Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel


New publications by SMIT researchers (May 2022 – September 2022)

This is an overview of the latest publications of SMIT researchers for the period May 2022 – September 2022. Enjoy the read!



Adelaida Afilipoaie and Heritiana Ranaivoson’s article in the Journal of Digital Media & Policy maps existing cooperation procedures between various authorities in media merger and acquisition assessments in the EU Member States and the United Kingdom. The article introduces the concept of the ‘power pyramid’ to represent the hierarchical relationships between authorities, it highlights the complementarity between competition and media law, and shows that having more than one authority assessing media mergers and acquisitions leads to media pluralism being more often, explicitly, one of the criteria used in the assessments, and thus providing a more holistic approach.


Marina Rossato Fernandes, together with Karen Donders and Jan Loisen investigated the decision-making process of Ibermedia, one of the main institutions for Ibero-American audiovisual sector. The findings revealed a particular dynamic encompassing informality and affection that sustain a bottom-up connection with its stakeholders generating a positive evaluation. The paper “Ibermedia as a collaborative space for film co-production policy? A stakeholder analysis on decision-making processes” is published in the Communication & Society journal on open-access format available here.


In a recent article for Studies in Documentary Film, Catalina Iordache, Sam Mombaerts and Tim Raats analyze Netflix investments in original documentaries, due to the genre’s growing popularity and the platform’s notable interest in documentary films and series. The study found that investments in original documentaries have been growing over the years, and the large majority of these are commissions or exclusive titles. The transnational production and distribution of Netflix Original documentaries reflect wider changes in cultural trade brought on by the streaming model. However, the company’s investment strategy is also influenced by established market dynamics and financing practices in documentary production.




Varga Dorottya co-authored the chapter ‘Service Failure and Complaints Management: An Overview’ in the Palgrave Handbook of Service Management. This chapter synthesizes existing knowledge on service failure and complaint management. Building on a recovery journey perspective, it discusses how different organizational responses at various points of the recovery process can help organizations to overcome disruption in customers’ experience. It concludes with a series of general recommendations on how to establish recovery and complaint management as a core part of the organization. With this effort, the chapter supports practitioners in dealing with failure and setting up appropriate service recovery systems.


Jorre Vannieuwenhuyze, Annelien Smets, and Pieter Ballon published an article in Telematics and Informatics on a methodological analysis of personalization in urban recommender systems. One problem is the use of a limited set of distance measures for analyzing differences between item sets returned by urban recommender systems under different conditions. Another problem is the lack of advanced analysis models for investigating and comparing the relative impact of different conditions on returned item sets. In this paper, we explore the use of different set distance and geospatial distance measures and multivariate distance matrix regression to assess the relative impact of different determinants of item sets. The analysis of data collected from Google Maps yielded more nuanced conclusions about filter bubbles and personalization when geospatial distance measures were used. Also, search language rather than search location is found to dominantly predict which items urban recommender systems return.


Jonas Breuer, Rob Heyman, and Rosamunde van Brakel published an article in Frontiers in Sustainable Cities. This empirical study sets out to investigate what can increase capabilities of citizens in datafied societies to understand and exercise their rights to data protection, as means to increase participation in socio-technical systems. We concentrate on vulnerable groups and criticise the GDPR as regarding data literacies as intrinsic life goals instead of instrumental means.


Cora van Leeuwen, Juanita Devis Caijo, Ilse Mariën and An Jacobs published an article in Social Inclusion in Cities. Smart Cities can be a tremendous asset in policy making as they can gather the data needed to make automated algorithmic policy suggestions. More older adults live within these smart cities, how can policy makers ensure that older adults’ data is gathered, processed, and used for policy making while using the smart city? The framework that we present is a way to gain insight in data collection methods AND the priorities of older adult citizens when it comes to policy for them.


This article by Annelien Smets in Journal of Documentation seeks to understand why serendipity is designed for in different kinds of environments. Unlike most works, it thus sheds light on the value such designs bring to designers, in contrast to the users of the environment. What happens if serendipity is not designed for as an end, but rather as a means to achieve commercial successes for example? Is that still a design for serendipity?


Varga Dorottya‘s guest article for the American Marketing Association – Service Special Interest Group (AMA SERVSIG) is based on her phD dissertation. She won the 2022 SERVSIG Best Dissertation Award in Service Research. In this guest article, she focuses on the increasingly diverse and complex interactions through various offline and online channels that require organisations to carefully manage the key actor at the frontline: employees and customers. She identifies and investigates two major tensions at the organizational frontline: customer mistreatment and service failures.


[Books Stacked On Library Shelves by Scopio from]