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Research Seminar #35: What Makes Content? Factors Influencing the Mission of Universities

Apr 24 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Presenter: Harry Hoffmann, TU Ilmenau


Discussant: Marco Seeber, University of Agder




Mission statements are common instruments for the strategic positioning of universities. However, there are few large-scale, cross-national studies examining the factors that influence the content of universities’ mission statements. We address this research gap by exploring the content of 413 mission statements from European universities by applying correlated topic modeling. Moreover, relying on institutional theories of organisation, we study factors that explain differences in the content of mission statements. Our findings reveal six distinct topics addressed in mission statements. The prevalence of a specific topic is significantly shaped by the cultural orientation of the universities’ host country, the university’s founding context, and institutional control. Our findings contribute not only to research on universities’ strategic positioning but also shed light on the diffusion of global trends across organizations and the determinants of their adaptation. Moreover, our study offers an illustrative example of  how big data analytics can enhance public administration research.


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Apr 24
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
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