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ERIC Number: ED546488
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 254
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2676-6480-8
An Examination of Possible Relationships between Service Quality and Brand Equity in Online Higher Education
Jarrell, Charles M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Researchers and marketers lack information about possible relationships between service quality and online brand equity in intangible and often undifferentiated service businesses. The services sector of the economy is large with 72% of the economic output and 80% of the workers in the United States in 2007. Within the services sector, Internet sales of consumer services in the United States were only 3.9% of total services revenue but grew by 14.1% from 2007 to 2008. This quantitative study was an examination of a new model and possible relationships between the quality of Internet- and human-delivered support services and online brand equity using the Gaps Model of Service Quality and the Online Retail/Service (ORS) Model of brand equity. The service environment was online courses and programs at colleges and universities in the United States. College administrators and marketers have struggled to articulate and differentiate their online brands in the intangible and often undifferentiated educational services market. The research design was a single-stage, cross-sectional survey using a non-probability, proportional quota sample. The 364 qualified responses were assigned to six age and gender categories to form a quota sample ( n = 177) proportional to the population of college and university students in the United States. Analysis of the data demonstrated a strong positive correlation between service quality and brand equity, r(176) = 0.88, p = 0.000. Strong positive correlation also existed between price and brand equity, r[subscript s](176) = 0.68, p = 0.000. A small mediating effect of brand loyalty existed in the relationship between service quality and brand equity, r[subscript ab,c] (176) = 0.81, p = 0.000. Satisfaction had a moderate mediating effect on the relationship between service quality and brand equity, r[subscript ab,c](176) = 0.70, p = 0.000, and satisfaction had a strong mediating effect on the relationship between price and brand equity, r[subscript ab,c] (176) = 0.18, p = 0.000. No moderating effects existed between service quality and brand equity based on the respondent's characteristics, including age and gender. Limitations of the study included the inability to project results to all colleges and universities in the United States or other service businesses due to the use of a convenience sample. Researchers, marketers, and consumers will benefit from information from the study that filled a gap in the research literature and might be used to improve support services and brand equity in online businesses. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A