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Michael D. Meyer

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Michael Meyer and Barbara Sporn

For modern universities in Europe it is not good enough to contribute to the scientific community and to education: Even excellent teaching and path-breaking research alone are not sufficient to provide universities with legitimacy. A third mission is increasingly expected from universities: They should be socially embedded and contribute to the communities in which they are located. Both public and private stakeholders have obviously altered their demands. These institutional pressures and their effects are illustrated in this chapter at three different levels – at the organizational level, at the level of public policy, and at an international level – by analyzing programmatic texts which aim at increasing business universities’ sustainability. These analyses reveal the elements of the third mission, tracing its impact on the sustainability discourse that has been established as a contemporary university postulation.

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Markus A. Höllerer, Renate E. Meyer and Michael Lounsbury

Markus Höllerer, Renate Meyer and Michael Lounsbury focus on annual reports of Austrian publicly listed firms and analyze how corporations theorize their social and societal responsibilities. They describe the pattern that they find on the field level as politicization of corporations at the expense of a de-politicization of society: Firms increasingly engage as ‘citizens’ in social policy while, at the same time, power and responsibility are relocated from the sphere of the neo-corporatist state to rather independently operating units such as private sector firms. The chapter not only addresses important conceptual and comparative issues in neo-institutional analysis, but it also speaks to research communities in macro-sociology, political science, and political economy that have not been at the center of attention of our approach so far.

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Renate Buber, Ekaterina Ivanova, Stefanie Mackerle-Bixa, Michael Meyer and Paul Rameder

The service learning program Volunteering@WU was launched by the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) in 2010. The program’s mission is to serve as an integrating and bridging mechanism to broaden the horizons of the participating parties, to foster learning processes in classroom and real-life situations, and to develop the social competences of both volunteering students and their fosterlings. This case study aims to show how the predominantly American-based concept of service learning translates into the context of a European university. After a brief literature review on community service, the chapter introduces the concept of Volunteering@WU by discussing its stakeholders’ interests, aims, methods, output, and evaluation procedures. The program’s advancements within its six-year duration are addressed. Currently, the program faces many challenges, which are discussed against the background of future program management.