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Gender research at IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems

On the occasion of the Day of Gender Studies on 1 March, IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems presents an outstanding master’s thesis from the study programme International Business and Export Management, which is dedicated to diversity in social media. Diversity is a research focus in marketing and consumer behaviour, which takes up, evaluates and questions corresponding developments.

At IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, diversity and equal opportunities are among the university values that were laid down in the “Targeting the Future” strategy and are lived out every day. “They have long been a pillar in communication, teaching, research and social contacts and find their way into all aspects of university life,” says Academic Head Prof.(FH) Mag. Dr. Martin Waiguny. Equal opportunities, however, not only include equality with regard to age, origin, religion or cultural affiliation, but of course also with regard to gender. Therefore, the Day of Gender Studies on 1 March is an opportunity to focus on the social and scientific relevance of this research approach.

Highly topical master’s thesis

A highly topical subject in gender research is the focus of a master’s thesis at IMC Krems: “A Content Analysis of the Portrayal of Diversity Support in the Social Media by Companies Listed in the Forbes Global 2000” by Noemi-Lenke Bagameri, submitted in the International Business and Export Management degree programme.
The master’s thesis seeks answers to the research question “How do public companies portray their commitment to LGBT+ communities in social media?” through a quantitative and qualitative analysis. Using contextual analysis, author Noemi-Lenke Bagameri examined publicly available social media accounts on Instagram that were listed at least once in the Forbes Global 2000 list between 2015 and 2019. From this data, LGBT+ relevant posts were filtered out. The distribution of frequencies of relevant posts suggests that most companies cover this topic for financial rather than social reasons. Most LGBT+-related Instagram posts are posted during Pride month and by companies based in and/or serving countries with a casual, individualistic culture.

Diversity as a research focus

In parallel, a current research project by Denise Kleiss, MSc., MBA, BA and Dr. Martin Waiguny deals with the impact of seals of approval on job descriptions. Especially for generations Y and Z, who are now starting out in the world of work, ethical values and social responsibility of companies are important elements of corporate culture. The study “Diversity and Social Responsibility in Employer Branding” examines the extent to which references to social responsibility affect the perception of employer branding. The seals of approval as signals in job advertisements, which are widely used as a CSR measure, certainly serve as pre-selection criteria. The diversity issue will be examined more intensively in further studies.

“Especially with regard to young people entering the world of work, there is a need to rethink image building of companies. In the ‘war for talents’, new media and ways are needed to transport the values of companies. Research results like ours and those of Noemi-Lenke Bagameri contribute to bringing diversity and gender issues into focus,” Martin Waiguny is convinced.


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