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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2020

Violetta Wilk, Geoffrey Norman Soutar and Paul Harrigan

Despite an increasing interest in online brand advocacy (OBA) and the importance of online brand conversations, OBA’s conceptualization, dimensionality and measurement are…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite an increasing interest in online brand advocacy (OBA) and the importance of online brand conversations, OBA’s conceptualization, dimensionality and measurement are unclear, which has created confusion. This paper aims to answer calls from researchers and practitioners for a better understanding and measurement of OBA. The development and validation of a parsimonious and practical OBA scale is outlined in this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-methods, multi-stage approach was followed to develop a parsimonious OBA scale. From an initial pool of 96 items obtained from qualitative research and from items used in prior general brand advocacy scales, a test-retest reliability study is followed. Academic judges were consulted to verify dimensionality, followed by two separate online surveys to further purify the scale and assess criterion-related validity. Programs including SPSS, AMOS and WarpPLS were used.

Findings

This research extends the knowledge of OBA by developing and testing a parsimonious and practical 16-item, four-dimensional OBA scale. Unlike previous attempts to measure OBA, this study suggested OBA as a multidimensional construct with four dimensions (i.e. brand defense, brand information sharing, brand positivity and virtual positive expression). Further, this study showed that OBA is conceptually different from consumer–brand engagement and electronic word-of-mouth.

Research limitations/implications

Future research is encouraged to validate the OBA scale in various contexts and locations. Researchers can use the new OBA scale to examine potential brand-related antecedents and consequences of OBA.

Practical implications

This study provides brand and marketing practitioners with a better understanding of brand advocacy occurring online. The OBA scale offers clear markers or trademarks that will be useful in assessing any brand’s health online and to track and better manage online brand communications and performance.

Originality/value

This research provides the first empirical investigation of Wilk et al.’s (2018) exploratory insights into OBA. The resulting parsimonious scale has furthered OBA as a new area for academic enquiry and presented practitioners with a practical way of measuring OBA.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2019

Norazlyn Kamal Basha, Jillian C. Sweeney and Geoffrey Norman Soutar

In recent times, many universities have been pressured to become heavily involved in university branding. The purpose of this paper is to investigate students’ perceptions…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent times, many universities have been pressured to become heavily involved in university branding. The purpose of this paper is to investigate students’ perceptions of different international universities (brands) in terms of important university attributes, including the country in which the university’s main campus is located and educational programs are designed (COD) and the method by which the educational services are distributed internationally (DM).

Design/methodology/approach

Using a conjoint simulation procedure, this paper predicts the impact that university attributes have on Malaysian and Chinese students’ preferences for international universities.

Findings

The results suggest that, although COD and DM are important factors, the extent to which these factors dominate student preference differs significantly across students according to nationality.

Research limitations/implications

The simulation suggests how international universities can improve their branding strategies, and highlights the need to understand students’ preferences when developing marketing strategies.

Originality/value

Past research has compared the importance of university attributes across countries from the perspective of students, but failed to assess this issue in the light of existing university brands (at an institutional or country level). Such knowledge can provide an indication of student preferences and competitive performance, which are of great interest to education marketers. The present study predicts the impact of various university attributes on Malaysian and Chinese students’ preferences for specific international universities (brands) in four different countries, and changes in preference that occur when the style of delivery or course suitability is altered.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2020

Shin-Yiing Lee, Jillian C. Sweeney and Geoffrey Norman Soutar

Despite recognition of the importance of emotions and emotion regulation in service encounters, emotion regulation has been generally studied from an employee perspective…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite recognition of the importance of emotions and emotion regulation in service encounters, emotion regulation has been generally studied from an employee perspective. This study investigated customer emotion regulation behaviours (CEREBs) in face-to-face service encounters; arguing for a more nuanced approach through an emotion regulation matrix representing the playing up and downplaying of positive or negative emotions. Motivational factors and service-related situational conditions that influence the likelihood of emotion regulation were also examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Four focus groups and the critical incident technique method were used to obtain data from people who had interacted with service employees within the previous six months.

