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Investigating the Service Quality Dimensions and their Impact on University Students’ Satisfaction in a Private Higher Education Institution in Lebanon

Khattab, Farah (2019) Investigating the Service Quality Dimensions and their Impact on University Students’ Satisfaction in a Private Higher Education Institution in Lebanon. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Quality is a key word in every context, as it is the major factor leading to high performance delivery of services, and a major condition to attain customer satisfaction. Within a challenging and very competitive academic field and taking into account the large multitude of services provided by different types of higher education institutions, identifying the key dimensions of service quality in the Lebanese higher education is a priority for different higher education institutions in Lebanon, to enhance their overall services and maintain a leading position in attracting top students.

This study is the first of its kind in the Lebanese Higher Education sector, aiming to design, develop, implement and assess a conceptual framework of a service quality model for service quality evaluation in the Lebanese Higher Education. In addition, the study aims to determine the most important service quality dimensions from a students’ perspective. The framework proposed is based on the initial service quality model developed by Parasuraman et al. (1985), while considering the three qualities highlighted in Gronroos (1983) and Lehtinen and Lehtinen (1982) models: Physical Quality (Campus Physical Facilities), Interactive Quality (Interactions with Staff, Administration and other Students on Campus) and Corporative Quality (University Image and Reputation). The framework also aligns well with the Importance-Performance (IPA) model. The final attained model consists of seven major service quality dimensions: Quality of Education, Quality of Students Services Support, Campus Physical Facilities, University Image and Reputation, Students Social Life on Campus, Interaction with Faculty and Interaction with Administrative Staff.

A case study of a private Lebanese university is considered aiming to implement the developed service quality model conceptual framework and evaluate the quality of various services. The Lebanese international University (LIU) has 9 campuses across the Lebanese districts, allowing a wide implementation of the framework and provides a good basis for data collection and analysis. To characterize and communicate the developed framework, a questionnaire was developed to collect data from students and help in assessing and analysing gaps between level of importance and their perception of the performance for each dimension. 1,223 questionnaires were distributed using proportionate stratified random sampling, 107 returned questionnaires or failed to complete and return the respective questionnaire. Thus, a total of 1,116 questionnaires were employed in the assessment and analysis.

Based on the data collected and the students’ feedback, an overall analysis and evaluation process was performed. A holistic comparison is carried out for various demographic variables against the seven dimensions of service quality. An Importance-Performance matrix was used to identify prioritized areas where LIU needs to act and allocate its resources. Multiple approaches have been employed and conducted to aid the analysis and assessment in this study including descriptive statistical analysis, one-way analysis of variances (ANOVA), Levene’s Test, regression analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), Structural Equation Model (SEM). In addition, regression analysis is used to test the hypothesis and to determine the existence of relationships between various service quality dimensions, students’ satisfaction and student’s loyalty. Finally, IBM SPSS AMOS is employed to generate the output using CFA and SEM techniques.

The analysis shows that the critical attributes which need direct LIU attention are offering comfortable accommodation, good internet services, offering affordable accommodation, modern sports facilities, safe accommodation and parking areas for students. The reported results confirmed all the hypotheses defined at the beginning of the investigation except for Campus Physical Facilities. In this regard, it highlighted a positive significant relation between the various dimensions considered and the students’ satisfaction except for the independent variable Campus Physical Facilities which had a negative non- significant relation. The reasons for this negative non-significant relation were attributed to the economic situation, past students’ experiences and current LIU facilities status. Finally, a model for students’ satisfaction was developed using the unstandardized regression weight of each of the seven dimensions proposed in this study.

This study, through the service quality model conceptual framework and yields a multitude of positive impacts and benefits for the considered Lebanese International University on one hand and for the whole Lebanese Higher Education Sector on the other hand. On a holistic level, the current investigation will help improving the overall performance of the Lebanese Higher Education as quality services is at the heart of every single academic institution performance. In general, a systematic service quality assessment tool will lead to better services quality and thus higher university performance and consequently higher students’ satisfaction rates. This will help in maintaining the leading position of the Lebanese Higher Education sector in the region.

The current work is a step forward towards improving the overall performance of the Lebanese Higher Education sector through developing the first of its kind conceptual framework for a service quality model for service quality evaluation in the Lebanese Higher Education. From a holistic perspective, a reliable and systematic service quality assessment tool is a major condition to attain better services quality, and thus higher university performance and consequently higher students’ satisfaction rates. The current investigation is a step forward towards maintaining the leading position of the Lebanese Higher Education sector in the region.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Business, Leadership and Economics > Business, Management and Marketing
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2020 14:32
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 14:32
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6314

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