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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2022

Davood Ghorbanzadeh and Mohsen Sharbatiyan

Despite promising conceptual developments in value co-creation behaviors, the scholarly attention afforded to the importance of the university website features in…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite promising conceptual developments in value co-creation behaviors, the scholarly attention afforded to the importance of the university website features in strengthening the university brand image and reputation through students’ value co-creation behaviors is limited. University website features are conceptualized as a hierarchical construct with three dimensions: usability, availability and information. This study aims to investigate the effect of university website features and value co-creation behaviors of students on promoting brand image and brand reputation at Islamic Azad University in Iran.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is quantitative. Using convenience sampling techniques, a responsive group of 384 students was chosen from the Islamic Azad University of Tehran in Iran. Survey methods were used for data collection. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was used to test the derived hypotheses.

Findings

The findings of this study indicated that website features have a positive effect on fostering value co-creation behaviors (participation and citizenship behavior), and participation behavior, in turn, improves university brand image and reputation. At the same time, among value co-creation behaviors, citizenship behavior has no impact on the university’s brand image. Finally, the brand image formed through website features and participation behavior positively affects brand reputation.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted in the higher education (HE) sector in one cosmopolitan Iranian city (i.e. Tehran), to which Iranians from other cities travel for studying. Thus, the results of this survey include a variety of subcultures. In the future, a study that incorporates all major metropolitan cities of Iran may increase the generalizability of the findings. Unrelated to the purpose of this study, a future research study may extend the currently studied geographical dimensions and examine the antecedents of university brand reputation across different nations using a cross-cultural approach.

Practical implications

Pragmatically, the findings of this study urge university policymakers, information technology managers and marketers to consider the university website’s unique role in assisting co-creation behavior, which in turn promotes university brand image and reputation in the HE market. One of the ways to assess a university’s brand image and reputation is through the university ranking system. Ascending the ranking system can allow a university to attract qualified students.

Originality/value

These findings contribute to the marketing literature by empirically validating the three elements in the website features construct, providing intelligence on how website features can drive value co-creation behaviors, brand image and reputation. Also, results revealed that the brand image of universities positively affects brand reputation. This study highlights the importance of national and international rankings of universities and students’ sensitivity to such rankings. Undoubtedly, this is evident in Iranian students’ behavior in selecting their university.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Swati Panda, Satyendra C. Pandey, Andrea Bennett and Xiaoguang Tian

Given the competitive landscape in the higher education setting, it is important that universities adopt strategies that create competitive advantage for them. Universities

1784

Abstract

Purpose

Given the competitive landscape in the higher education setting, it is important that universities adopt strategies that create competitive advantage for them. Universities must leverage their resources efficiently to address this goal. Creating a positive brand image is one such strategy. The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize university brand image as its heritage, service quality and trustworthiness and investigate their relationship with student’s satisfaction. It also investigates the role of university reputation as a mediating variable.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through a mixed method approach. The first stage involved qualitative interviews and focused group discussions with students to understand the factors responsible for student satisfaction with their respective universities. The second stage involved administering a survey questionnaire in two geographies – the USA and India to investigate the hypothesized relationship. The authors use regression analyses to test these relationships.

Findings

Findings indicate that a distinct brand image plays an important role in students’ level of satisfaction across both the USA and India. Service quality has a greater impact on student satisfaction levels across both contexts (as compared to university heritage and trustworthiness). The authors also find a positive mediating effect of university reputation in the relationship between university brand image and student satisfaction levels.

Originality/value

The current research contributes to the services marketing literature in the university context. It offers a framework for decision making in universities. It suggests that universities must work toward developing their brand image by focusing on its three dimensions – heritage, trustworthiness and service quality.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Asunción Beerli Palacio, Gonzalo Díaz Meneses and Pedro J. Pérez Pérez

This work centers on the study of the image of universities, with the aims of explaining the process of image forming by means of its different components, both in its…

9335

Abstract

This work centers on the study of the image of universities, with the aims of explaining the process of image forming by means of its different components, both in its cognitive and affective dimensions and of analyzing its relationship with the students’ satisfaction with the university. The results of the empirical work carried out on a representative sample of 6,775 students studying at a Spanish university demonstrate that the cognitive component of image is an antecedent of the affective component. In turn, both of those components influence the forming of the overall image of the university and the cognitive, affective and overall images statistically and significantly influence the students’ satisfaction with the university.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Laura M. Arpan, Arthur A. Raney and Suzanne Zivnuska

This study employed a cognitive psychological approach to examining a little studied phenomenon – university image – among two groups of evaluators. The study found that…

