Cyberwork: on production of news in an automated society

Room G07 University House
Wednesday 2 November 2016 (14:00-16:00)

Speaker: Professor Barbara Czarniawska (University of Gothenburg)

Seminar abstract

Long ago McLuhan (1964) observed that the media do not transmit the news, but produce it.  But how do they do so, in face of the amount of multi-format print and electronic information circulating the globe? While there is a vast body of research into journalism and its contents (and its discontents), there have as yet been relatively few in-depth studies of the organization and management of news production. Professor Czarniawska will discuss the findings and the questions raised by an extensive field study that she has conducted inside three news agencies – Swedish TT, Italian and international ANSA, and global Reuters. One (perhaps unsurprising) managerial phenomenon made visible was how far the news production and management process is now conducted via an increasing ‘cybernization’ and ‘cybergization’ of both managerial and journalistic work: a phenomenon that is not limited to news production. The seminar will consider the fieldwork process, the research findings and the possible questions they provoke.

About the speaker

Professor Czarniawska is Torsten & Ragnar Söderberg Senior Professor of Management Studies at Gothenburg Research Institute, School of Business, Economics and Law at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. In her research she applies a constructivist perspective on organizing, with a focus on action nets. She has made major methodological advances in fieldwork techniques and the narrative approach in social science studies.

Her main research areas cover Management and Organization Studies, and the theoretical and methodological issues attendant on all approaches to such work. She has published in both book and journal format, and in addition to publishing in all major management journals has published in such accounting journals as Accounting, Organizations and Society, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, and Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal.

Given the breadth of her expertise and forms of analysis, it is not surprising that she has published in journals from Contemporary Economics to the American Journal of Sociology, Theory, Culture & Society; Enterprise & Society; Cultural Anthropology and the European Journal of Marketing.

Recent published work includes ‘A Research Agenda for Management and Organization Studies’ (2016): ‘Performativity of social sciences as seen by an organization scholar’ (2016): ‘Survivors of an endangered species: doctoral programmes and the future’ (2016); and A Theory of Organizing (second edition, 2014).

Among her honours and awards, she is a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Royal Engineering Academy, the Royal Society of Art and Sciences in Gothenburg, and Societas Scientiarum Finnica.

In 2000, she won the Lily and Sven Thuréus Technical-Economic Award for internationally renowned research in organization theory. In 2003 she was the first woman and first business economist to receive the Wihuri Foundation International Prize. The Foundation defines its mission as follows:

"The Foundation shall accomplish its aims by distributing prizes in recognition of creative work that has specially furthered and developed the cultural and economic progress of mankind."

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