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Social Behavior and Personality, Volume 47, Issue 2, e7622

https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.7622
www.sbp-journal.com

Higher education service quality and student satisfaction, institutional


image, and behavioral intention
Yong-Sik Hwang1, Yung Kyun Choi2
1
School of Business, Sejong University
2
Department of Advertising & PR, Dongguk University

How to cite: Hwang, Y., & Choi, Y. (2019). Higher education service quality and student satisfaction, institutional image, and
behavioral intention. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47(2), e7622

Keywords
Our aim in this study was to propose an integrated model to examine service quality; higher
the structural relationships among a higher education institution’s education; student
service quality, student satisfaction, institutional image, and behavioral satisfaction; institutional
intention at a private university located in South Korea. We conducted image; behavioral
a survey of students majoring in business to analyze these intention
relationships. Structural equation modeling showed that students were
satisfied with various aspects (tangibles, reliabilities, responsiveness,
empathy, and assurance) of service quality. Also, service quality directly
affected both student satisfaction and perceived institutional image. In
addition, the results indicated that students’ perceived institutional
image and satisfaction directly influenced behavioral intention.
Although perceived service quality was not a significant construct to
predict behavioral intention of students, our results showed a
mediating effect of perceived institutional image and student
satisfaction on the relationship between service quality and behavioral
intention.

As competition among educational institutions intensifies around the world, attracting new students and
retaining existing students has become an urgent agenda item for many higher education institutions
(Angell, Heffernan, & Megicks, 2008). Therefore, providing top quality educational services has become a
high priority for many of these institutions. In order to provide top quality services to students, institutions
must fully understand the needs of students and identify how cognitive aspects lead to student satisfaction
and behavioral intention. Existing students’ positive perceptions of service quality may lead to positive
images of institutions, and to overall satisfaction and positive behavioral intentions.

Previous researchers have shown that students’ positive perceptions of service quality may provide support
in recruiting new students (Narang, 2012; Sultan & Wong, 2013). Yet, there is still the need to investigate
empirically the full perceptual map of students on service quality in higher education (Narang, 2012; Sultan
& Wong, 2013). In this study, we assumed that understanding the cognitive process of students regarding
service quality of higher education institutions would be an initial step for our research agenda. Students’
perceptions of service quality may lead to student satisfaction, which eventually may play a significant role
in overall university performance. Therefore, in addition to measuring the perception of service quality, it is
also important to understand the interrelationships among other constructs, such as student satisfaction,
institutional image, and behavioral intention.

By identifying the relationships among these variables, we may further understand the role and importance

CORRESPONDENCE Yong-Sik Hwang, School of Business, Sejong University, 209 Neungdong-Ro, Gwangjin-Gu, Seoul, 05006,
Republic of Korea. Email: yhwang@sejong.ac.kr
© 2019 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Hwang, Choi

of service quality in higher education, which can lead to the effectiveness of overall educational programs.
Also, the insights from these findings can help researchers and higher education policy makers to improve
the quality of educational services, as well as to strengthen student satisfaction and the image of educational
institutions.

Literature Review and Hypothesis Development


Service Quality
Service quality is regarded as an essential and important dimension in the field of higher education.
However, education service quality is considered to be a vague and controversial concept (Becket & Brookes,
2006). The main controversy stems from various conceptualizations and little agreement on a universally
accepted measure of education service quality. Sharif and Kassim (2012) analyzed this controversy by
stating that education service quality is driven by consumers (students), which makes it difficult for service
providers (institutions) to understand and apply to practice.

Although several measurement instruments have been developed to explain service quality dimensions, the
Service Quality Scale (SERVQUAL Scale) is the most commonly used instrument that captures perception
and expectation aspects of service quality (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1988). SERVQUAL has been
empirically tested in various sectors (such as banking, manufacturing, and government) and is composed of
five constructs: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, empathy, and assurance. In the field of marketing,
measuring service quality should represent a comprehensive perception of consumers and should be the
antecedent of other constructs, such as consumer satisfaction and behavioral intention (Cronin & Taylor,
1992). In the field of tourism, authors are using the same markers of service quality (e.g., airline service
quality, hotel service quality) as are authors in other disciplines (Aksoy, Atilgan, & Akinci, 2003; Hsieh, Lin,
& Lin, 2008). In the field of e-banking, service quality influences customer satisfaction and trust to obtain
customer loyalty (Chu, Lee, & Chao, 2012).

