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Souad Saoud

DBA Graduate - 2016

Thesis title

INVESTIGATING THE ANTECEDENTS OF STUDENT LOYALTY THROUGH EXAMINING PERCEIVED SERVICE QUALITY AND SATISFACTION: THE CASE OF PRIVATE LEBANESE UNIVERSITIES

Supervisor(s)

Pierre-Yves Sanseau

I am Souad Saoud Abboud. I have a BS degree in computer science and an MBA. In January 2016, I received my DBA degree from Grenoble Ecole de Management-France. It was published in the EURAM conference in June 2017. Since 2010, I have been a lecturer in the Lebanese International University Business School. I am experienced and competent in research design and the collection, analysis, and reporting of primary and secondary data sources. I have experience in quantitative methods, especially in using SPSS software.

Purpose The purpose of this study is twofold: First, to investigate the antecedents of student loyalty in private Lebanese universities; more specifically, to explain how student loyalty could be generated by examining the sequence of constructs in the following order: student perceived service quality, student satisfaction, student loyalty. Second, to identify the crucial determinants of student perceived service quality in higher educational institutions. Design/mehtodology/approach A literature review was conducted to highlight an original conceptualization about perceived service quality, satisfaction, and loyalty constructs. According to the investigation that has been done, there is a gap in the literature concerning the relationship among student perceived service quality and student satisfaction and student loyalty; moreover, not much is known about the main determinants of student perceived service quality in higher education. For the purpose of clarifying these gaps, this thesis uses simple, multiple regression analysis, and process software to test research hypotheses. A survey was conducted on 177 students in order to collect individual level perception data. Findings The result showed a positive relationship between student perceived service quality and student satisfaction. A direct linear relationship is shown to be between student satisfaction and student loyalty; moreover, student satisfaction is found to be a mediator between student perceived quality and student loyalty. This thesis also concludes that quality of instructors, quality of curriculum, and extra-curricular opportunities offered by educational institutions have a positive impact on student perceived service quality. The quality of curriculum was found to be the main determinant of student perceived service quality in Lebanese private universities. Research limitations/implications This study contributes toward deepening the knowledge of the antecedents of student loyalty in higher educational institutions. It is limited to one private Lebanese institution, and to generalise the study, the research should be extended to other universities. Practical implications The higher education institution management could use the results as a reference to set strategies to improve the quality of their services in order to increase student satisfaction and consequently their loyalty. Originality/value This study is conducted for the first time in Lebanese context. The study presents a student-centered as a part of the perceived service quality evaluation and the linkage of this evaluation to student satisfaction and student loyalty. Keywords: student perceived service quality, student satisfaction, student loyalty, determinants of student perceived service quality