Towards sustainably managed media organizations: reflections on the future of responsible business in media industry

Markku Wilenius (Professor based at Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)
Nando Malmelin (Development Director based at A‐Lehdet Oy (A‐media), Helsinki, Finland)

Business Strategy Series

ISSN: 1751-5637

Publication date: 24 April 2009



The purpose of this article is to offer insight into the future of responsible business in the media industry. The focus of analysis is on the views and opinions of leading CEOs in media companies in Finland about responsible business and the social and organizational challenges faced by the media industry.


To explore the views of top management, extensive interviews in the form of focused theme interviews were performed.


Companies in the media sector are well aware of the industry's responsibility for its operating environment, but they have not yet adopted the principles of responsible business as an integral part of their day‐to‐day operation and strategic decision making. Directors of media corporations believe that responsibility for staff members and job stability is a particularly important part of the media company's social responsibility. They also believe that modern media companies continue to have important social functions. However, as the competition in the media market continues to toughen, it becomes increasingly important for media companies to show a strong financial performance.

Research limitations/implications

The research is able to give a comprehensive picture of foresight thinking within Finnish top media organizations. However, very little can be said about foresight activities of media organizations in other countries. It is proposed that further research covering other interesting countries should be carried out.

Practical implications

Research gives tools to understand the behaviour of media companies in the tightening operating environment. Research implies that media companies should lay more stress on understanding the changing operational environment.


The paper gives a unique picture of the future challenges of media companies.



Markku Wilenius and Nando Malmelin (2009) "Towards sustainably managed media organizations: reflections on the future of responsible business in media industry", Business Strategy Series, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 129-138

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