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An Exploration of the Relationship Between a Black-Owned Radio Station's Organizational Culture and its Social Impact Open Access

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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between a Black-owned radio station's organizational culture and its social impact. Although these constructs have been researched in isolation, there are no known studies that have considered whether a relationship exists between the two constructs. Furthermore, there is no evidence that either construct has been studied within the context of a Black-owned business. Businesses owned by Black Americans represent an important and fast-growing segment in the American economy and, therefore, warrant further investigation in order to contribute diverse perspectives to research and theory building in organizational science. The primary research question guiding this study was, "what is the relationship between a Black-owned radio station's organizational culture and its social impact?" Secondary research questions examined social impact in relation to specific elements of organizational culture and how listeners experience the radio station's social impact. The study was conducted using case study methodology. The site of this study was WHUR-FM (WHUR), the commercial radio station owned by Howard University. Interview participants included 10 purposefully selected Black Americans: 8 current and former employees and 2 listeners of WHUR. Other sources of evidence analyzed for the study included observations, documentation, archival records, and physical artifacts. This study found evidence of a synergistic relationship between the organizational culture and social impact of WHUR. The findings were based on consistencies observed between the radio station's values-based organizational culture and its impact on internal and external communities.

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