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How do University Rectors Communicate in Times of Crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic? A Sentiment-Based Study
University of Vienna, Austria.
University of Vienna, Austria.
Jönköping University, Sweden.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing. (DISA;DISA-IDP)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2248-0802
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2022 (English)In: Presented at the 10th International Conference on Contemporary Marketing Issues, Naxos, Greece, July 8-10, 2022, Naxos, Greece, 2022Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Sustainable development
SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Abstract [en]

Purpose: This paper examines insights into leadership communication at German public universities during the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to answer the following two research questions: Did the communication of rectors and vice-rectors during the pandemic show signs of transformational, transactional, or servant leadership styles, and were there gender differences? Did the rectors communicate in a positive, neutral, or negative tone, and did this communication differ by gender?

Design/methodology/approach: We examine three leadership styles (i.e., transformational, transactional, and servant leadership styles) in a sentiment-based qualitative study of web-based data, such as online texts and verbal statements from publicly available communication channels. The significance of this study is to examine gender differences in text and verbal messages and also to understand how communication and social media reflect on leadership.

Findings: The findings support our hypotheses, and confirm gender differences: Women are more likely to have a transformational leadership style than men. Men are often attributed to transactional leadership characteristics. Furthermore, women's communication is more favorable than that of male rectors and vice-rectors at German public universities, whilst communicating messages more positively has the power to encourage and inspire.

Research limitations/implications: The manually collected data (for an intense time period for public universities) appears to create the possibility that not all of the individual's online communication statements are captured.

Practical Implications: The statements' content appears mainly in German, and the tone and message may appear to be linguistic inconsistencies. All comments are translated into English by an online translator.

Originality/value: How women exercise leadership and publicly communicate in a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, has not yet been researched extensively. Workspace gender equality is an essential aspect of leadership, despite decades of regulation and intended interventions to ideally promote gender-equal representation in leadership positions. The findings positively contribute to the academic literature and encourage greater representation of women in leadership positions, as their potential remains untapped.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Naxos, Greece, 2022.
Keywords [en]
Leadership, Communication, COVID-19, University, Crises
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-112849OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-112849DiVA, id: diva2:1658155
Conference
10th International Conference on Contemporary Marketing Issues, Naxos, Greece, July 8-10, 2022
Available from: 2022-05-13 Created: 2022-05-13 Last updated: 2023-09-25Bibliographically approved

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Ozturkcan, Selcen

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Citation style
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