Future portrayal at top business schools – online conference of the European Sociological Association

Our researchers Zsuzsanna Géring and Gábor Király participated in the European Sociological Association (ESA) 2021 online conference on 3 September. On the conference they presented their joint research with Márton Rakovics and Réka Tamássy, in which they analysed the future of higher education institutions.

The research group explored the use of the term ‘future’ in the ‘About us’ sections of the Times Higher Education 2019 top 100 Business & Economics
higher education institutions’ websites. The analysis is based on the assumption that higher education institutions’ organisational legitimacy-construction is tied to their discursive future construction. During the research word-level analysis of sentences containing the word ‘future’, their applied agency-frames and the used discursive strategies were investigated by the researchers.

By grouping the practices and activities related to future the researchers found six agency-frames: preparing, shaping, adjusting, exploring, personal future and (social) responsibility. Analysing the co-occurrences of the agency frames two main discursive strategies emerged: those that are individual-centred and prepare the student for the future and teach him/her to adapt to it, and those that construct the future at the community or global level and portray it as something that can be shaped.