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EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF ANTECEDENTS AND MEDIATORS OF STUDENT LOYALTY AMONG UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS STUDENTS IN BANGALORE, INDIA

KISHORE PHADKE, SUNITI (2012) EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF ANTECEDENTS AND MEDIATORS OF STUDENT LOYALTY AMONG UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS STUDENTS IN BANGALORE, INDIA. PhD thesis, Christ University,.

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Abstract

Introduction The higher education sector has undergone major changes throughout India which has led to increase in competition for institutions in this sector. Thus, there is a need to find ways to attract and retain the potential and current students. Student loyalty is crucial to create sustainable competitive advantage. Student loyalty is widely accepted as a critical factor in the long term economic success of an educational institution that aims at positive recommendation (word of mouth) by students and attracting the students back to the institution for further studies. Review of literature reveals that service quality, price fairness, customer value, customer satisfaction and affective commitment are key antecedents to customer loyalty. Objectives The objectives of this research study are based on theoretical underpinnings in the literature. The main objectives of the study are: 1. To empirically test the proposed structural model of relationships among six constructs: educational service quality, perceived fee fairness, perceived value, student satisfaction, affective commitment, and student loyalty in the undergraduate business programs. 2. To analyze the influence of educational service quality and perceived fairness on student loyalty (ultimate dependent variable). 3. To examine the mediating effect of perceived value, student satisfaction, and affective commitment on the relationship between educational service quality and student loyalty. 4. To find out the mediating effect of perceived value and student satisfaction on the relationship between perceived fee fairness and student loyalty. 5. To find out the perceptual dimensions of student assessments of educational service quality, fee fairness, value, satisfaction, commitment and student loyalty. Variables of the Study 1. Educational Service Quality – Independent Variable (Exogenous variable) 2. Perceived Fee Fairness – Independent Variable (Exogenous variable) 3. Perceived Value – Mediating variable (Endogenous Variable) 4. Student Satisfaction – Mediating variable (Endogenous Variable) 5. Affective Commitment – Mediating variable (Endogenous Variable) 6. Student Loyalty –Dependent Variable (Endogenous Variable) Methodology Single stage cluster random sampling technique was used to select the sample from the population. Data was collected from 838 undergraduate business students studying in 18 colleges in the city of Bangalore. Existing validated and reliable scales were adapted and modified to the education context to measure the six latent constructs. The scales used were re-validated by employing reliability testing and construct validity. The reliability and validity was assessed using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. Data was analyzed using Structural equation modeling (SEM) with AMOS (Analysis of Moment Structures) version 16.0 to check the fitness of the proposed model and to test the hypothesized relationships. SEM was employed to estimate the relationship among educational service quality, perceived fee fairness, perceived value, student satisfaction, affective commitment and student loyalty. Sobel test was used to check the significance of mediation of perceived value, student satisfaction, affective commitment in the relationship between educational service quality and student loyalty.Sobel test was also used to check if perceived value and student satisfaction mediate between the path perceived fee fairness and student loyalty. Findings Structural equation modeling and Sobel Test confirm acceptability of the proposed structural model. The test results indicate educational service quality, perceived fee fairness, perceived value, student satisfaction and affective commitment positively influence student loyalty. Educational service quality is found to have direct and indirect effect (via student satisfaction and affective commitment) on student loyalty. Educational service quality also has direct and positive influence on perceived value and affective commitment. Perceived fee fairness influences loyalty only indirectly via perceived value and student satisfaction. Maximum variation in student loyalty is brought by student satisfaction. The analysis also reveals that perceived value has the strongest influence on student satisfaction followed by perceived fee fairness. Originality This study provides important contributions to the understanding of the drivers of student loyalty. The theoretical contribution of this study is the nature of simultaneous model tested in developing world like India, which link five antecedent variables of loyalty in the higher education context. This is one of the earlier attempts to test the relationship between perceived fee fairness and loyalty. The study is one of the few studies to demonstrate how the mediating variables like perceived value, student satisfaction and affective commitment play a role in influencing student loyalty. Conclusions The findings of this study enhance the understanding of the antecedents and mediators of student loyalty.The results of the study support that the key antecedents of student loyalty are five latent constructs: educational service quality, perceived fee fairness, perceived value, student satisfaction and affective commitment. Out of these five antecedent variables, three are mediating variables: perceived value, student satisfaction and affective commitment. The integrated framework of student loyalty model reveals the relationships between exogenous and endogenous variables and thus has given insight into the interplay between the constructs. The final structural model shows both direct and indirect effect of exogenous variables on student loyalty suggesting that the model is both comprehensive and complex. This suggests not only the practical significance of each construct, but also emphasizes the need to adopt a more holistic view of the model. The results thus offer valuable insights for the management of higher education institutions. Implications Some practical implications are drawn based on research results.Rich information on determinants of loyalty can help educational institutions to identify those managerial actions that are likely to enhance student loyalty. The study will help higher education institutions to identify improvements in service delivery process by allocating resources to activities that are important for the students. Limitations This research has certain limitations, and interpretation of its findings therefore needs to be undertaken with caution. The study was conducted only among undergraduate business students and was confined to one city; hence generalizing the findings for the entire student population of the country is difficult. Further, only a single model was tested. Competing alternate models with varying relation structure has not been tested and compared with proposed model. Suggestions for further research This study provides higher education researchers with useful guidelines for future research that would result in more rigorous theoretical and methodological processes. Some of the suggestions for further research are: 1. Future researchers might wish to compare the findings to other classes, schools, and disciplines. 2. Future researchers can examine the student loyalty model in other cultural contexts. 3. There is scope for testing competing alternate models with varying relation structures and comparing it with proposed model. 4. Researchers might conduct longitudinal study to explore how student evaluations or perceptions develop or changes as they progress through the different stages of business education.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Subjects:Thesis > Ph.D > Management
ID Code:3304
Deposited By:Knowledge Center Christ University
Deposited On:29 Dec 2012 16:22
Last Modified:29 Dec 2012 16:22

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