The Development of Swedish Business Journalism : Historical Roots of an Organisational Field
Abstract: Contemporary Swedish business journalism is an established organisational field with shared practice within and across organisations. Using a historical perspective, this dissertation investigates the early formation of this field and the formation of a shared meaning system for business journalism. Addressing the question of how and why the field emerged, the study contributes to institutional approaches in organisational analysis and theories about field development.Drawing on a qualitative longitudinal study, the analysis explores the source of today’s field of business journalism and examines the individuals, organisations, and activities that, during the 1960s and 1970s, laid the groundwork for subsequent field development. Five Swedish newspaper organisations are examined in detail: two business weeklies, Affärsvärlden and Veckans Affärer; the business daily, Dagens industri; and two general dailies, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet. In particular, the study analyses the competencies that was considered necessary for producing business news; the models that functioned as positive examples for business journalists; and the accepted ways of selecting and presenting business news.The study concludes that nascent field formation developed through institutional entrepreneurial processes in the interplay among individuals, organisations, and societal developments. As individuals carried institutional logics from their previous affiliations in business or journalism, they contributed to the nascent field formation – not by breaking with their past, but by continuing, in a new setting, previous ways of approaching their work. The two institutional logics of business and journalism also permeated the newspaper organisations in which these individuals were active. The organisations functioned as platforms that enabled the early practice while setting boundaries for its development. The results suggest that fields develop incrementally and that institutional entrepreneurial processes embody greater continuity and stability than previous research in the area has suggested.
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