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British Broadcasting Company (BBC)

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2502 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was established on October 18, 1922. It was established under the hands of some wireless manufacturers including Guglielmo Marconi (Marconi), inventor of the radio. In 1927, the company’s name was changed to the British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC is the largest and popular broadcasting companies in the world. The BBC London office alone has 10,000 employees. It is publicly-owned and funded by a television license fee that everyone with a television has to pay.

The structure of the BBC is very complex. There are more than 150 subsidiaries and joint ventures, divided into 16 main divisions and out of which nine are broadcasting divisions.

In Britain the BBC has got eight television channels and ten radio networks along with 46 local and national radio stations. It has its own website called online site bbc.co.uk.

The nine broadcasting divisions are:

  • * Television

    * Radio and music

    * News

    * National and regions

    * Sports

    * Factual and learning

    * Drama, Entertainment and CBBC

    * New media and technology

    * BBC world service and global news

  • The BBC networks (like BBC1, BBC3, and Radio 1) are managed by these nine areas.

    The other five divisions provide the support to program-making and channel-running. Without these the BBC couldn’t function.

  • * BBC People

    * Finance, Property and Business affairs

    * Marketing, Communications and Audiences

    * Policy and legal

    * Strategy and distribution

  • Literature review:

    Strategic management is a systematic analysis of external and internal environmental factors in order to provide necessary information for effective management practices.

    In short the strategic management process is explained as below:

    1) Formation of vision

    2) Preparing mission statement with respect to vision

    3) Framing objectives with respect to mission

    4) Developing strategies to achieve objectives

    5) Implementing strategies

    6) Evaluating performance.

    Cultural web of BBC: Aligning your organizational cultural with strategy. Culture determines how we do the things around us. Once organization adopts some ways of doing particular things in a particular manner and people following it makes the culture. It is very difficult to change the culture of an organization, but dyke was very much success in changing the culture of BBC from bureaucratic to clan control.

    The difficulties associated with BBC are:

    1) Launch of ITV (independent Television) has decreased BBC’S market share to as low as 28%

    2) Reduced viewers because of the introduction of satellite and cable television in the UK.

    3) In 1990 BBC’S in- house production department was affected by the broadcasting act of 1990, which states that all television channels are required to source 25% of their television programs from independent producers.

    4) The another problem faced by the BBC was low employee morale

    5) The work is decentralized

    6) No co-ordination between employees of the firm was the major problem

    7) There was no mutual trust and employees were not willing to collaborate with each other.

    The models followed by the BBC before Dyke took the charge:

    Bureaucratic model: BBC was following bureaucratic model, which Dyke found, it was not suitable to the BBC because, those models will aim at only efficiency through framing strict rules and regulations. Everyone in the organization is bound to follow the rules even though the rules do not meet the person’s capabilities. Some employees who have new ideas were also lacking behind because of these rules, which generally restricts their responsibilities.

    The models and programs of BBC implemented after dyke took the charge:

    1) The rational goal model: this model focuses on the organization’s ability to achieve its goals. An organization’s goals are identified by establishing the general goal, and finding easy ways to achieve the general goals in turn which lead to achievement of organizational goals.

    2) The managerial process model: A productivity of various managerial processes like decision making, planning, budgeting, is analyzed for achieving goals. The benefits of this model are:

  • * Improves supervisory behavior and concern for workers

    * Increases team spirit, group loyalty, and teamwork among workers and between workers and management

    * Develops confidence, trust and communication among workers and between workers and management

    * Gives more freedom to set own objectives.

  • 3) Organizational development model: This model also increases the organization’s ability to work as a team and to fit the needs of its members. The benefits of these models are same as Managerial process model.

    4) The structural functional model: this model tests the durability and flexibility of the organization’s structure for responding to a diversity of situations and events. The benefits of this model are:

  • * Helps the organization to be secured in relation to the social forces in its environment.

    * Improves stability of lines of authority and communication.

    * Improves stability of informal relations within the organization.

    * Continuity can be seen in policy making.

  • 5) McKinsey Seven S models: this model helps in facing the competitors by analyzing Strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats {SWOT} of BBC and there by working with respect to the areas where the BBC is weak. The diagram below explains the seven S of this model.

    Mckinsey 7 s model

    Clan control: MR. Dyke followed Clan control policy which represents cultural values almost the opposite of bureaucratic control. Clan control works well with values, beliefs, corporate culture, shared norms, and informal relationships to regulate employee behaviors and achieving organizational goals.

    Critical analyses of the programs implemented in BBC are:


    On February 07, 2002, Dyke announced the new program ‘One BBC: Making It Happen,’ in-order to drive internal change at the BBC. The goal of this program was to make the BBC the most creative organization in the world by the year 2007. Dyke wanted to achieve this by giving more freedom to the people, encouraging new ideas, and changing the work culture. He also aimed at building trust among the employees, making them feel more valued, and improving the leadership capabilities of the people in higher positions.

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    In the first step, Dyke and the BBC’s senior management identified 7 areas where changes will make a huge difference. Dyke wanted the BBC employees to give their suggestions on how to improve the company in the seven areas through an appreciative inquiry process. For this, he initiated a consultation program called “Just Imagine” in which seven teams formed on the basis of the seven areas for change; he consulted the staff and managers across the organization. The teams headed by a leader, would record the various suggestions and ideas, come up with proposals for change, and report these to the Executive Committee.