Findings

There was support for emotion regulation in the four facets of the emotion regulation matrix. Five CEREB dimensions, including verbal behaviours and facial expressions, were evident. Motivational factors and situational conditions that impacted on customer emotion regulation in service encounters were also identified.

Research limitations/implications

The findings were based on two qualitative methods. A quantitative approach should be used to further validate the suggested framework.

Originality/value

Most research on emotion regulation has focused on employees. We examined the phenomenon from a customer viewpoint and in a service encounter context. As customers are not bound by employment rules and conventions, a wider range of emotion regulation behaviours were found. The study used the four-faceted emotion regulation matrix to investigate this, developing a conceptual framework that provides a foundation for future research.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Momoko Fujita, Paul Harrigan and Geoffrey Norman Soutar

The purpose of this paper is to understand the lived experiences of the international students using their university’s social media, through a lens of customer engagement…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the lived experiences of the international students using their university’s social media, through a lens of customer engagement (CE) in the services marketing literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was conducted in an Australian university. Three semi-structured focus groups with ten international students, along with a preliminary netnographic analysis of the university’s social media account, provided a rich description of the phenomenon in the real-world context.

Findings

The results suggest that these students are likely to engage in their university’s social media as part of their acculturation and social identity construction strategy. Their engagement was cognitive and emotional, being influenced by the instrumental value of the social media page, engagement with campus rituals and artefacts, social identity and bonds with other students and perceptions of the page administrator. Furthermore, these students’ engagement influenced their identification with the university and its student community, manifested in a sense of belonging and pride.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to the higher education literature by offering relationship implications of social media CE. Limitations include small sample size and the single institutional context.

Practical implications

The paper informs student communication practice, especially the design of university-initiated social media content and policy.

Originality/value

Universities and faculties today use social media to engage with students outside classrooms. However, little has been known about how international student sojourners view and respond to such initiatives. The paper addresses this gap by offering insight into how they engage with their university on social media and its relationship implications.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2021

Tram-Anh Ngoc Pham, Jillian Carol Sweeney and Geoffrey Norman Soutar

Drawing on an extensive range of activities across different types, including mandatory (customer), mandatory (customer or organisation), voluntary in-role and voluntary…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on an extensive range of activities across different types, including mandatory (customer), mandatory (customer or organisation), voluntary in-role and voluntary extra-role activities, this study aims to identify different health-care customer value cocreation practice styles based on the combinations of value cocreation activities they undertake and empirically examine how customers adopting different styles differ in terms of well-being and satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted across health customers with a variety of chronic conditions. Data were collected from three focus groups and an online survey.

Findings

Five customer practice styles, namely, the highly active, other-oriented, provider-oriented, self-oriented and passive compliant customers, were revealed. While a moderate to a high level of activities is often recommended as it is associated with higher levels of physical, psychological, existential and social well-being and customer satisfaction, the results also suggest there is no single ideal style as different styles may be associated with the same level of outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

As customers cocreate value differently, it is crucial to understand the underlying heterogeneity and its implications to outcomes.

Practical implications

Highly active and provider-oriented are the two styles that should be particularly encouraged because of their association with positive outcomes. Personalised strategies need to be developed and resources need to be put in place to build productive relationships amongst service providers, customers and peers and to increase the perceived value of such interactions so as to shift customers towards more active styles.

Originality/value

The study advances the understanding of customer value cocreation and its link to well-being by empirically deriving five distinct practice styles and demonstrating how they differ across meaningful well-being and satisfaction dimensions.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2020

Ingrid M. O'Brien, Robyn Ouschan, Wade Jarvis and Geoffrey Norman Soutar

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of CSR initiative preference, customer helping orientation and customer participation on willingness to engage in CSR and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of CSR initiative preference, customer helping orientation and customer participation on willingness to engage in CSR and to demonstrate the influence this engagement has on their commitment and loyalty to the organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study entailed an online survey of customers from a large not-for-profit organisation (n = 210). Choice modelling is used to test a structural equation model of drivers and outcomes of willingness to engage in CSR.

