the media themselves, and thus the attention is diverted from the essence of the problem. At the same time, the media have suffered from the results of this thinking. They have suffered because such explanations, although to some extent true, are a small part of the answer. The problem is that from this position it is difficult to see the other, much more important reasons and thus solve the real problem – inefficient governance, both at the state level and in specific organizations. Old managerial reflexes underlie the inability or unwillingness to comprehend and apply modern management approaches, methods, and techniques. Some of the weaknesses that characterize the problematic situation in this aspect can be seen in any social conflict:

The most difficult obstacles to effective management

The inertia to control the processes from the center is one of the most difficult obstacles to effective management. Reference: At the top of the pyramid of this center are state structures. We will not comment on purely political reasons. They are well-known… and it is necessary to part with them, because in this territory the law is fully manifested that those who try to control today, tomorrow find themselves in the role of victims, ie controlled. – soon with the level of managerial culture and creativity, considered in general terms as managerial knowledge and opportunities for their application in practice, innovative thinking, and a positive attitude towards scientific management.

One of the biggest challenges is accepting the transition from highly centralized, hierarchically arranged, and centrally regulated structures to the so-called horizontal or as some call them democratic. Vertical structures are based on the management philosophy of the priority role of control, while the so-called horizontal is a reflection of the opportunities for maximum freedom, independent development, cooperation with partners, coordination between units in the organization and between organizations.

Outside of general phraseology, the issue of social media is still thought about and decided in the classical vertical plan. The practice of making global decisions by a limited number of experts, led by an active parliamentarian, has long proved ineffective. This is the same program of the great battle in the creation of laws to involve specialists from the respective guild. Their presence can solve only half of the problem.

Because it is accompanied by another problem – their presence is usually organized in the most layman’s way possible and of course, the result is zero. It is an effective practice in the team that makes important decisions for the media to involve both specialists who know the specifics of the media and management experts, such as science and practice. Then we could talk about the high value of the solutions. It is extremely important to comply with the requirement that the competencies of regulators be comparable to global, European, and national laws, agreements, and other documents and norms of civilization governing the general principles of freedom of speech, access to information, self-government of organizations and others.

At first glance, the issue of electing the Director-General of Public Media is the subject of a close professional discussion. We can accept this statement with the proviso that the quality, relevance, importance, and social role of different types of media are directly dependent on the way they are organized and managed.

The management team

The management team of each media outlet must competently solve many complex issues. The most important of them are:
To give maximum creative freedom to the teams, which should be in line with the policy of the media, based on the principles of public utility and humanity.
The management team must create conditions for economic efficiency, flexibility, and dynamism of the organization, the ability to identify phenomena, and highlight the most significant problems. Reference:, “The Golden Rules of Effective Management”

The fulfillment of the strategic

The fulfillment of the strategic tasks should be guaranteed by building an effective system for making managerial decisions and for the right choice for the current problems to be worked on.

The innovative thinking of employees

The innovative thinking of employees to be a top priority in the work of the management team. The possibilities for competent formation and management (self-management) of autonomous creative teams with provided full organizational, financial, technical, etc. service are extremely important.
The main task is the implementation of effective organizational structures developed specifically for the media and the specifics of its information environment. The mechanical transfer of even the most advanced organizational models is an extremely dangerous solution and the experience so far has repeatedly confirmed this statement.

The effectiveness of management depends on the abilities of the head of the management team. Can he specify and solve with his team tasks such as:

  • Development of complex development programs;
  • Implementation of fundamentally new management technologies;
  • Competent development of a package of internal regulations;
  • Development of strategies and their indicative linking in a hierarchical and horizontal aspect;
  • Implementation of modern information technologies, decision-making systems, and management of material, technical and human resources, management systems for the most important integrated processes;

The successful implementation of complex management problems

The successful implementation of these complex management problems is directly dependent on the formation of new quality management teams.
Senior managers must know and apply at least the most indisputable modern trends in management science. We deliberately listed the main management tasks to illustrate the complex nature of the problem of effective management.

The majority of the responsibilities of the management teams are not directly related to the specifics of the processes for creating the specific information product. From this inevitably follows the conclusion that the management should be carried out by a team of well-trained specialists in various fields. Leading places among them should have managers with qualifications and experience in management, financial and economic management, personnel management, logistics, and specialists with qualifications and experience in the relevant area specific to the organization.

Given the experience so far and the positions on what kind of staff to manage the public media, the reaction against not putting professionals in the field in the first place will be natural. To calm the passions we will emphasize that the best option is for the manager to qualify in the respective field, but also a HIGHER qualification in management and experience gained by growing in the hierarchy.

The belief that the activity is specific and should be managed by prominent media professionals is a mistake that has been confirmed many times in recent years. Even prominent theorists who have practical journalistic experience can only be good managers by chance. It is a well-known saying that the most ingenious surgeon does not have to be a good hospital manager.

The decision in this regard is related to the requirement to train management teams with high qualifications in management. A good option is for guild professionals to receive, for example, master’s degrees in management. This is serious training, which includes mastering the basic knowledge in this area. Modern mostly practice-oriented training gives only the most general idea, far from the required quality.

By Robert Brown

Robert Brown is a longtime manager of a technology organization and author of a management book. In his spare time, Mr. Brown helps students get a better education by helping to publish free study materials.

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