The purpose of this paper is to integrate service marketing and higher education (HE) literature to develop and test a model that links customer participation behaviour with student overall satisfaction that stems from satisfaction with service augmentation elements. It also examines the influence of brand choice attainment on both satisfaction and participation behaviour.
Drawing on an empirical survey of 238 international students in UK universities, the model was tested using structural equation modelling.
The findings reveal that not all service augmenters are equally important in creating student satisfaction. Campus life and maintenance augmenters are found to be the crucial elements in generating satisfaction for international students. The results also suggest that satisfied students are more likely to participate actively in co-producing the university services compared to dissatisfied students. The effect of brand choice attainment on participation behaviour is mediated by satisfaction.
University administrations might need to prioritize their efforts to put more emphasis on some elements especially crucial for international students and could embellish or deplete the core of education services. The study provides a fresh perspective on segmenting international students based on their brand choice attainment. A superior university experience should be created, particularly for those who did not get into their preferred university, to overcome the disappointment of not studying at the preferred university.
By synthesizing diverse concepts from research on services marketing, branding and HE, this paper contributes theoretically by extending the research on customer participation behaviour into the HE domain. It attempts to address a clear gap between how service literature and HE literature look at “service experience”. The study captures some missing aspects of the “service” in the HE sector (e.g. augmentation aspects). The study also takes the HE literature one step further by identifying the role of brand choice attainment in both satisfaction and students’ participation behaviour.
Elsharnouby, T.H. (2016), "Participation behaviour among international students: The role of satisfaction with service augmentation and brand choice attainment", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 679-697. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-10-2014-0139Download as .RIS
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