4489

Abstract

This study employed a cognitive psychological approach to examining a little studied phenomenon – university image – among two groups of evaluators. The study found that different groups used different criteria when rating ten major US universities. Found to significantly predict the image of the universities among a sample of current university students were three factors: academic factors, athletic factors, and the extent of news coverage of the university. Found to significantly predict the image of the same universities among an adult, non‐student sample were four factors: a combined factor including all university attributes (including academic and athletic); the extent of news coverage; the education level of respondents; and the respondents’ level of sports fanship. Recent research in attitude structure is used to explain how different image criteria are recalled and employed by the different groups.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 January 2020

Sharifah Alwi, Norbani Che-Ha, Bang Nguyen, Ezlika M. Ghazali, Dilip M. Mutum and Philip J. Kitchen

This study attempts to ascertain the essential dimensions and components of university brand image, including the cognitive attributes (service/educational quality) and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study attempts to ascertain the essential dimensions and components of university brand image, including the cognitive attributes (service/educational quality) and affective attributes (corporate brand image) of the university.

Design/methodology/approach

The study develops, explores and presents a student-consumer behavioral response model based on students’ experiences at university, exploring the relationship between these attributes with satisfaction and behavioral response [word-of-mouth (WOM)].

Findings

Findings reveal that both branding aspects – brand experience and corporate brand image – follow a rational thought process first before an affective component is then taken into account, resulting in brand promise and loyalty. The study identifies several important cognitive brand image attributes and experiences that guide brand positioning for the Malaysian market, linking these to satisfaction and WOM.

Research limitations/implications

It was conducted in a single case-university and future research could replicate this in other schools/institutions. Cross-validation to other private institutions lies outside the scope of this study. Furthermore, although the study has identified specific attributes of university brands, they tend to be seen or interpreted as overall for both brand experiences and corporate brand image attributes because of the reflective nature of the construct, and also they tend to be seen as higher order rather than at individual levels. Further research is needed to analyze these dimensions using a quantitative approach at individual levels and testing the conceptual model as presented in the conceptual model. The study is focused on one Asian market (Malaysian students in X University) chosen for its potential growth in the future.

Practical implications

The present study contributes to the identification of specific students’ needs and attributes including courses and modules, reputable schools, the environment (e.g. campus – near to lecturer, international), helpful lecturers and the university location. Addressing the right brand attributes enhance and clarify the positioning aspect of the university brand, while simultaneously addressing the needs and wants of consumers. For example, by understanding the culture – consumer buying behavior within this setting, marketers or school administrators can identify exactly, which behaviors could be changed and by which mechanism i.e. talking to sponsors, and introducing activities to increase visibility/image in Malaysia. Interacting with sponsors can influence them toward sending students to X instead of to other universities in the UK.

Originality/value

The study contributes to theoretical knowledge in at least two different ways: by identifying possible corporate brand image attributes and experience that guide brand positioning (for the Malaysian market), and by exploring the relationship between these attributes and satisfaction and behavioral response (WOM) as proposed in the study’s conceptual framework. The study has identified the specific attributes that influence Malaysian students’ early interest in selecting X University via, for example, a recommendation from existing students at X, their sponsors, employers, the courses or modules X offers and location – in London. The study further revealed that corporate brand image attributes of business schools (cognitively and effectively) enhance corporate brand differentiation and positioning (Rauschnabel et al., 2016).

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Dean Kazoleas, Yungwook Kim and Mary Anne Moffitt

Examines the concept of institutional (university) image from a cultural studies approach and from a quantitative perspective. Building on these and other research…

4857

Abstract

Examines the concept of institutional (university) image from a cultural studies approach and from a quantitative perspective. Building on these and other research findings, posits that multiple changing images exist within each individual and that these images are affected by certain factors. Examines university image from an external stakeholder perspective, based on a telephone survey study of respondents from across the university’s home state. The results confirm multi‐image conceptualization of the university setting and, importantly, examine the factors – personal, environmental, and organizational – that give rise to the multiple image concept. Complementing much corporate image research that views image(s) as primarily controlled by the organization, these findings suggest that corporate image, considered also as a receiver‐oriented and audience‐specific construct, can vary as a function of other, external, determining factors but that organizational factors are, nevertheless, very influential factors for one’s decision making about image.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Emma Stuart, David Stuart and Mike Thelwall

Rising tuition fees and a growing importance on league tables has meant that university branding is becoming more of a necessity to attract prospective staff, students…

2415

Abstract

Purpose

Rising tuition fees and a growing importance on league tables has meant that university branding is becoming more of a necessity to attract prospective staff, students, and funding. Whilst university websites are an important branding tool, academic institutions are also beginning to exploit social media. Image-based social media services such as Instagram are particularly popular at the moment. It is therefore logical for universities to have a presence on popular image-based social media services such as Instagram. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the online presence of UK universities on Instagram in an initial investigation of use.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilizes webometric data collection, and content analysis methodology.

