Communication styles of rectors and vice-rectors of German public universities during the COVID-19 pandemic
In a recently published study, the communication styles of rectors and vice-rectors of German public universities during the COVID-19 pandemic were examined in order to better understand the influence of gender on leadership communication.
MMTC member Adele Berndt Opens in new window. together with her coauthors Angelos Angelakis (University of Vienna), Petra Inwinkl (University of Vienna), Selcen Öztürkcan-Özdinç (Linnaeus University), Anna Zelenajova (University of Vienna), and Veronika Rozkopal (University of Vienna) collected data from social media and university websites; and analysed the language used to identify transformational, transactional, and servant leadership styles. Their results show that female leaders demonstrated more positive communication than men and a stronger preference for transformational leadership, while male leaders tended to use a transactional style. Additionally, the authors found that both male and female leaders exhibited a high degree of empathetic concern for their stakeholders, contributing to the overall positive tone of communication. These findings suggest that gender may play a role in how university leaders communicate during times of crisis, highlighting the importance of inclusive and compassionate leadership in higher education.
The article "Gender differences in leaders’ crisis communication: a sentiment-based analysis of German higher education leaderships’ online posts" is part of a larger research collaboration between scholars of Linnaeus University, University of Vienna and Jönköping University, and was, published in Studies in Higher Education (ABS3). The article is open-access and is available via this link External link, opens in new window.