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Political Research Exchange - PRX

Window Dressing or Institutional Identity – A Quantitative Analysis of Mission Statements of German Universities using Computer-based Content Analysis

Jens Jungblut
Universitetet i Oslo
Jens Jungblut
Universitetet i Oslo
Marc Jungblut
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU

Most Higher education institution (HEI) define their central values, goals and the core spirit of their organization in a mission statement today and the growing presence of these documents is often linked to changes in the organizational environment of today’s higher education. Based on this and starting from two conceptual approaches to mission statements (ritualistic vs. strategic approach) and relying on three categories of analysis (organizational mobility, service to society, social efficiency), the paper aims at getting a better understanding of the role of mission statements for German universities. Therefore, we will analyze and compare the semantic content of German mission statements and establish a link between the HEI’s profile and its formulated mission. In this, we go beyond the commonly applied qualitative text analysis and conduct two different forms of computer-based quantitative content analyses: a word frequency analysis as well as an analysis of semantic concepts.
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