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The effect of service quality on behavioural intention: the mediating role of student satisfaction and switching barriers in private universities

Peter Sin Howe Tan (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Kampar, Malaysia)
Yuen Onn Choong (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Kampar, Malaysia)
I-Chi Chen (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Kampar, Malaysia)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 31 August 2021

Issue publication date: 6 December 2022

481

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between perception of service quality, student satisfaction, switching barriers on behavioural intentions among private higher education institutions (HEIs) with self-accreditation status in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 388 valid questionnaires were collected via a self-administered questionnaire from the undergraduate students of private HEIs with self-accreditation status in Malaysia. PLS-SEM has been employed for hypotheses testing.

Findings

The results show that student perceived service quality is positively influence student satisfaction and student behavioural intentions, particularly the positive word-of-mouth (WOM). The relationship of student perceived service quality and student behavioural intentions is fully mediated by student satisfaction. However, there is no mediating effect found for the switching barriers on the relationship between student satisfaction and behavioural intentions.

Research limitations/implications

This study's findings are only generalizable to the private HEI with self-accreditation status in Malaysia. The paper contributes to the body of knowledge in the areas of service quality, satisfaction, switching barriers and behavioural intentions. These findings provide valuable insight to the private universities management and policymakers to improve existing policies and practices in order to formulate effective strategies to attract potential new students and retain the existing students through the delivery of high-quality services.

Originality/value

This study's findings have reconfirmed that the causal relationship of perceived service quality-satisfaction-behavioural intentions model. Switching barriers has treated as the mediator which received less attention in the context of private higher education sector. Thus, this study broadens the exiting body of knowledge and advances the understanding of how switching barriers play a crucial role by influencing students' behavioural intention, particular WOM.

Keywords

Citation

Tan, P.S.H., Choong, Y.O. and Chen, I.-C. (2022), "The effect of service quality on behavioural intention: the mediating role of student satisfaction and switching barriers in private universities", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 1394-1413. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-03-2021-0122

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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