Rupert Murdoch: The Media Mogul

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR102
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1980 - 2004
Organization : News Corporation Limited
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Media & Advertising

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Murdoch's Business Acumen

Analysts attributed Murdoch's success to his ability to learn from mistakes. They also pointed out that his knowledge about the intricacies of newspaper business helped him to achieve success. His logical mind and gut instincts enabled him to take risks in business.

Some analysts felt that Murdoch built his business empire by driving out competition. Murdoch called himself a catalyst for change and treated business like a war, which he wanted to win at any cost. His ever-changing tactics frustrated and bewildered his competitors. He exercised control, which was subtle and according to his competitors he was a very smart person with a restless and buzzing mind. He acted fast unlike his competitors and had the ability to think creatively...

People Management

Though Murdoch was accepted as the most successful media baron across the world, many considered him to be a poor peoples' manager.

According to analysts, Murdoch was a ruthless, bully when it came to managing people. His critics pointed out that he was a lousy manager who terrorized his employees during his flying visits and created tension among his executives.

According to analysts, Murdoch's employees treated him as a king and not as a CEO and they were paid as long as they obeyed him. His actions-ruthless or mild- were based on his mood or the requirements of the business. It was alleged that he got work from his employees by creating a fear psychosis. He stressed on performance and people who did not perform well were sacked...

The Two Sides of Murdoch

While some people viewed Murdoch with suspicion, fear and hatred, others praised him for his business acumen. Though he was a successful businessman, limited research was done on his managerial style because people regarded him as a snob who exercised all his power and influence. Some of the accusations against him were that he promoted down market news and created monopoly in media. Though Murdoch believed that the media was a guarantor of democracy, people questioned as to how the topless girls in his newspaper The Sun and News Corp.'s dominance that was leading to a monopolistic media market were good for the society. Murdoch was accused of creating a monopolistic market...


Exhibit I: Murdoch's World
Exhibit II: Rupert Murdoch Milestones
Exhibit III: About News Corp.
Exhibit IV: Annual Financials of News Corp.


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