Posts By / John Oliver

AiMM Awarded Doctoral Summer School!

The Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research cluster have been awarded the European Media Management Association’s Doctoral Summer School 2018.

AiMM is a cross faculty research collaboration between the Faculty of Media & Communications and the Faculty of Management and this award follows on from AiMMs success in hosting the association’s annual conference at BU in 2013.The Doctoral Summer School will be held at BU between the 2-4th July 2018 and is targeted at PhD students at all stages of their research, as well as early-stage post-docs.

Congratulations go to the bid team: Dr John Oliver, Dr Chris Chapleo, Dr Joyce Costello, Graham Goode, Melanie Gray and Conor O’Kane.

AiMM achieves a notable success!

Researchers from the Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research cluster have had 8 Abstracts (a 100% success rate) accepted for the forthcoming European Media Management Association conference in Belgium. This was a notable success for the group, bearing in mind that the rejection rate for all conference submissions was 24%. AiMM put their success down to research mentoring and introducing an internal peer review system within the group.

Congratulations go to: Dr Chris Chapleo (Media Branding), Dr Joyce Costello (CSR Practices in Media Firms), Dr Mona Sayed Esfahani (Media Branding); Graham Goode (Brand Orientation in Media Companies); Conor O’Kane (The Media Economics of Privacy); Dr John Oliver (Digital Media Transformations).

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences

Dr John Oliver, from the Advances in Media Management research cluster, recently delivered a keynote lecture at the Open Innovation Design Jam competition at the University of Glasgow. The event formed part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science programme of activities that ran from 5th-12th November across the UK.

The Design Jam also involved a number of short, intensive brainstorming sessions in which teams developed innovative solutions to challenges. This event was an opportunity for innovators and businesses to explore open, collective and user-led innovation.
Dr Oliver’s talk on media innovation strategies presented empirical data on how the innovation practices of UK media firms had transformed firm capabilities and corporate financial performance.

Everything has to be excellent!

In 2015, I was awarded a prestigious Visiting Fellowship at the University of Oxford- Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ). The next question was how do I fund such an initiative? Having looked at the various Fusion Investment Fund strands, the Santander Scheme appeared to be the most appropriate since it provides BU staff with travel and subsistence funds to support individual staff mobility and networking in the development of research, education and or professional practice.

During the fellowship period I conducted British Academy/Leverhulme funded research into the successful digital transformations of media firms. This work integrated three primary areas: business models, organisational strategy and dynamic capabilities in a longitudinal analysis (1995-2015).

Being able to conduct this research at one of the world’s greatest institutions has been an incredible experience. Whilst I have undertaken small project work with the RISJ over the past few years, there was a world of difference in living and working at the University. Academic work at the University of Oxford is a ‘lifestyle’ and one based on the pursuit of academic excellence. The work doesn’t stop at 5pm as there are numerous talks and lectures by distinguished people every night of the week!

The RISJ is a part of Green Templeton College which is a postgraduate college whose provision centres on health and management disciplines. At first, one might think that this is a strange combination, but their researchers were able to help with me some innovative work that I’m currently doing with the Boston Consulting Group in New York.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of my stay was the university’s focus on conducting research that aims to produce both conceptual and instrumental impact (vanity based research is clearly not on their radar). There is also a real ‘simplicity’ about the University of Oxford. You can see it everywhere, from the clean toilets, the pristine gardens, the student dress codes and the quality of their research. That ‘simplicity’ can be summed by saying that “everything they do has to be excellent!”


Dr John Oliver

Associate Professor of Media Management

Faculty of Media & Communication

BU academic awarded prestigious Visiting Fellowship

Dr John Oliver, Associate Professor of Media Management, has been awarded a prestigious Visiting Fellowship at the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

He will focus his research on Dynamic Capabilities Theory which provides an appropriate lens through which to examine: media management, organisational change, and news firms’ ability adapt and renew their resources, capabilities and competencies through deliberate resource investment.

