A Tale of Two Synergies: An Institutional Analysis of the Expansionary Strategies of News Corporation and AOL-Time Warner

Flew, Terry & Gilmour, Callum J. (2003) A Tale of Two Synergies: An Institutional Analysis of the Expansionary Strategies of News Corporation and AOL-Time Warner. In Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA03): Designing Communication for Diversity, 9-11 July 2003, Brisbane, Australia.


This paper undertakes an institutional analysis of the recent strategies for corporate expansion undertaken by News Corporation and AOL-Time Warner. It outlines the central elements of an institutional approach to media analysis, noting its relationship to critical political economy. Observing that the core proposition of such an approach is that corporations seek control over their external environment, but questioning the proposition that enterprise size is itself a guarantee of such control, it contrasts the recent strategies of News Corporation and AOL-Time Warner, in relation to globalisation, cross-media platform development and synergistic expansion. It argues that News Corporation is a global media enterprise in ways that AOL-Time Warner is not, and that the key to this expansion has been a willingness to let go of control through strategic partnerships and joint ventures. By contrast, AOL-Time Warner’s search for synergistic expansion through merger has largely proved illusory, whereas a ‘network enterprise’ strategy, that eschewed expansion and control in favour of strategic partnership, may have proved more successful.

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ID Code: 195
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Media, Globalisation, Case study, AOL Time Warner, News Corporation, Institutions, Cross media platforms, Mergers
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified (200199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 12 Jul 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 14:16

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