    Along with 7 teams, 17 divisional teams were formed to carry on ‘Making It Happen’ at the divisional level and developed the change plans. The consultation process started with the teams hosting the sessions which included a group of employees ranging between 25 and 200 at a time. During the sessions, the employees were asked to explain their most memorable experience at the BBC and the situations that helped in creating the experience and the steps to be taken to make the memorable experience a routine at the BBC. By September 2002, nearly 7,000 employees had voluntarily participated in the sessions, providing ideas and suggestions along with a number of issues. For instance, some employees highlighted that the BBC lacked a proper induction program, which had resulted in a number of new employees leaving the organization within six months of their joining.


    • Inspire Creativity Everywhere: Led by Helen Boaden, Controller Radio 4. This team gathered feedback on ways to improve creativity across the organization.

    • Connect With All Audience: Led by Jane Root, Controller BBC Two. This team collected ideas on how to connect with audiences of all ages.

    • Value People: The team, led by Jerry Timmins, Head of Americas, World Service, recorded ideas to create a better relationship among the employees.

    • We Are The BBC: The team, led by Roger Mosey, Head of Television News, consulted employees and asked them about the steps to be taken to promote oneness among the employees.

    • Just Do It: The team enquired the steps to be taken to reduce bureaucracy and transform the BBC into a ‘can do’ organization. The team was led by Sara Geater, Director of Rights and Business Affairs.

    • Lead More, Manage Less: This team believed that management is about leadership and emphasized that employees should be led rather than controlled. It dealt with what the employees wanted from their leaders. The team was led by Andy Griffee, Controller, and English Regions.

    • Make Great Spaces: Led by Shar Nebhranjani, Head of Finance, New Media, the team dealt with making the working environment more exciting and creative.

    Dyke also introduced upfront for London based employees and the outcome is the formation of 6 groups. They are:

    • One BBC: To create a closer organization.

    • Leadership: To have great leadership.

    • Audiences: To inspire and connect to a diverse audience.

    • Creativity: To be the most creative organization in the world.

    • Great spaces: To create better places to work.

    • People: To provide better benefits, etc.


    On May 15, 2003, Dyke arranged a nationwide meeting of the BBC staff, which he called ‘The Big Conversation.’ The London station was connected to all the BBC offices across Britain. Nearly 17,000 employees participated in the live interactive event and raised about 3,500 questions. This program was aimed at communicating the steps that would be taken to implement the changes. According to Dyke the important issue that came out of this conversation is related to complaints related the poor management standard. Many employees complained that they were being bullied rather than managed. Dyke found out that the BBC had good leaders, but not many, as there weren’t any leadership development programs. He was looking for employees to be led well. Any person handling more than 2 employees was put under the program and BBC willing to spend up to £40 million on leadership development over the next 5 years.


    This program was developed using the feedback of ‘Just Imagine’ sessions. The employees wanted to have a good relationship with their managers and good leadership across all levels. It’s been found that BBC had 52 different leadership development programs across 17 divisions and that this had resulted in a difference in leadership capabilities across various divisions. During consultations the employees said that they felt the nice when their managers, supported, motivated, trusted and treated them with respect. These aspects were kept in mind while describing the qualities of a leader. The training program would run for six months.

    The leadership program was developed by BBC senior managers and the Ashridge business school staff. The BBC also involved some of its partners and customers in developing the leadership program. The program, designed around BBC values, was aimed at change in the behaviour of the employees with their subordinates and also aimed at training them to deal with problems that they could encounter as leaders such as managing incompetent staff. Before the start of the program, the managers are nominated for the training by their reporting manager and they were given 360-degree feedback in the company of a professional psychologist. This provided them with their objectives, which will be used for evaluating the progress after the training.

    The program started for all the 3 levels of leaders with 1 day workshop in which they learned about BBC leadership and important concepts of leadership such as collaborative working etc. Learn gateway provided learning content and material for the employees after the training. Connect gateway enabled the employees to share their knowledge; skills while Talk gateway enabled helped to debate, discuss various topics.

    Dyke was finally successful with his approaches and programs for a good period of time and thereby helping the BBC to retaining to its original position.


  • Books

    Johnson,G,Scholes,K,whittington,R (2008).Exploring corporate strategy. 8th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. p215-557.

    Johnson,G,Scholes,K,whittington,R (2005).Exploring corporate strategy. 5th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. p233-563.

    Electronic sources

    BBC. (6th September 2001).The Competitive Forces Business Model.Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A593345. Last accessed 26 March 2010.

    Weber,M. (1920).Business Systems – The Bureaucratic Model. Available: http://www.bola.biz/systems/bureau.html. Last accessed 26 March 2010.

    Barnat, R. (2005).The Managerial Process Model.Available: http://www.strategic-control.24xls.com/en128. Last accessed 26 March 2010.

    Mckinsey. ().7 S model.Available: http://www.managingchange.com/bpr/bprcult/mckinsey.gif. Last accessed 26 March 2010.

    Mind tools. (2010).The cultural web.Available: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_90.htm. Last accessed 26 March 2010.

    Business dictionary. (2010).strategic management.Available: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/strategic-management.html. Last accessed 26 March 2010.

    Open learning. (2010).Process of strategic management.Available: http://www.openlearningworld.com/olw/courses/books/Introduction%20to%20Strategic%20Management/Strategy%20Development/The%20Process%20of%20Strategic%20Management_files/image002.gif. Last accessed 26 March 2010.

    Bolender. (2009).strategic management process.Available: www.bolender.com/…/BBA4073%20Strategic%20Planning%20and%20Policy. Last accessed 26 March 2010.

    Kumar,V. (2006). Leadership traning and development at the BBC.ICFAI. 1 (1), p1-13.

    Froud,J,Johal,S,Leaver,A,. (June 2009). Stressed by Choice: A Business Model Analysisof the BBC.SSRN. 20 (2), p252-264.


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