Dr Oliver said that he was “delighted with the appointment and hopes that his research will help a number of different stakeholders, from policy makers to news organisations, to better understand the adaptive and transformative processes that have made some news businesses more successful than others”.

What’s So Special about Teaching Media Management?

BU academics  Dr Chris Chapleo and Ms Marketa Zezulkova, from the Advances in Media Management research cluster,  talk about the importance of teaching media management education along with leading media management educators and researchers from across Europe.

Cut and paste this link into your browser to find out more.

AiMM Research Series

The Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research group continue their series of research presentations on Wednesday 30th October between 1-2pm (CG09). Dr John Oliver will present the findings of his research into how media organisations BSkyB and ITV have adapted to the New Media Environment. 

Researchers interested in areas such as new media,organisational adaptation and dynamic capabilities will find this presentation of particular interest.

European Board Visit a Success!

BU recently hosted a 2 day board meeting of the European Media Management Association (EMMA). The board consists of academics’ from Finland, Sweden, Russia, Portugal and Switzerland and they toured the Executive Business Centre facilities in readiness for the forthcoming EMMA conference hosted by the Media School. Dr John Oliver, from the Media School, is Deputy President of EMMA and he said that “the board have been very impressed with our proposed conference programme and the facilities on offer”.
The BU conference team have fully embraced the idea of Fusion in the programme. As well as presentations from leading media management academics, Professional Practice is represented by leading executives from Virgin Media, UKTV and The Hackett Group. A number of keynote speakers will also be video recorded so that the content can be used for educational delivery. Dr John Oliver said that “this conference provides us with a unique opportunity to develop the field media management at BU and having a conference that embraces fusion will have resonance with both academic and professional practice audiences”.

Editorial Board @ BU

The Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research group are delighted to announce that the Editorial team for one of the leading journals in the field of Media Management, will hold their annual board meeting at BU in 2013.

The International Journal on Media Management (IJMM) publishes original research on the management aspects of the media and communications industries. The content is both interdisciplinary, combining a number of different academic disciplines (strategy, technology, marketing, finance, etc.) and multi-sectoral, exploring the interrelationship between developments in related industries.

If you would like to meet with members of the board to discuss your current and future research plans in this area – then please let Dr John Oliver, Media School, and he will arrange for you to meet with them.

BU Creative & Digital Economies Research Theme

This theme has started to develop and has grown in  interest and critical mass over the past 12  months. Previous theme meetings have discussed the focus and direction of BU’s engagement in these important areas of economic and societal activity.

Another theme meeting is being arranged for 16th January (12-2pm) and in preparation for this I’d like to present the latest draft of theme. I’d be grateful if you could have a look at comment accordingly.

This theme brings together two emerging growth areas of economic and societal importance. The ‘Creative Economy’ is a significant contributor to economic wealth and growth in Europe and provides millions of jobs in the creative industries.  Closely aligned to this, the ‘Digital Economy’ represents the composite interaction of people, processes and digital technologies. By fusing both the creative and digital economies, this research theme aims to engage with the big socio-economic questions, not only of today, but into the future.

Scope of theme: what is included?

This theme would cover any area of investigation where the creative and digital economies have relevance, meaning and potential socio-economic impact.

How does this theme interlink with the other BU themes currently under consideration?

Since the digital world is increasingly embedded in all areas of life, we would see this theme linking with all other BU research themes. The drive toward multi-disciplinary research should encourage theme leaders and members to collaborate on the important social and economic questions of our time.

What are the big questions?

This theme aims to address a number of both societal and economic issues and questions.


  • How will digital technologies transform the way we work and communicate?
  • How do people engage with digital technologies?
  • How will stories be created and conveyed through digital media in the future?
  • What roles do trust, data protection and privacy play in a digital society?
  • What are inclusive communities and how best can we achieve them?
  • How do individuals and communities most effectively make their voices heard?
  • What is the role of social innovation and exchange in a digital world?