As the service quality issue is covered in many disciplines of social science, the field of higher education can
also apply the concept of service quality for attracting new students and retaining existing students.
Globalization in the higher education sector has encouraged more competition among institutions, and
more institutions are interested in the decision-making process of students, who are major stakeholders of
these institutions (Pedro, Mendes, & Lourenço, 2018). By providing efficient and satisfying service to
students in higher education, an institution can support these same students to maintain positive behavioral
intentions, enhancing the institution’s long-term sustainability. As most institutional revenues come from
student enrollment, poor recruitment may jeopardize the competitive advantage of institutions. Therefore, it
is vital for higher education institutions to monitor service quality and to identify the needs of students.

In the higher education field, several scholars have adopted the SERVQUAL measure. Chatterjee, Ghosh,
and Bandyopadhyay (2009) suggested the adoption of the SERVQUAL measure for student evaluation,
especially in teaching effectiveness. In their 2014 study, Yeo and Li showed that institutional service
directly influences the learning dynamics both inside and outside the classroom. In other words, the
researchers emphasized that SERVQUAL represents the integrated experience of student learning. Datta
and Vardhan (2017) investigated students’ expectations of institutional service in the United Arab Emirates
by adopting the SERVQUAL measurement. The results revealed that seven different branch campuses had
differing levels of expectations of service quality in higher education.

In this study, in order to understand how perception may lead to other constructs such as institutional
image, student satisfaction, and behavioral intention, we applied the SERVQUAL measure to capture
students’ perceptions of educational service.

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Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Institutional Image

Authors in the literature on consumer psychology have discussed the effect of organizational image on
consumer behavior in the service sector (Andreassen & Lindestad, 1998). Studies have shown that perceived
service quality influences organizational image (Lai, Griffin, & Babin, 2009; Nguyen & Leblanc, 2002),
which subsequently affects satisfaction and behavioral intention (Lai et al., 2009; Ryu & Jang, 2008).

In the field of higher education, institutional image has been explored with various approaches. In Tao’s
(2007) study, the author contrasted the images of engineering and medical schools in Taiwan. The results
showed that the reputation values of medical schools are twice those of engineering schools. Alter and
Reback (2014) looked at the relationship between college image and the number of applications received.
Alcaide-Pulido, Alves, and Gutiérrez-Villar (2017) explored the factors affecting college image and came up
with four constructs: external communication and values, national and international recognition, economic
value, and facilities. Schlesinger, Cervera, and Pérez-Cabañero (2017) showed how university brand image
affects alumni loyalty. Similarly, MacLeod, Riehl, Saavedra, and Urquiola (2017) looked at the relationship
between college reputation and the growth in graduates’ earnings, suggesting a positive correlation.
Considering that institutional image is an important element for the overall competitiveness of an
institution, in this study, we set out to identify interrelationships between institutional image and other
constructs, such as service quality, student satisfaction, and behavioral intention.

Behavioral Intention
Behavioral intention refers to a stated likelihood to engage in a behavior (Oliver, 1997). Specifically, this
type of behavior includes a customer’s intention to repurchase, along with word-of-mouth intention.
Repurchase intention, or word-of-mouth intention, is often shaped when a consumer’s experience of a
product or service is satisfactory and pleasurable (Ali, Omar, & Amin, 2013; Kim, Park, Kim, & Ryu, 2013).
Therefore, customer satisfaction is regarded as an antecedent for positive behavioral intention (Oliver,
1997). Customer satisfaction plays a significant role, which directly and indirectly generates favorable
intentions to reuse the product or revisit the service location (Han, Hsu, Lee, & Sheu, 2011). Conversely,
when consumers are dissatisfied, their positive behavioral intentions are likely to be decreased. In this
study, we assumed that college students with positive behavioral intentions would become good promoters,
recommending their institutions to high school students. In the long run, these college students with
positive behavioral intentions would be actively involved in alumni activities, which influence the
sustainability and competitive advantage of the institutions. Therefore, we assumed that student behavioral
intention could be a crucial indicator for the future viability of the institution.

