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Identifying the Drivers of Student Retention: A Service Marketing Approach


  • Amy Rummel, Ph.D.

    () (Professor of Marketing, Alfred University.)

  • Maeghen L. MacDonald

    (Penn State University.)


Examination of Higher Education literature concerning student retention reveals a variety of influences from student satisfaction, professors’ engagement and/or approachability with students. However, as with most complex issues there appears to be multiple causes for student disengagement. This paper presents a “service marketing” approach to understanding student retention. If a university system is couched in terms of multiple, interactive service encounters, are there interactions which take place on a campus which would lead to a students’ satisfaction/dissatisfaction with that University? The results indicate that this is in fact true. While the student-teacher interaction is still critical to retaining students, additional interactions with support staff also emerge as having significant impact on the retention of students. Implications for “customer service” training across all venues within a University are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy Rummel, Ph.D. & Maeghen L. MacDonald, 2016. "Identifying the Drivers of Student Retention: A Service Marketing Approach," Journal of Business, LAR Center Press, vol. 1(2), pages 1-7, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:lrc:larjob:v:1:y:2016:i:2:p:1-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abhay Shah, 2009. "The Impact of Quality on Satisfaction, Revenue, and Cost as Perceived by Providers of Higher Education," Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 125-141, December.
    2. Helena Alves & Mário Raposo, 2009. "The measurement of the construct satisfaction in higher education," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 203-218, February.
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    More about this item


    Student retention; higher education; service marketing; Student satisfaction.;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions


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