Explaining university student loyalty: theory, method, and empirical research in Chile
Gallegos, Juan Alejandro
PublisherAcademia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain student loyalty beyond its customary relationship with student satisfaction by including two relational variables, trust and commitment, two cognitive traits (service familiarity and communication) and one affective trait (opportunism) as moderators of the impact of trust and commitment on loyalty. Design/methodology/approach – Two relational constructs (trust and commitment) are employed to improve the loyalty model and key comparisons are performed to know if career, cohort and sourcing school generate differences in the explanation of student loyalty. Findings – Results show that the explanation chain that starts with student satisfaction but continues with the development of student trust and the reaching of student commitment culminates with student loyalty. The moderators (student opportunism, service familiarity, communication, age and available income for education) significantly contribute to the explanatory power of the model. Career is a meaningful differentiator in reaching student loyalty as are student cohort and the type of high school from which the student came. Research limitations/implications – This is one of first empirical studies on university student loyalty. Future research could test the same or new hypotheses using different samples and contexts. Practical implications – University policies may benefit from the inclusion of norms regarding relational processes and outcomes such as the value of trust in the interactions and systematic recognition and awards assigned to student commitment achievements. Originality/value – The explanation chain of customer loyalty was successfully applied to student loyalty, and strengthened with the addition of meaningful moderating variables.