Findings

Results demonstrate the CSR initiative preferred by customers has a stronger impact on their willingness to engage with the CSR initiative (volunteering their time, effort, money) than either customers' helping orientation or customer participation. Furthermore, willingness to engage in CSR influences customer commitment and loyalty to support and recommend the organisation.

Research limitations/implications

The results clearly demonstrate the significant impact that customers' preferences for and willingness to engage in CSR initiatives have on customers' relationship with not-for-profit organisations.

Social implications

The results highlight the importance of taking into account customer preferences for CSR issues to encourage customers to engage in CSR initiatives designed to benefit society.

Originality/value

Traditionally CSR literature has focused on how commercial firms' engagement in CSR creates value for the firm and society. The marketing literature has focused on how customer engagement in brand communities benefits the firm. This study extends the research by exploring customers’ willingness to engage in CSR with not-for-profit organisations. It uses Choice modelling to demonstrate the impact of customer preferences for local and aligned CSR initiatives on customer willingness to engage.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Tim Mazzarol, Geoffrey Norman Soutar and Michael Sim Yaw Seng

Describes how the second half of the twentieth century saw the development of a global market in international education. Following the Second World War, the flow of…

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7899

Abstract

Describes how the second half of the twentieth century saw the development of a global market in international education. Following the Second World War, the flow of international students undertaking courses at all levels grew rapidly as developing countries sought to educate their populations. By the century’s end, there were an estimated 1.5 million students studying internationally at the HE level. Driving this market expansion was a combination of forces that both pushed the students from their countries of origin and simultaneously pulled them toward certain host nations. By the 1990s, the HE systems of many host nations (e.g. Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK and New Zealand) had become more market focused and institutions were adopting professional marketing strategies to recruit students into fee‐paying programs. For many education institutions such fees had become a critical source of financing. Suggests that the international education industry, HE administrators and managers and academic staff face very significant challenges in the next few years.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Tim Mazzarol and Geoffrey Norman Soutar

This paper outlines a model of the factors that are critical to the establishment and maintenance of sustainable competitive advantage for education services enterprises…

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8435

Abstract

This paper outlines a model of the factors that are critical to the establishment and maintenance of sustainable competitive advantage for education services enterprises in international markets. It draws together theories of competitive advantage developed by industrial economics and management theory, with literature relating to services marketing. In examining a theory of sustainable competitive advantage for services exports, the paper discusses the concepts involved and presents a model of the process involved in achieving it. The model seeks to explain the strategic decision making environment in which the education exporter operates, and the outcome ideal to achieving a competitive advantage.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1985

The librarian and researcher have to be able to uncover specific articles in their areas of interest. This Bibliography is designed to help. Volume IV, like Volume III…

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10806

Abstract

The librarian and researcher have to be able to uncover specific articles in their areas of interest. This Bibliography is designed to help. Volume IV, like Volume III, contains features to help the reader to retrieve relevant literature from MCB University Press' considerable output. Each entry within has been indexed according to author(s) and the Fifth Edition of the SCIMP/SCAMP Thesaurus. The latter thus provides a full subject index to facilitate rapid retrieval. Each article or book is assigned its own unique number and this is used in both the subject and author index. This Volume indexes 29 journals indicating the depth, coverage and expansion of MCB's portfolio.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1985

Since the first Volume of this Bibliography there has been an explosion of literature in all the main areas of business. The researcher and librarian have to be able to…

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15140

Abstract

Since the first Volume of this Bibliography there has been an explosion of literature in all the main areas of business. The researcher and librarian have to be able to uncover specific articles devoted to certain topics. This Bibliography is designed to help. Volume III, in addition to the annotated list of articles as the two previous volumes, contains further features to help the reader. Each entry within has been indexed according to the Fifth Edition of the SCIMP/SCAMP Thesaurus and thus provides a full subject index to facilitate rapid information retrieval. Each article has its own unique number and this is used in both the subject and author index. The first Volume of the Bibliography covered seven journals published by MCB University Press. This Volume now indexes 25 journals, indicating the greater depth, coverage and expansion of the subject areas concerned.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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