Thursday, 27 November 2014

Promotional Media Under Convergence: Literary Product Placement

By Chris Hackley and Rungpaka Amy Hackley (Queen Mary, University of London)

We are living in an era of media convergence, in the sense that all media channels are converging around the internet. We can access print newspapers, magazines movies, TV, radio, the internet and music from a hand-held device. As a result of the fragmentation of media audiences across so many channels, traditional spot and display advertising is in decline. In its place, non-advertising promotion is gaining in traction. The third edition of our text, Advertising and Promotion, engages with the topic, while a related blog piece looks at one important manifestation of promotion under convergence: the shift of brand placements into all media, including the written word.

Hackley, C. & Hackley,  R. A. (2014). Advertising and promotion, 3rd Ed. London: Sage.

Links: Advertising and promotion (Book, link to Sage website); Literature's long love affair with product placement (Longer blog post on The Conversation)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Integrated Reporting: Insights, gaps and an agenda for future research

By Charl de Villiers (Universities of Waikato and Pretoria), Leonardo Rinaldi and Jeffrey Unerman 

Integrated reporting has rapidly gained considerable prominence since the formation in 2010 of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC – subsequently renamed the International Integrated Reporting Council). Although the IIRC has become the dominant body globally in developing policy and practice around integrated reporting, it was not the first mover in this area. Some innovative reporting organisations had individually pioneered such practices. In South Africa, where integrated reporting is a listing requirement, guidelines for integrated reporting were being developed before the formation of the IIRC. Although integrated reporting is a relatively new area, both public policy and organisational practices in this area have developed rapidly. The aim of this paper is to trace the early development and current state-of-play of integrated reporting, and to set out a comprehensive agenda for future research. In addressing this aim the paper draws upon academic analysis and insights provided in the embryonic integrated reporting literature. 

De Villiers, C., Rinaldi, L. and Unerman, J. (2014). Integrated Reporting: Insights, gaps and an agenda for future research. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 27(7): 1042-1067.

Links: Open access version; published article.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Bringing Secrecy into the Open

By Jana Costas (Europa-Universit├Ąt Viadrina) and Christopher Grey 

Every day in organizations people keep secrets, ranging from product and strategy plans to data protection to confidential gossip in corridors. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine an organization which has no secrets at all. And keeping secrets can have many effects, for example creating in-groups and out-groups in the workplace. Yet few people have tried to research this fascinating phenomenon. In this paper, we explain why secrecy is important and offer a framework for how to study it, distinguishing between formal and informal secrecy and showing how these affect identity and power relationships in organizations.

Costas, J. and Grey, C. (2014). Bringing Secrecy into the Open: Towards a Theorization of the Social Processes of Organizational Secrecy. Organization Studies 35(10): 1423-1447.
Links: Open access version; published article.

Supermarket supply chain sustainability: what are you buying into?

By Laura Spence and Leonardo Rinaldi

When did you last buy something from a supermarket? Chances are it wasn’t long ago: most retail spending goes through a supermarket checkout. In a recent article, we present a detailed case study of one UK supermarket’s long reach down its supply chain, examining its work on embedding sustainability in the (nine-step) supply chain for lamb. We use the concept of governmentality to examine systematic ways of exercising power and authority, paying attention to the way sustainability is promoted within the company. We explore how senior decision-makers frame and use sustainability accounting to embed sustainability in the supply chain, but find that they reformulate their arguments primarily in economic (rather than social or environmental) terms. Whilst this is unsurprising, the inability of a supermarket publicly committed to sustainability to change the conversation suggests that using ‘sustainability’ to reconfigure business priorities could turn out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Spence, L. and Rinaldi, L. (2014) Governmentality in Accounting and Accountability: A case study of embedding sustainability in a supply chain, Accounting, Organizations and Society. 39(6): 433-452.   

Click to read more about this paper below the cut

Friday, 26 September 2014

Coke Life lands a blow against sugar, but its worthy credentials could still be trouble

By Justin O'Brien, Royal Holloway and Stephanos Anastasiadis, Royal Holloway

Coca Cola has begun carefully rolling out its green-labelled “Life” brand, filling its iconic hour-glass bottles with a new fizzy drink which has nearly a third fewer calories than Coke Original. It is a useful win for anti-sugar campaigners but the strategy brings all kinds of risks for the Atlanta-based soft drinks giant.

Read the full article at

About 'Management Matters'

This is a blog for showcasing written work from the School of Management at Royal Holloway University of London, ranging from journal articles to opinion pieces, via working papers and book chapters.

If you work at the School of Management and would like your recent research publicised, please contact Stephanos Anastasiadis with the relevant information. For an overview of what is needed, see the information below the cut (or ask for a template to complete).