PhD in Media Management


Program Description


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Media Management will provide the framework, the focus and the discipline necessary to conduct a speculative inquiry in the field of media and communication. This program is ideal for anyone who is excited by the possibility of working in the rapidly expanding media and entertainment industries. Media Management degree gives a solid foundation in the latest concepts and practices for managing traditional and emergent media platforms. New media technologies continuously result in extensive product development and thus new offers, new distribution channels, more effective tools for marketing management, more opportunities for market and marketing communications, increased customer involvement in these activities, and new customer buying and consumption behaviors.

Through research, critical analysis, students learn the best practices for responsible and innovative leadership in all areas of media management: production, media economics and finance, marketing, distribution, and new technology development.

Ph.D. Curriculum

The Ph.D. of Media Management requires completion of 36 credits, a set of core courses (8 credits), 12 credits of specialty courses and a Ph.D. thesis (16 credits). The main emphasis of the program is on the successful completion of an original and independent research project written and defended as a dissertation.

Comprehensive Exam

Comprehensive Exam should be taken at most at the end of the 4th semester and is required before a student could defend the Ph.D. proposal. Students will have two chances to pass the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam. If students receive an evaluation of “unsatisfactory” on their first Comprehensive Exam attempt, the student may retake the qualifier once. A second failure will result in termination from the program. The Comprehensive Exam is designed to ensure that the student starts early in gaining research experience; it also ensures that the student has the potential to conduct doctoral-level research.

Ph.D. Proposal

The Ph.D. proposal must contain Specific Aims, Research Design and Methods, and Proposed Work and Timeline. In addition, the proposal must also contain a bibliography and, as attachments, any publications/supplementary materials. The student must defend their thesis proposal to their committee in an oral exam.


A student should choose a thesis advisor (and one or two co-advisors if required) within the first year of being in the Ph.D. program, approved by the Faculty committee. In the second year, a thesis committee suggested by the advisor alongside by the Ph.D. proposal should be handed over for approval. The thesis committee should consist of a minimum of five faculty members. Two members of thesis committee should be from the other Universities at the Associate Professor level. Not later than the end of the 5th semester, a student has to present and defend a written Ph.D. proposal.

Research Progress

A student is expected to meet with his/her thesis committee at least once a year to review the research progress. At the beginning of each university calendar year, each student and the student’s advisor are required to submit an evaluation assessment of the student’s progress, outlining past year accomplishments and plans for the current year. The thesis committee reviews these summaries and sends the student a letter summarizing their status in the program. Students who are failing to make satisfactory progress are expected to correct any deficiencies and move to the next milestone within one year. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.

Ph.D. Dissertation

Within 4 years after entering the Ph.D. program, the student is expected to complete the thesis research; the student must have the results of the research accepted or published in peer-reviewed journals. Upon submitting a written thesis and public defense and approval by the committee, the student is awarded the Ph.D. degree. The defense will consist of (1) a presentation of the dissertation by the graduate student, (2) questioning by the general audience, and (3) closed-door questioning by the dissertation committee. The student will be informed of the exam result at the completion of all three parts of the dissertation defense. All members of the committee must sign the final report of the doctoral committee and the final version of the dissertation.

A minimum GPA of 16 over 20 must be maintained for graduation.

Leveling Courses (not applicable to the degree)

The Ph.D. in Media Management assumes a Master degree in related fields. However, students holding any other master degree besides will be required to complete leveling courses that are designed to provide a background for the Ph.D. courses. These leveling courses are decided by the faculty committee and are not counted for graduate credits towards the Ph.D. in Media Management.

Core courses: 4 courses required; 8 credits

Specialty courses: 6 courses required; 12 credits

Core Courses

Management and Organization Theory

Course content:
Absorptive Capacity Theory, Actor-Network Theory, Agency Theory, Agenda Setting Theory, Attachment Theory, Attribution Theory, Balance Theory, Control Theory, Diffusion of Innovations Theory, Dynamic Capabilities Theory, Efficient Market Theory, Ethical Theory, Field Theory, Game Theory, Goal Setting Theory, Image Theory, Institutional Theory, Knowledge-Based Theory, Media Richness Theory , Mental Models Theory, Organizational Ecology Theory, Organizational Justice Theory, Planned Behavior Theory, Prospect Theory, Psychological Contract Theory, Resource-Based Theory, Role Theory, Self-Determination Theory, Sense making Theory, Social Capital Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, Social Comparison Theory, Social Exchange Theory, Social Facilitation Theory, Social Identity Theory, Social Network Theory, Stakeholder Theory, Structural Contingency Theory, Structuration Theory, Transaction Cost Theory

Analysis of Economics Theories

Course content:

Introduction and Foundation, Seeking Competitive Advantage, Sustaining Competitive Advantage, Analytic Problem-solving Tools, Looking outside the Firm, Economics and Management, Economic Theory, Nature and Scope of Managerial Economics, Economic Modelling and the Techniques of Analysis, Neoclassical Theory of the Firm, Nature and Objectives of the Firm, Modern Theories of the Firm, Economic Philosophy and Theory, An Invisible Hand, Demand Elasticity and Market Power, Demand Forecasting, Production and Cost Analysis, Breakeven Analysis, Assumptions and Applications, Production Function Estimates on Indian Industry, Unbounded Maxima, Optimization under Constraints, Optimization under Risk and Uncertainty, Optimization Satisficing with Multiple Objectives, Optimization over Time, Optimization with Little or No Information, Productivity and Its Improvement, Economic Efficiency of the Firm, Technological Innovation and Productivity Improvement, Organizational Efficiency and Productivity Improvement, Organizational Slack and Performance Smoothening, Pricing under Perfect Competition and Monopoly, Oligopolistic Markets, Pricing Technique, Price Control and Monopoly Regulation, Public Enterprise Pricing, Capital Budgeting, Location Analysis, Firm and the Society, The Social Responsibility of Business, Public Accountability of Public Firms