Interaction of Constructs
An educational service provider should focus on student satisfaction and transform its mindset into a
consumer-oriented approach (Kotler & McDougall, 1983). Brady and Cronin (2001) identified that service
quality has an interactive nature with other constructs and should be outcome oriented. In other
words, students’ perceived service quality may interact with other constructs, such as student
satisfaction, institutional image, and behavioral intention. This interaction may complete the full perceptual
map of students, who are the end users of educational services.

In this study, we adopted the SERVQUAL model of Parasuraman et al. (1988) with the five factors
measuring service quality in higher education: tangibles encompass the physical facilities within the
institution; reliability refers to how dependable educational services are as perceived by the
students; responsiveness concerns how promptly the educational services are provided to the
students; empathy covers the care and approach of educational services to students when they encounter
concerns and problems, and assurance consists of how much confidence students have in professors’
educational skills, knowledge, and overall abilities.

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Hwang, Choi

Service quality in higher education is an essential antecedent for student satisfaction. The relationship
between perceived service quality and customer satisfaction has been consistently proven in marketing
literature (Ennew & Binks, 1999; Lee, Lee, & Yoo, 2000). We assumed, therefore, that when students highly
evaluate the service quality of their educational institutions, they are likely to be satisfied with their
institutions. Also, perceptions of service quality may influence the overall image of the educational
institution. Grönroos (1984) showed that service quality affects the consumer’s perception of the corporate
image. In education literature, the image of a higher education institution influences decisions on college
admissions (Kealy & Rockel, 1987). In addition, previous researchers have shown that perceived service
quality may impact behavioral intentions of consumers (Oliver, 1981). Positive behavioral intentions involve
recommendation, repurchase, and positive word of mouth (Taylor & Baker, 1994). If consumers are satisfied
with a product or service, they are likely to repurchase on a regular basis (East, 1997). In the higher
education context, when students perceive a high-quality service from their institution, they are likely to
show positive behavioral intentions by recommending this institution to potential students and to spread
positive word-of-mouth information by sharing their favorable experiences. Thus we posited the following
hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1: A higher education institution’s service quality will be positively related to student
satisfaction.
Hypothesis 2: A higher education institution’s service quality will be positively related to a student’s
perceived institutional image.
Hypothesis 3: A higher education institution’s service quality will be positively related to a student’s
behavioral intention.

Perceived Image
Product or service image is regarded as a significant factor of a consumer’s cognition development (Grewal,
Gotlieb, & Marmorstein, 2000). Cognition positively affects a consumer’s satisfaction and postpurchase
intention (behavioral intention). Hart and Rosenberger (2004) identified that a positive corporate image
provides a positive signal for customer satisfaction and behavioral intention toward a firm’s products or
services. In addition, Hawkins, Best, and Coney (2001) suggested the importance of corporate image in the
consumer decision-making process. In the context of higher education, the image of an institution includes
academic reputation, campus appearance, cost of tuition, and location (Huddleston & Karr, 1982). Arpan,
Raney, and Zivnuska (2003) also found that college image has three major attributes: academic, athletic,
and news media coverage. If a college presents a good image to its students, the students would have a high
level of satisfaction and build positive behavioral intention (high retention and positive recommendations
about the school to others). The image of an educational institution can be recognized as an equivalent term
to service quality. Thus, providing a good image to the students is likely to shape high satisfaction and
positive behavioral intention simultaneously. We therefore formed the following hypotheses:
Hypothesis 4: A student’s perceived institutional image will be positively related to student satisfaction.
Hypothesis 5: A student’s perceived institutional image will be positively related to the student’s
behavioral intention.

