In Lee’s study on the effect of market competition and ideological bias in newspapers we learn that the application of a partisan frame to report news actually hinders the sales of newspapers in South Korea.
However, in other parts of the world, I believe that using a competitive framework and likening politics to a video game could actually increase sales, albeit at the cost of good journalism. I’ll be using Hofstede’s model as a crutch to explain.
Lending this concept from the realms of Organizational Behaviour, I would like to introduce Hofstede’s “6 Dimensions of National Culture“. This defines a national culture by determining their orientation through six different spectrums: Power Distance, Individualism/Collectivism, Masculinity/Femininity, Uncertainty Avoidance, Long-Term Orientation/Short-Term Normative Orientation, and Indulgence/Restraint.
Here’s a cheat sheet on whatever the heck these mean:
These dimensions are meant to aid our understanding of workplace values by linking it back to the culture that the business is grounded in, but also provides us with a decent snapshot of a country’s overall values. I remember discussing the differences in our native cultures with a classmate of mine; her, being from Norway, mentioned that there is a specific law that outlines the fact that you cannot express your feelings of being superior to others. This was interesting to learn about, and justifies the “feminine” aspect of Norwegian culture based on Hofstede’s model. In this case, applying competitive behaviour in marketing would not only run your business down to the ground, but it’d be kind of illegal to do so.
As for South Korea, they’re also a rather feminine country and harbour collectivist tendencies. With this being said, Lee’s findings are on par with his culture’s values, and the marketing strategy to create division by forcing ideological biases ultimately caused the audiences to feel uncomfortable. Framing their politics with partisanship can also prove to be harmful due to S. Korea’s high tendency to avoid uncertainty as well. This means that the culture and people are easy to mold if the presentation of it becomes mainstream, and they view particular frames as the norm.
I found this paper interesting but having knowledge of this model that can create snapshots of cultures, I found the results unsurprising that amplifying competition and ideological would cause newspaper sales to backfire. However, if this strategy was applied to more masculine and individualist countries like the United States. This paper was context-dependent and it relies on the fact that this study was conducted in Korea, on South Korean people. It shouldn’t be treated as a universal fact that this could apply to any culture at any given point, since everyone has their own perspectives that was moulded by their surroundings.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to share below.