Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Student Loyalty Assessment with Online Master's Programs
by Dehghan, Ali, Ph.D., Eastern Michigan University, 2012, 107; 3544621
Abstract (Summary)

Relationship marketing is attracting, maintaining, and, in multi-service organizations, enhancing customer relationships. Educational programs and services, like those of businesses, depend highly on the repeated purchases of their loyal customers. The purpose of this descriptive research is to investigate the relationships between factors that may lead to student loyalty in online graduate educational programs. Specifically, the study seeks to examine the relationships between service quality, technology, trust, commitment and satisfaction, reputation and ultimately loyalty. A new model is presented, which includes the results of testing these variables.

The results of this study concluded that satisfaction with the program has the highest degree of association with student loyalty. Although service quality was found to be one of the key correlates to student loyalty to the program in face-to-face educational settings, it was found to be an insignificant element in assessing student loyalty to the program in online courses. Surprisingly, the construct of technology was found to be an important factor; specially, the role of using synchronous online tools. The findings also support relationship marketing theory (Morgan & Hunt, 1994) and the roles of commitment and trust. However, this research found the role of commitment more important than that of trust. This study recognized reputation of the university as a vital mediator for building a mutually beneficial relationship between students and universities. The research includes implications to help service providers (educational institutions) improve their marketing strategies to ensure that online students (customers) remain with their desired online programs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dugger, John
Commitee: Balazs, Anne, Dugger, John, Fields, Daniel, Lahidji, Bob
School: Eastern Michigan University
Department: Technology Studies
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing, Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Customer loyalty, Online, Online education, Relationship marketing, Reputation, Student loyalty, Student satisfaction, Technology
Publication Number: 3544621
ISBN: 978-1-267-75646-6
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