Student Satisfaction
Findings in consumer behavior literature have shown that customer satisfaction is shaped by prior
expectation before the purchase and then a comparison of purchase experience with prior expectation (Tse
& Wilton, 1988). When the purchase experience is worse than the prior expectation, consumers are likely to
be dissatisfied. On the other hand, satisfied consumers are likely to repurchase the product and form
positive behavioral intention toward the product (Fornel, 1992). Specifically, consumers formulate
conscious plans to engage or not to engage in future purchasing behavior (Warshaw & Davis, 1985). Also,
positive behavioral intention includes spreading positive word-of-mouth information by sharing a good
experience with other consumers (Dutton & Dukerich, 2017). In the context of higher education, if students
have been satisfied with the quality of service provided, there is a high probability of a good retention rate as

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Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

well as recommendations for the institution to potential students who are preparing for admission. In other
words, students’ behavioral intentions would be the outcome of student satisfaction in a higher education
setting. Therefore, we formulated the following hypothesis:
Hypothesis 6: Student satisfaction will be positively related to the student’s behavioral intention.

Method
Participants and Procedure
Participants in this study were students pursuing a business major in a private university in Seoul, South
Korea. Ethical approval for the study was given by the School of Business, Sejong University, as an annual
survey of business school students. We used a convenience sampling method. The survey was conducted
from early through mid-December, 2017. The students were informed of the research purpose and self-
administered questionnaires were distributed. Of the 500 questionnaires distributed, 280 were completed
and included in the data analysis. Of these valid responses, all were from Korean nationals, and 56% were
from men and 44% from women. The average age of respondents was 23 years old (SD = 1.5; range =
19–30). Of the respondents, 19.3% were freshmen, 6.4% were sophomores, 35.7% were juniors, and 38.6%
were seniors.

Measurement of Variables
Service quality items were obtained from SERVQUAL, a generally used instrument for measuring service
quality throughout different service environments. We used 19 items in the five dimensions of SERVQUAL
(tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, empathy, and assurance) to assess perceived service quality
(Parasuraman et al., 1988). In this study, tangibility (four items) referred to the physical facilities and
equipment related to education (e.g., "Our school has up-to-date facilities."). Reliability (three items)
referred to how students perceive the institution’s ability to perform the promised services dependably and
accurately through lecture contents, student evaluation system, and professionality of lecturers (e.g., "I rely
on the lecture content provided by professors."). Responsiveness (four items) referred to the willingness of
service providers (professors and staff) to help students and provide prompt service (e.g., "Our professors
respond promptly to the students’ questions."). Empathy (four items) referred to the provision of
compassionate and individualized attention to each student (e.g., "Our professors provide individualized
attention to the students."). Assurance (four items) referred to the knowledge of professors and staff and
their capability to deliver trust and confidence (e.g., "I am assured of the knowledge of our professors and
that they deliver this to the students.").

In addition to SERVQUAL, we measured student perception of the institutional image as impressive,


symbolic, likable, with three items (e.g., I am impressed with our school’s image) adapted from Narteh
(2013). We measured student satisfaction with four items (e.g., I am satisfied with our school) adapted from
Westbrook and Oliver (1991). We measured behavioral intention, such as willingness to recommend, or
being involved in alumni activities, with four items (e.g., I am willing to recommend our school to others)
from Zeithaml, Berry, and Parasuraman (1996). All the constructs in this research were measured using a
seven-point Likert scale with scores ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Cronbach’s
alpha coefficients for the tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, empathy, and assurance dimensions in the
SERVQUAL were .71, .83, .67, .77, and .96, respectively. Alpha coefficients for perceived image, satisfaction,
and behavioral intention were .85, .63, and .76, respectively. The scales demonstrated acceptable reliability
and validity.

Results
The measurement properties of the constructs are presented in Table 1. Confirmatory factor analysis was
conducted to examine the factor structure of service quality and verify the dimensionality of the
SERVQUAL. All the factor loadings were significant and loaded highly on their expected constructs.

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Hwang, Choi

Goodness-of-fit indices for root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), normed fit index (NFI),
comparative fit index (CFI), goodness-of-fit index (GFI), and standardized root mean square residual
(SRMR) indicated a reasonable level of fit to the data (χ2/df = 2.66, GFI = .91, NFI = .93, CFI = .96, and
RMSEA = .077). The goodness-of-fit indices for perceived institutional image, student satisfaction, and
behavioral intention fit the data well (χ2/df = 2.02, GFI = .97, NFI = .96, CFI = .98, and RMSEA = .061).
Composite reliability and average variance extracted were calculated for each factor. An examination of
factor loadings and the t values revealed that all the loading values were acceptable and statistically
significant (p < .05). Evidence of discriminant validity was found by examining the estimated correlations
between the latent factors. Although the correlation between service quality and student satisfaction was
relatively higher than other correlations, regression results show that there was no existence of
multicollinearity between the variables (e.g., tolerance = 1.0, VIF = 1.0, condition index = 12.07). Thus, we
concluded that there was no existence of multicollinearity in the model as indicated by the tolerance, VIF,
and condition index (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 1998; Kline, 2005).

