New ways for the magazine industry

How will the magazine industry cope in a future where technology is developing fast and the market is constantly changing?

Anette Johansson recently successfully defended her doctoral thesis in Business Administration, "Ways forward - effectual and causal approaches to innovation in the Swedish magazine industry" at Jönköping International Business School.

She has studied the magazine industry’s efforts to find a sustainable business model while the future is becoming increasingly difficult to predict.

"When your job is to develop tomorrow's media products, traditional management logic ceases to work. It is largely based on a model in which goals and plans are important tools to map out a sustainable strategy for the future", says Anette.

In her thesis, she sets the traditional logic (causal) towards a more entrepreneurial logic (effectual) where the starting point is people's interests, experiences, knowledge and networks rather than specific targets. The focus is on influencing the future rather than trying to predict and plan it.

The study shows that a combination of traditional and entrepreneurial logic leads to increased innovation and increased learning within the companies. The media industry, like other dynamic industries, could benefit from beginning to think and act according to the more entrepreneurial, effectual logic. It would allow for greater creativity and more innovation, and offer a way forward through concrete action rather than careful consideration, because information about the future is sketchy.

"Not surprisingly, the study shows that an important prerequisite for this kind of logic is that the company has an overall culture that encourages creativity and new ideas", says Anette.

"Ways forward - effectual and causal approaches to innovation in the Swedish magazine industry" was defended successfully on 27 June.

External examiner: Professor Gry Agnete Alsos, University of Nordland. Members of the examining committee was Professor Caroline Wigren Kristoferson, Lund University, Professor Ingela Wadbring, Mid Sweden University, and Associate Professor Karl Wennberg, Stockholm School of Economics. Chairperson at the defence was Associate Professor Patrik Wikström, Queensland University of Technology/JIBS.