Leadership profile pages on organizational websites have become staged opportunities for impression management. This research uses content analysis to examine the strategies of assertive impression management used to construct the leadership Web presence of the 70 presidents of national public universities, as identified in the US News and World Report 2012 Best Colleges Edition . The textual messages and visual content of the presidents’ profiles pages on their university’s website were surveyed using a coding instrument developed for this study. This study also examines the presidents’ welcome messages for usage of the five impression management strategies defined by Jones and Pittman (1982) and Mohamed, Gardner, and Paolillo, (1999). Results show that traditional textual methods for establishing credibility (biographies, listing of awards, educational accomplishments) are used, but there is no consistent structure for the inclusion or placement of additional content about the presidents on their profile pages. Results also indicate that college presidents are slow to adopt social media. The analysis of the welcome messages revealed that ingratiation and institutional promotion were the most frequently used impression management strategies by the presidents in this sample. The three top qualities promoted in the welcome included: the university’s economic impact and innovative contributions for the public; the benefits of the university to prospective students, and the reputation of the university in a particular area.
Keywords: college presidents, college websites, leadership communication, impression management, online impression management, profile pages, self-presentation, Web presence
|Commitee:||Connor, Charlene, MacMillan, Daniel|
|School:||Dallas Baptist University|
|Department:||Gary Cook Graduate School of Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Communication, Web Studies|
|Keywords:||College presidents, College websites, Impression management, Leadership communication, Sef-presentation, Web presence|
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