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Segmenting Graduate Consumers of Higher Education in Tourism: An Extension of the ECSI Model

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Abstract

This research explores the European Consumer Satisfaction Index model applied to higher education in tourism by accounting for unobserved heterogeneity. In particular, it intends to identify segments of Higher Education Institutions’ consumers based on the structural model estimates of the European Consumer Satisfaction Index, enlarged with the employability construct. A model-based segmentation approach in Partial Least Squares path modelling is used. The European Consumer Satisfaction Index was properly adjusted to the educational framework and has shown its effectiveness when assessing students’ satisfaction regarding the attended Higher Education Institution. Two distinctive, graduates’ segments were identified using a sample of 166 Higher Education Institutions’ consumers. Results confirm the assumption of heterogeneity as the relationships differ across segments and the need for Higher Education Institutions to differently target those segments in such a competitive context. These results may be used strategically by Higher Education Institutions and policy makers as segments of graduates are identified according to their perception of employability and the future influence of this on their satisfaction. Deepening the knowledge on their consumers, Higher Education Institutions will be better prepared to adjust their educational performance to graduates’ best interests and to promote their offer.

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  • Eurico, Sofia & Valle, Patrícia & Silva, João Albino & Marques, Catarina, 2012. "Segmenting Graduate Consumers of Higher Education in Tourism: An Extension of the ECSI Model," Spatial and Organizational Dynamics Discussion Papers 2012-7, CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:cieodp:2012_007
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    1. Carsten Hahn & Michael D. Johnson & Andreas Herrmann & Frank Huber, 2002. "Capturing Customer Heterogeneity Using A Finite Mixture Pls Approach," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 54(3), pages 243-269, July.
    2. Eugene W. Anderson & Mary W. Sullivan, 1993. "The Antecedents and Consequences of Customer Satisfaction for Firms," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(2), pages 125-143.
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    Keywords

    ECSI; Segmentation; Higher Education; Employability;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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