Purpose – The aim of this study is to develop and empirically test an integrated model incorporating the antecedents and consequences of service quality in a higher education context. Design/methodology/approach – This research employed both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The data from three focus groups, conducted at the Central Queensland University (CQU), Rockhampton, Australia, generated key themes and their interrelationships. The theoretical model was then tested using structural equation modelling technique on a sample of 528 university students. Findings – The findings show that information (marketing communications) is more statistically significant than past experience as the antecedents of service quality. The consequences of service quality are composed of trust, satisfaction, and image. Overall, the results suggest a good validity of the theoretical model and the key paths in the model are found statistically significant, except past experience affecting service quality. Originality/value – The model provides a good explanation of a university brand image, and perceived service quality was found playing an important role in this model. Universities intending to enhance their image are encouraged to consider focusing their efforts on marketing communication information, service quality, student satisfaction and trust.
Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 2, 2012
Keywords: Service quality; Past experience; Communication; Image; Satisfaction; Trust; Higher education; Brands; Customer services quality
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