Academic Paper Sessions

Saturday 11:30-12:30
Presentation of Academic Papers 9 (Terrace C)
Bruce Ronkin, Moderator

An Examination of Strategic Decision-Making Practices in Music Industry SMEs

David Schreiber
Adjunct Instructor, Belmont University


     This paper investigates the strategic decision-making practices in small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the United States recorded music industry.  Although a significant body of literature has examined the SDM processes in high-tech firms, manufacturers and other specialty industries, very little has been learned about strategic decision-making within the music industry. A multiple case design was used to look at how, and what influences, the decision-making practice within small to medium sized enterprises in the United States music industry.  Two decisions from each of four firms that are directly involved in the marketing and promotion of recorded music product were chosen from a stratified purposive sample.  The primary source data used came from forty-six interviews of personnel in firms that were directly involved in the decision-making practice.  In an effort to better understand this practice, Bourdieu’s conceptualisation of decision-making as interplay between social, cultural and economic capital, habitus, and field was used as a methodological lens.  In line with Bourdieu’s concept of recognition, the study explores this need and describes the use of symbolic capital by maintaining positive personal reputations and the use of aggrandizement, both explicit and implicit as a common and necessary practice.

     This research also identifies several implications for SME management and directions for future research, contributing to the understanding of SME strategic decision-making in both theory and practice. (This research has been funded in part by a 2010 MEIEA Research Grant.)

David Schreiber is currently working as an adjunct instructor at Belmont University. He has also taught Music Business at Greenville College, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Albright College where he served as head of the music industry program. Prior to his career in academia, David worked as the Marketing and Business Development Manager for Shiny Penny Productions, in the licensing and royalty departments of Miami Records and Pivot Entertainment, and as a Regional Sales Manager at Schmitt Music. Schreiber has presented his research internationally, participated on numerous music industry panels, and worked on projects featuring Johnny Lang, Eric Benet, and India Arie. In addition to his work, he is also Secretary of MEIEA, a member of the Academy of Management, Strategic Management Society and a peer-reviewer for the AOM conference.  He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Westminster.

Building a Music Industry Program in a Rural Location

Timothy Shell
Sophomore, Music Business Major
Radford University

Timothy L. Channell
Director, Music Business Program
Radford University


     Networking is an important part of the music industry. Being able to network with others may become a challenge in a rural location. Radford University, with a population just over 9,000 and the city of Radford, VA with a population of approximately 16,000 is such an environment. It can be a challenge building and having a successful music business program. How did Radford University’s music business program go from 8 students to over 50 students in just four years?

     The Radford University music business program has grown from 8 to 50 students for several reasons. Technology has played a huge role in helping students interact with professionals from the industry.  Technology has also provided new opportunities through a university recording studio; providing “real world” work experience for students. Radford Records, Radford University’s lab based record label; is giving students valuable hands-on experience through recording of all concert performed in the Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts, and mixing and mastered experience. Additionally, students have a number of recording projects happening throughout the semester.

     The music business program ties all aspects of the industry together by inviting professionals to the MEISA symposium every spring to give insight on the industry. Radford’s MEISA chapter invites people with different skills within the industry such as performers, managers for symphonies, booking agencies, recording producers and mastering engineers. The students sit in on seminars with each guest speaker to learn how they got where they are today and what they do in their area of the industry. The students are also able to have lunch with them during the symposium and build networking connections.

     With tools such as technology, symposiums and recording studios, colleges in rural locations are able to stay relevant with the industry.  The students stay current, and are given the opportunity to connect with the industry in ways vital to their future careers.

Timothy Shell is a sophomore Music Business Major at Radford University. Mr. Shell was instrumental in the organization of the first annual RU Music Business symposium and is currently the Vice President of Radford Records, responsible for the marketing and legal divisions. At Radford University he also works as part of the production team for the Covington Center for the Performing Arts. He has played trumpet with many prestigious groups including the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra, Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, and Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps and has worked with the Pulaski County (Virginia) High School band music program.

Timothy L. Channell comes to Radford University after serving over twenty years as a music educator and arts administrator, fundraiser and in concert promotion. Mr. Channell has worked with various promoters to bring nationally recognized performers to various concert venues. He has performed on or produced multiple recordings and has been very involved in working to raise funds, market, promote and develop relationships for     various constituencies. Additionally, he has vast experience in event planning, contract negotiation, and budget development and has presented numerous workshops on fundraising throughout the east coast.

Since becoming the director of Radford University’s music business program in 2008 the program has grown by 600%. The curriculum was restructured to meet the needs of the students and provide a good foundation for students to enter the music industry. Mr. Channell serves as the advisor to the Music and Entertainment Student Association, Radford Records (a lab based student record label) and as co-advisor to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. He also oversees the Covington Center Performance Hall providing all audio and video recordings through the tireless efforts of the music business majors.

© 2012 MEIEA Nashville TN