Original Research

The global village in a local context. Implementing global awareness as a managerial competency within South Africa's multicultural mainstream media newsrooms

E. Steyn, D. De Klerk, T. F.J. Steyn
Acta Commercii | Vol 6, No 1 | a101 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v6i1.101 | © 2006 E. Steyn, D. De Klerk, T. F.J. Steyn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2006 | Published: 06 December 2006

About the author(s)

E. Steyn, North West University: Potchefstroom campus, South Africa
D. De Klerk, North West University: Potchefstroom campus, South Africa
T. F.J. Steyn, North West University: Potchefstroom campus, South Africa

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Abstract

Purpose: As part of a national research survey into the importance and implementation of six managerial competencies, this article aims to investigate the importance a national sample of reporters and first-line newsroom managers in South Africa's mainstream media attach to global awareness as a managerial competency. It also aims to establish gaps between the importance attached to and current implementation thereof by the latter.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Qualitative and quantitative research designs were combined to obtain the most comprehensive view on the research problem. Quantitative data was compiled through self-administered questionnaires among first-line newsroom managers and reporters employed by the country's mainstream media. Qualitative data was obtained through semi-structured interviews and observational research. These sets of data were combined triangularly to improve validity and reliability. Quantitative data was analysed through factor analysis and effect size analysis, while qualitative data was analysed through qualitative content analysis.

Findings: It was found that both respondent groups perceive first-line newsroom managers unable to implement the skills associated with the global awareness competency (given the importance they attach to it). While in some cases first-line newsroom managers themselves were more aware of their shortcomings, reporters highlighted other instances where they perceive their superiors unable to perform as expected.

Implications: Given the challenges associated with globalisation, media managers need skills to identify and realise the impact of national and international changes on their business activities. South African media managers must also identify and address the challenges associated with the multilingual and multicultural backgrounds of their newsroom staff.

Originality/Value: The dimensions of global awareness as a managerial competency are rooted in general management theory. In this article, these dimensions were applied in a media newsroom management context. There search thus investigated ways in which the effective and efficient implementation of these dimensions could contribute towards professional media output by South Africa's mainstream media.


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