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Determinants of business student satisfaction and retention in higher education: applying Herzberg's two‐factor theory

Oscar W. DeShields Jr (California State University, Northridge, California, USA)
Ali Kara (College of Business Administration, Pennsylvania State University – York Campus, York, Pennsylvania, USA)
Erdener Kaynak (School of Business Administration, Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg, Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 1 March 2005

35630

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on the determinants of student satisfaction and retention in a college or university that are assumed to impact students' college experience.

Design/methodology/approach

Using empirical data and Herzberg's two‐factor theory, a modified version of the questionnaire developed by Keaveney and Young was administered to approximately 160 undergraduate business students at a state university in South Central Pennsylvania. Using path analysis, the hypothesized effects were tested empirically by incorporating a comprehensive set of independent variables and self‐reported experiential assessments to predict experience, which in turn related to student satisfaction.

Findings

The results indicate that the path coefficients from faculty and classes to students' partial college experience are consistent with the assumption that these are key factors that influence student partial college experience. Also, the path coefficient from student partial college experience to satisfaction was consistent with Herzberg's two‐factor theory. In addition, students who have a positive college experience are more likely to be satisfied with the college or university than students who do not have a positive college experience.

Research limitations/implications

By focusing on antecedents of student satisfaction, colleges and universities can align their organizational structure, processes and procedures to become more customer‐oriented. Small sample size and self‐explicated retention data are the limitations of this study.

Practical implications

It is recommended in this study that the changing nature of the higher education marketplace encourages college administrators to apply the customer‐oriented principles that are used in profit‐making institutions.

Originality/value

Using a satisfaction model and a comprehensive set of independent variables and self‐reported experiential assessments to predict experience, this paper provides empirical findings to understand student satisfaction in higher education institutions.

Keywords

Citation

DeShields, O.W., Kara, A. and Kaynak, E. (2005), "Determinants of business student satisfaction and retention in higher education: applying Herzberg's two‐factor theory", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 128-139. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540510582426

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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