  • What are the determinants of economic performance and sustainable growth?
  • How can new digital products and services generate growth, jobs and help address social challenges?
  • How can the environment be improved to allow for early stage ideas and ventures to grow?
  • How do you building the case for investment in emerging digital infrastructure and platforms?
  • How has the digital world transformed new business models?
  • How are new business opportunities in and across new digital value networks and communities created?
  • What is economic value of intellectual property and who owns it?
  • How is the economic value of information and content exploited?

How does this link to the priorities of the major funding bodies?

Having reviewed the strategic funding priorities of various funders, it is clear that they are taking a more strategic approach to target investment where they believe impact will be greatest. Whilst producing research outputs with ‘societal impact’ has gained traction within academia the idea that research outputs should have an ‘economic impact’ suggests that funders will make strategic investments in ‘market driven’ research. Key words like creativity, innovation, and exploitation act like beacons in many funders strategic plans where the notion of the ‘transformative’ effects of digital technologies need to be understood. Broadly, funders investing in this theme are looking for research that;

  • Focuses on the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural, future society, and the economy.


  • Emphasises  the impact of digital technologies on how cultural products are made, distributed, and accessed, as well as transforming revenue streams and business models.


  • Contributes toward the creation of innovative new products and services that generate economic growth and jobs.


  • Is multi-disciplinary and collaborative research in order to better understand and find solutions to problems.


  • Engages with the business community in terms of co-created outputs and knowledge transfer.


  • Identifies impact goals, strategies for achieving them, and recording, measuring and communicating impact.

Working with the European Media Management Association

At the recent BU EU Funding day, I was asked if I would write a short blog post reflecting on my first 6 months working as the Deputy President of the European Media Management Association (EMMA). So here it is!

My first observation is that over the past few years BU has become more aware of the need to become more externally focussed and integrated into a range of high quality networks. As far as my field of Media Management is concerned, EMMA provides a great platform. It also provides an excellent network to develop a range of collaborative activities at institutional and individual level, and to gain different cultural perspectives on the subject domain.  

Being active in such an organisation requires commitment, but the rewards have been excellent in terms of working with European Board members, getting access to a new network and the ‘local’ knowledge that each person brings to the table. BU also bid for and won the right to host the EMMA Annual Conference, which has traditionally been held in major European or capital cities. Being a part of a European association has now moved the conversation from “where is Bournemouth…is it near London?” to “we’re looking forward to working with BU”. From my perspective that’s a quantum leap in our profile!

BU now has an EU Network Fund and I’d encourage you to use this as a springboard to engage with a range of European stakeholders.

My term as Deputy President has another 18 months to run and I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead!

London 2012 – BU Creative & Digital Economies Exhibition

Whilst the excitement of the London 2012 Olympics fades into the memory, many stakeholders are turning their attention to idea of ‘Legacy’.

A successful application to the BU Small Grants Scheme enabled a small team in the Media School to promote our Creative & Digital Economies Research Theme at the Olympic venue in Weymouth. Working in partnership with UK Trade & Investment, we curated an exhibition of work by leading South West based creative businesses.  This project provided a unique opportunity to associate BU with an enviable and well-respected collection of successful innovators, whilst showcasing our engagement with the Creative & Digital Economies.

The exhibition was very successful and attracted over 100 local and national Creative Industries businesses. One of the recurring themes during conversations with these companies was the need for a greater understanding of appropriate business models, and in particular, how to develop new media technologies that translate into products and services.

