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The Culture of Media & Technology Companies


Course Objectives

This module aims at

  • Theorizing the concept of Corporate Culture and outline the trajectory of the development of this field of study.
  • Introducing the key elements of Corporate Culture and offering students a framework to understand managing culture as a key dimension of corporate performance.
  • Investigating case studies from different media and technology companies to help students to familiarize the state-of-the-art in culture management and its opportunities and limitations.
  • Developing a critical understanding of globalization in the media & technology industries and the challenges of international interaction of today’s business environment.

Course Description

This module is composed of three main parts:

  1. Theoretical introduction into basic concepts, terms and models related to Corporate Culture, with a focus on media & technology companies and the wake of globalization and digitalization.

    1) By focusing on “dimensions of culture”, students will learn how to differentiate the types of company culture and use such classification as tools to better understand how companies leverage culture as source of sustainable competitive advantage.

    2) By highlighting “continuity & resilience”, the lecture will bring students to acquire a long-term mentality of (media) companies in the digital age.

    3) By discussing “digital disruption”, students are encouraged to critically think beyond the digital transformation and understand the key drivers that (may) essentially lead to business success/uniqueness nowadays.

  2. The empirical part of the lectures discusses different cases across media & technology companies, include local media organizations that are based in Switzerland, international media companies which run business across the globe, tech companies of the Silicon Valley which set the principles and trends of digital economy and rising tech companies from emerging markets that are striving for technology competence.
  3. Reflection & inspiration involves student group discussions on different case studies. Topics could vary from the role of culture management in business performance, intercultural competence as strategic asset for international business, transformation of media companies to the emerging media business.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures from the instructor
  • Invited guest speakers from media and tech companies
  • Student group discussion & debate
  • Personal tutoring


Attendance is strongly encouraged to join all the in-class and online activities. Students must attend class for at least 60%.


Evaluation procedures and Grading criteria

  • 20% in-class engagement (attendance, active participation, dialogue with guests).
  • 30% group work & discussion (contribution to the group, active participation).
  • 50% individual reflection essay based on further investigation of the topic originated from group discussion (written essay,1000-1500 words).
  • All the work should be done in English.

(For students who do not attend group work, the individual reflection essay may extend to 2500-3000 words, in agreement with the instructor)


Required Material

  • Flamholtz, E. & Randle, Y. (2011) Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Asset, Stanford University Press.
  • Gordon, G.G. & DiTomaso, N. (1992), Predicting corporate performance from organizational culture. Journal of Management Studies, 29: 783-79
  • Giogi, S., Lockwood, C. & Glynn, M,A, (2015) The Many Faces of Culture: Making Sense of 30 Years of Research on Culture in Organization Studies. The Academy of Management Annals, Vol. 9, No.1, 1-54

Additional readings to be shared at the beginning of the Course.



Zhang Z.

Course director

Additional information

Academic year
Master of Science in Communication and Economics in Corporate Communication, Elective course, Thematic Area: Visual and Material Culture, 2nd year
Master of Science in Communication and Economics in Marketing and Transformative Economy, Elective course, Thematic Area: Visual and Material Culture, 2nd year
Master of Science in Communication in Media Management, Core course, 1st year
Master of Science in Communication in Media Management, Elective course, Thematic Area: Visual and Material Culture, 2nd year