PhD defence M. (Mathilde) Sanders
- Prof.dr. J. van Oosterhout
- Prof.dr.ir. V.J.A. van de Vrande
On Friday 9 April 2021, M. Sanders will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Owner Identity and Interdependent Markets’.
Mathilde Sanders’ dissertation illustrates that online platforms can learn from traditional news media firms where it concerns socially responsible governance practices. More specifically, it illustrates how particular identities of ownership (private or public investors, foundations, customer or employee cooperatives) and the choice (not) to serve particular markets (or not) can be crucial here.
This dissertation explores the match between the identities and logics of the owners of the organization with the identities of its markets or customer groups. News media organizations have centuries of experience in managing clashes between for-profit and non-profit goals resulting from the exploitation of the two markets they serve simultaneously: readers and advertisers. The commercial and professional goals and logics linked to the service of these two markets may collide. This dissertation illustrates that this conflict is virtually absent in employee cooperatives where there is a full revenue dependency on the subscription market that matches this type of ownership well.
This dissertation also illustrates that owner identity and business model choices can make a difference where it concerns news media firms’ response to digital disruption. Results indicate that non-profit and non-dedicated financial investor owners may delay this response, while an engaged strategic investor (CEO majority) owner with industry expertise and complementary assets accelerates it. Manufacturing platforms that exploit the demand-side (e.g. advertising) only have more trouble to survive technological disruption, than those that also exploit the supply-side (e.g. subscriptions). The simultaneous service of two distinct markets (e.g. advertisers and subscribers) results in a less pure value proposition and blend of genres offered.
Due to corona, the PhD defences do not take place publicly in the usual way in the Senate Hall or in the Professor Andries Querido Room. The candidates will defend their dissertation either in a small group or online.