The exhibition undoubtedly provided a unique opportunity associate BU with a once in a life time event, but there were more tangible outputs in the form of;

  • Exploring the potential for a KTP project with Entertainment One.
  • Scoping the potential for a joint Cisco Olympic legacy project.
  • Developing a dialogue with two local authorities for them to be involved in the BU Festival of Learning next year.
  • Using the local creative business network for a grant application to the Creative Industries iNets


BU celebrates Digital & Creative Economies at the Olympics

The excitement of the London 2012 Olympic games is starting to be felt in many corners of the UK, including Dorset. BU will join in with these celebrations with UKTI and the Dorset Olympic Group who are staging a weeklong programme of sector-focused business events in Weymouth. One such event will be the Creative & Digital Economies showcase which is designed to celebrate the strength of the UK in digital media innovation and content production in a global market.


BU will promote their Creative & Digital Economies Research Theme by curating an exhibition of work by leading South West based Creative & Digital Economies practitioners.  This event will provide a unique opportunity to associate BU with an enviable and well-respected collection of successful innovators, whilst showcasing our engagement with the Creative & Digital Economies and positioning us as a centre for research, knowledge exchange and business services in this sector.

New Economic Models for the Digital Economy

Advances in Media Management (AiMM) researchers, Dr John Oliver, Dr Sukhpreet Singh and Conor O’Kane recently hosted a nano-symposium on New Economic Models for the Digital Economy. The event was attended by the likes of Prof. Robert Picard, one of the world’s leading authorities on Media Economics, as well as researchers from Brunel and Westminster universities and practitioners from Virgin Media  and Freemantle Media.

The group explored various aspects of ‘existing business models that are being adapted’ and the variety of ‘new business models at that are emerging’ in the media. A raft of research project ideas were also generated in a brainstorm session with the intention of working up one of these ideas as a funding application to the EPSRC.

Digital Economy finds NEMODE

Academics from multi-disciplinary backgrounds recently attended a two day Digital Economy Network+ event at the University of Cambridge. The aim of the event was to continue the process of building a network of people interested researching New Economic Models for the Digital Economy.

The focus of the event was to share the diverse perspectives on new economic models for the digital economy and to develop and shape the research agenda on two key themes;

  • What are economic models and how do different communities define them?
  • Does an economic model differ from a business model?

Both days consisted of a number of brainstorm and discussion activities that opened with each academic presenting their views on the ‘big questions’ in relation to their own subject domain, which in my case is Media Management. It was certainly interesting to look at the same research questions from very different perspectives, and it this has helped inform my thinking for the Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research group that I lead and our forthcoming symposium on New Economic Models.

Further network events are planned, but for those BU academics researching within our own  Creative & Digital Economy Theme – the funding headlines are;

  • The EPSRC are managing the New Economic Models sub-theme of the Digital Economy
  • The network will now be known as NEMODE
  • NEMODE have £980k to support network activities including funding 10 small (£50k) feasibility/scoping studies. A call for the first two projects will be made in October this year.
  • Successful feasibility studies can be scaled up via direct applications to the RCUK Digital Economy.
  • Funding Applications that involve practitioners will be looked upon more favourably – which sits nicely with BU’s Fusion Strategy!

EUNF – It’s been good to talk!

I have recently returned from the World  Media Economics & Management Conference in Greece – many thanks to the EUNF.

This event is a biennial meeting of the global community of media business scholars who reflect on contemporary issues in the economics and management of media industries and firms. It aims to provide to a platform for academics who research in this area to meet and network. I was particularly interested in developing relationships and collaborative project ideas with a number of academics from EU universities including Jönköping International Business School, Sweden; Tampere University, Finland; the Berlin Media Business School, and the University of Vienna, Austria.

I met with academics from all of these institutions (and others) and discussed how we could collaborate on the opportunities provided by the Creative Europe fund (2014-20) and any other related media funds that they were aware of.  As a result of the EUNF I have established contacts and am now in the process of working up 2 outline projects for the Creative Europe fund. I have also been invited by the University of Vienna to be a Key Note speaker at their European Summer School for media related doctoral research students, and am in the process of assisting an Eramus exchange between BU and the University of Zaragoza.

Many thanks BU EUNF, it’s a great initiative!