Findings

The results indicate that at the time of data analysis for this investigation (In the Spring of 2015), UK universities had a limited presence on Instagram for general university accounts, with only 51 out of 128 institutions having an account. The most common types of images posted were humanizing (31.0 percent), showcasing (28.8 percent), and orienting (14.3 percent). Orienting images were more likely to receive likes than other image types, and crowdsourcing images were more likely to receive comments.

Originality/value

This paper gives a valuable insight into the image posting practices of UK universities on Instagram. The findings are of value to heads of marketing, online content creators, social media campaign managers, and anyone who is responsible for the marketing, branding, and promoting of a university’s services.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Ángel Herrero-Crespo, Héctor San Martín Gutiérrez and Maria del Mar Garcia-Salmones

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how country image affects the dimensions of country brand equity (CBE) (i.e. awareness, image, perceived quality and loyalty) in…

2101

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how country image affects the dimensions of country brand equity (CBE) (i.e. awareness, image, perceived quality and loyalty) in the higher education sector, as well as the interrelationships between these dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research with 208 international students who were starting the academic year at a Spanish university was performed to test the hypotheses. In accordance with the characteristics of the target population, the subjects interviewed were mainly from Europe and the Americas.

Findings

The results indicate that the country image affects the perceived quality and awareness of the universities in the country. Additionally, a hierarchy of effects between the dimensions of CBE was found. In particular, loyalty toward the universities of a country is positively influenced by their perceived quality, which is affected by image and awareness of these universities. For its part, the image of universities is positively influenced by the awareness attributed to them by international students.

Practical implications

These results have implications for marketing activities aimed at the internationalization of higher education institutions and, therefore, their appeal to international students.

Originality/value

The paper’s findings represent an important step in the advancement of knowledge about CBE by taking as a basis a complex model that involves the different dimensions of this construct together with a relevant variable in international marketing, that is, country image.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2021

Vikrant Kaushal, Deepak Jaiswal, Rishi Kant and Nurmahmud Ali

The study aims to explore and test the integrated relationships between university reputation and its key antecedents. In doing so, theoretically derived antecedents of…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore and test the integrated relationships between university reputation and its key antecedents. In doing so, theoretically derived antecedents of university reputation were examined. The study reports the complex interplay among image, quality, value, satisfaction and attachment and their subsequent effect on reputation.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative method was used to achieve research objectives. Data collected from students enrolled in major private university in Northern India were analysed to test the proposed model directly and indirectly using structural equation modelling (SEM).

Findings

The findings confirmed most of the hypothesised relationships. Prominently, image construct was found to be significantly affecting students' quality perceptions along with satisfaction, attachment, value and importantly reputation. The study found evidence for the impact of students' attachment on university reputation. Findings also indicated the presence of several indirect relationships among the considered dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

Current research offers implications for universities that are met with the perpetual challenge of survival in the competitive higher education (HE) marketplace. Findings from the study not only help build theory on university reputation but make essential contribution towards guiding managers in developing effective strategies by building reputation via concentrating on the most crucial determinants.

Originality/value

Although research in HE marketing is growing, effects of student attachment towards building reputation has not garnered attention, which is theoretically a vital construct. The paper presents new framework to realise university reputation with the help of integrated relationships among select dimensions in the setting of an emerging HE market.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Helena Kantanen

This paper aims to focus on how corporate and regional identity and image build a framework for stakeholder dialogue in higher education institutions.

3489

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on how corporate and regional identity and image build a framework for stakeholder dialogue in higher education institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on literature related to corporate identity and image. The approach is qualitative and the data consist of strategic documents and 23 focused interviews conducted with university and stakeholder representatives in three Finnish cities.

Findings

The paper outlines how corporate and regional identities are perceived by university managers and universities' local stakeholders. It claims that the identity and image of the university and the region concerned are among the central determinants of stakeholder interaction.

Practical implications

The paper shows that identity and image are central phenomena to manage communication in higher education institutions. It emphasises that when merging institutions, valuable assets such as the history with local stakeholders may be at risk.

Originality/value

There is information on how university identity and image are formed through research merits and education, but very little knowledge on how they are formed through the so‐called third strand, regional service. The paper sheds light on this question.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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