Quantitative Techniques in Management

Course content:
Decision-making and Quantitative Techniques, Formulation and Graphic Solution, Simplex Method, Duality and Sensitivity Analysis, Transportation and Transhipment Problems, Assignment Problem, Integer Programming and Goal Programming, Sequencing, Inventory Management, Queuing Theory, Replacement Theory, PERT and CPM, Decision Theory, Markov Chains, Theory of Games, Dynamic Programming, Simulation, Investment Analysis and Breakeven Analysis, Forecasting

Research Methods in Media Management

Course content:
Getting Started, Doing Qualitative Research, Interviewing, Focus Groups, History, Oral History, Ethnography and Participant Observation, Ethnography and Participant Observation, Textual Analysis, Semiotic Analysis, Rhetorical Analysis, Ideological Criticism, Psychoanalytic Criticism, Discourse Analysis, Interviews, Historical Analysis, Ethno-methodological Research, Participant Observation, Content Analysis, Surveys, Experiments, A Primer on Descriptive Statistics, Nineteen Common Thinking Errors, Writing Research Reports

Specialty courses

Management and Innovation in the Media Organizations

Course content:
Innovation and Creativity in the Media Industry What? Where? How?, Understanding Innovation in New and Young Media Firms, Applying Intellectual Property Rights Theory to the Analysis of Innovation Competition in Mass Media Content Markets A General Framework , Innovation, Research, Towards a Methodological Foundation of Media Innovation Research, Promises and Challenges of Innovation Surveys the German Record Industry, Strategy and Innovation Performance, Transformations in the Media Industry Customization and Branding as Strategic Choices for Media Firms, Strategies to Exploit the Advantages of New Targeting Technologies Realizing the Advertising Revenue Potential of Media Audiences, Media Organizational Culture and Innovative Performance, Innovation through External Sourcing Activities An Overview of Major Trends and Patterns of the Telecommunications Service Provider Industry, Innovation Management, Diffusion of Innovation in News Organizations Action Research of Middle Managers in Danish Mass Media, Decision Making by Newspaper Editors Understanding Values and Change, Social Piloting as Testing Methodology for Media Innovations, Managing Innovation in Audience Measurement the US Case Studies of Book Scan and the Local People Meter

Theories of communication and persuasion

Course content:
Foundations of Communication Theory, Frameworks for Organizing Theories, The Communicator, The Message, The Medium, Beyond Human Communication, Contexts of Communication, The Relationship, The Group, The Organization, Health Contexts, Culture, Society, The Nature of Attitudes, Attitudes: Definition and Structure, The Power of our Passions: Theory and Research on Strong Attitudes, Attitudes: Functions and Consequences, Attitude Measurement, Changing Attitudes and Behavior, Processing Persuasive Communications, "Who Says It": Communicator Factors in Persuasion, Fundamentals of the Message, Emotional Message Appeals: Fear and Guilt, Cognitive Dissonance Theory Part Four Persuasive Communication Contexts, Interpersonal Persuasion, Advertising, Marketing, and Persuasion, Health Communication Campaigns

Analyzing Media Messages

Course content:
Defining Content Analysis as a Social Science Tool, Designing a Content Analysis, Measurement, Sampling, Reliability, Validity, Data Analysis, Conceptualizing Content Analysis, Conceptual Foundation, Uses and Inferences, Components of Content Analysis, The Logic of Content Analysis Designs, Unitizing, Recording Coding, Data Languages, Analytical Constructs, Analytical Paths and Evaluative Techniques, Analytical Representational Techniques, Computer Aids, Reliability, Validity

Communication Theory and National Development

Course content:
Communications and Development: The Parameters of Theory and Policy, Communications and National Development, Communications Policy and Planning, The Cultural Compass and the Transmission of Values, An International Survey of the Future of Broadcasting, The Role of Mass Communication in National Development: Facets of Innovation, Cultural Continuity and Change, The Governance of Mass Communication, Multi-Media Education, National Development Support Communication, National Experiences in Communications Policy, Integrated Development Support Communication, Communications Policy in Brazil, Communications Development in India, The Role of Broadcasting in Iran: Report of a National Survey, Towards a National Communications Policy for Iran, Evolution of Devcom for Development and Social Justice, Development Discourse Modernization, Media and Communication in Modernization, Critical Perspectives on Communication, Critique of Devcom in The Dominant Paradigm, Development, Communication and Spirituality In Development, Participatory and Empowerment Paradigms, Media and Communication for Empowerment, Devcom for Empowerment and Social Justice

The New Communications Technologies

Course content:
Fundamentals, Electronic Mass Media, Computers Consumer Electronics, Networking Technologies, Information Transmission, Information Storage, Production Technologies, Information Entertainment Communication Systems, Ecstatic Assemblages of Visuality, Facebook Identity and the Fractal Subject, Mapping Narbs, Will the Real Digital Girl Please Stand Up?, Vision Inertia and the Mobile Telephone, Images of Dignity Representations of Humiliation, Social Media Mobile Intimacy and the Boundaries of Media Practice, Visibility Conflicts or the Claim for Opacity as Ethical Resource, Camera Phones at the Ready, Pictorial Communication in the Age of Tertiary Orality

Seminar in Management of Communication Organizations

Course content:
The seminar is based on the gathering related information from the recently published review articles. The following books could be consulted as the basic knowledge.
Last updated Mar 2018

About the School

Kish International Campus was established in 2007 in order to facilitate the enrolment of foreign students.

Kish International Campus was established in 2007 in order to facilitate the enrolment of foreign students. Read less