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Analyzing the reputation of Swiss universities on Twitter – The role of stakeholders, content, and sources


Vogler, Daniel (2020). Analyzing the reputation of Swiss universities on Twitter – The role of stakeholders, content, and sources. Corporate Communications, 25(3):429-445.

Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated the reputation of Swiss universities on Twitter. It gives detailed insights on how the reputation of universities was constituted in a digitized media environment.
Design/methodology/approach: The reputation of universities was conceptualized as a multidimensional construct with an overarching scientific and corporate dimension. It was measured for academic and societal stakeholders as well as for the media. Tweets about Swiss universities were collected through the Twitter application programming interface (API) and analyzed with a manual content analysis.
Findings: Academic stakeholders had a stronger focus on the scientific dimension of reputation and evaluated universities more positively than societal stakeholders or the news media. The news media were the main source of negative evaluations of universities on Twitter.
Research limitations/implications: The study showed a dichotomy between the scientific dimension on the one hand, and the corporate dimensions of reputation on the other hand, and thus implies a decoupling of scientific and corporate reputation. However, the findings should be explored beyond Twitter to be more generalizable.
Practical implications: The news media play an important role in the constitution of the scientific and corporate reputation of universities on Twitter. An orientation toward the news media, therefore, remains a promising strategy to manage reputation.
Social implications: The news media are an important source of information for academic and societal stakeholders. Thus, they can contribute to integrating academic and societal stakeholder groups by producing a common base of knowledge of higher education and its organizations.
Originality/value: This is the first study to comprehensively measure the reputation of universities on Twitter.

Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated the reputation of Swiss universities on Twitter. It gives detailed insights on how the reputation of universities was constituted in a digitized media environment.
Design/methodology/approach: The reputation of universities was conceptualized as a multidimensional construct with an overarching scientific and corporate dimension. It was measured for academic and societal stakeholders as well as for the media. Tweets about Swiss universities were collected through the Twitter application programming interface (API) and analyzed with a manual content analysis.
Findings: Academic stakeholders had a stronger focus on the scientific dimension of reputation and evaluated universities more positively than societal stakeholders or the news media. The news media were the main source of negative evaluations of universities on Twitter.
Research limitations/implications: The study showed a dichotomy between the scientific dimension on the one hand, and the corporate dimensions of reputation on the other hand, and thus implies a decoupling of scientific and corporate reputation. However, the findings should be explored beyond Twitter to be more generalizable.
Practical implications: The news media play an important role in the constitution of the scientific and corporate reputation of universities on Twitter. An orientation toward the news media, therefore, remains a promising strategy to manage reputation.
Social implications: The news media are an important source of information for academic and societal stakeholders. Thus, they can contribute to integrating academic and societal stakeholder groups by producing a common base of knowledge of higher education and its organizations.
Originality/value: This is the first study to comprehensively measure the reputation of universities on Twitter.

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14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute for Research on the Public Sphere and Society
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Industrial Relations
Social Sciences & Humanities > Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Uncontrolled Keywords:Reputation, higher education, Twitter, content analysis
Language:English
Date:21 May 2020
Deposited On:22 Jan 2021 17:22
Last Modified:11 Jun 2024 03:32
Publisher:Emerald Publishing
ISSN:1356-3289
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-04-2019-0043