This paper circulates around two major questions: what is the character of prizes as a media product? And how do the specifics of media prizes relate to the understanding of organizations with respect to a given aspect of their activities? The purpose of this paper is to bring forward theoretical arguments that show the significance of media preferences and values as central in how media prizes and awards are created and operated by discussing these questions.
The paper draws on a variety of literature – mainly within management and media/communication studies – that is interested in the construction of different assessment tools such as prizes and rankings.
The paper addresses three particular characteristics of media prizes relevant for the understanding of how media evaluate organizations: the forming and spreading of stereotypical representative or behavior within a specific category or field; the simplification of status through the creation of “winners”; and the popularization of public measures for success in business life.
This is a conceptual paper and as such it needs more systematic empirical testing to validate the findings.
The paper suggests three different roles media prizes have in evaluating organizations’ performance and their social status. The findings suggest that the qualities/aspects emphasized by the prizes are framed in such a way that they follow the rational or logic of media, and that they as such bear witness should be regarded with certain critical scrutiny.
The paper discusses an expanding area of journalistic practice – i.e. production and proliferation of media prizes. These prizes have a significant effect on how the authors conceptualize and understand different aspects of the life – in the case business practices such as entrepreneurship. The authors suggest here how media prizes can come to shape the perceptions of reality through processes of simplification, stereotypification and popularization.
Up to now there are few studies focusing on media as a producer of assessments central for building normative and cognitive bases on which organizations are evaluated. The conceptual arguments in this paper highlight a number of areas that can serve as a starting point for future inquiry.
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