Journal of the Knowledge Economy

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 301–328 | Cite as

Vision and Mission Statements in Italian Universities: Results of an Empirical Investigation on Strategic Orientation

  • Katia Giusepponi
  • Ernesto Tavoletti


This paper explores the strategic orientation of Italian universities with a special focus on their vision and mission statements. It has been possible to collect data for 89 universities, by means of a survey sent by e-mail to all 95 Italian universities and by visiting all their websites. Based on the international literature, a number of variables have been identified for the analysis: main missions (education, research and third mission), internationalization, role of the host territory, competitive and cooperative categories. The data collected through the survey (23 answers) allowed a further investigation into their views regarding strengths and weaknesses of the Italian higher education system, their strategic planning process, the role of internal actors and external stakeholders. Results are mixed and show that one sub-group of Italian universities is very pro-active and innovative in its strategic planning; another sub-group interprets strategic planning as nothing more than a legal compliance.


Higher education management Higher education governance Strategic planning Public management Vision Mission 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MacerataMacerataItaly
  2. 2.University of MacerataMacerataItaly

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