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Analyzing the dynamics between organizational culture and change : a case study of China Central Television (CCTV) in transition

By Lingjie Wang


The Thesis sets out to analyze CCTV's transition from 1979-2003 with a\ud special focus on its most influential reform entitled Producer Responsibility\ud System (PRS).\ud In order to present a real picture of CCTV's organizational culture, this research\ud uses multiple research methods to synthesize valuable contributions from two\ud schools of organizational culture theory driven by different research\ud orientations. Data collection methods include a6 months' ethnographic\ud research project inside CCTV.\ud The research has two main research findings. First, following the introduction\ud of PRS, the reform process has been uneven. A split has emerged at CCTV\ud between an 'inner' and an 'outer' management circles, with very different\ud organizational cultures and responses to organizational change. Second, the\ud research identifies four logics which have shaped CCTV's organizational\ud culture: Party logic, Commercial logic, Professional logic and Social and ethnic\ud logic. CCTV's transition has been defined by a complex interaction and\ud negotiation between these four logics.\ud This thesis summarizes CCTV's organizational change from 1979-2003 into\ud three stages, from a 'frozen' status to 'change by exception' and then to\ud 'incremental change'. Analysis of the relationship between these four logics\ud suggests that to achieve a real transition from Party mouthpiece to modem\ud media enterprise, CCTV needs to achieve a new 'paradigm change'. The key to\ud the success of this 'paradigm change' will be a systematic reconstruction of\ud CCTV's organizational culture based on the central objective of building media\ud professionalism.\ud The single case study places some limits on the generalizability of the findings\ud but other Chinese media businesses share a similar economic, historical and\ud cultural context. The problems at CCTV can thus be seen to be representative\ud general issues of the Chinese media industry in transition

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