Strategic Communication and Organizing in the Scandinavian Higher Education Sector: Towards the Promotional University?

The aim of the project is, by means of qualitative research methods, to develop knowledge about the challenges, tensions and pressures shaped by the proliferation of strategic communication in Scandinavian higher education institutions. The project takes its point of departure in the Scandinavian context, and it is structured into three sub-studies: (a) the development of communicational strategies, plans and activities; (b) professional ideals embedded in the production of promotional material; and (c) multimodal content produced by universities.

The project will contribute with novel empirical insights about important transformation process in higher education. The project will also employ a comparative, holistic and multiple-case approach, as well as innovatively integrating insights from institutional organization theory and multimodal communication research.

Today, strategic communication is a phenomenon all universities prioritise. Examples are numerous: The creation of social media accounts, use of symbols and values, accentuated interest in international rankings, production of multimodal material, extensive sale of merchandises, and a rapid growth of communication departments. Strategic communication also creates tensions between classical ideals of the university, and ideals related to the “The Promotional University.”

Project period



Swedish Research Council

Project members

Project members at the Department of Informatics and Media: Daniel Lövgren, senior lecturer

The project is led by Associate Professor Hogne Sataøen at Örebro University and is carried out together with Professor Simon Neby at the University of Bergen and the research institute NORCE.

More about the project

More details about the project “Strategic Communication and Organizing in the Scandinavian Higher Education Sector: Towards the Promotional University?” at SweCRIS’ website.

Last modified: 2021-11-24