Table 1. Reliability Estimates and Interfactor Correlation Coefficients of Study Variables

Note. α = Cronbach’s alpha, CR = composite reliability, AVE = average variance extracted.


** p < .01.

Before the analysis of the structural model, we inspected the normality assumption of the data. The
Bollen–Stine bootstrap p value was .003, which indicates that the normality of data in the model is not
correct. The assumption of normality is rarely met because of the measurement procedures researchers
typically use, and this assumption is one of the least important in linear regression analysis (Hayes, 2013).
One approach to handling the presence of multivariate nonnormal data is to use a procedure of
bootstrapping (West, Finch, & Curran, 1995; Yung & Bentler, 1996). The bootstrap for 300 samples resulted
in a confidence interval that does not include zero (p < .01) for the estimates of relations among the
variables. Therefore, we concluded that the estimated relationships in the model (Figure 1) are correct.

The hypothesized relationships among the proposed constructs were tested to show an adequate level of fit
(χ2/df = 2.71, GFI = .86, NFI = .88, CFI = .92, and RMSEA = .078). As seen in Table 2, the estimation of the
effects among the variables showed that service quality had significant and positive effects on perceived
institutional image and student satisfaction directly, and, in turn, perceived institutional image influenced
student satisfaction and behavioral intention. Then, student satisfaction affected behavioral intention
directly. The R2 on the consequence variables, which are explained by antecedents, were relatively high.
For example, the effect of service quality explained 32% of the variance of perceived institutional image. The
effect of service quality and institutional image explained 68% of the variance of student satisfaction. The
effect of institutional image and student satisfaction explained 84% of the variance of behavioral intention.
As shown in Table 2, service quality influenced behavioral intention indirectly through perceived
institutional image and student satisfaction, but the effect of institutional image was relatively weaker. In
terms of total effects, student satisfaction had the highest influence on behavioral intention, followed by
service quality, and perceived institutional image. Therefore, Hypotheses 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 were supported,
whereas Hypothesis 3 was not supported as no direct relationship between service quality and behavioral
intention was found.

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Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Figure 1. Structural relationships among service quality, perceived image, satisfaction, and behavioral
intention.
* p < .001.

Table 2. The Direct Effect, Indirect Effect, and Total Effect Among Study Variables

For a clearer understanding of total, indirect, and direct effects among the variables, we conducted
additional analysis. Using PROCESS macros (Model 6, 5,000 bootstrap samples; Hayes, 2013), we tested
the mediation effect of image and satisfaction between SERVQUAL and behavioral intention. The overall
model for the effect of SERVQUAL on image was significant, F(1, 278) = 214.43, p < .001, R2 = .39, and
SERVQUAL had a direct effect on image, β = .84, t = 14.64, p < .001. The overall model for the effect of
SERVQUAL on satisfaction was also significant, F(2, 277) = 125.35, p < .001, R2 = .42, and SERVQUAL had
a direct effect on satisfaction (β = .78, t = 11.60, p < .001). The overall model of the total effect of
SERVQUAL on behavioral intention was significant, F(1, 278) = 299.61, p < .001, R2 = .50, and SERVQUAL
had a significant total effect on behavioral intention (β = .98, t = 17.31, p < .001).

SERVQUAL had a significant total effect on behavioral intention. When we calculated direct effects of
SERVQUAL on behavioral intention that is conditional on image and satisfaction, the overall model was
significant and SERVQUAL had a significant effect on behavioral intention, F(3, 276) = 115.95, p <
.001, R2 = .60, but with much decreased coefficients (β = .47, t = 5.43, p < .001). This result indicates
that the direct effects of SERVQUAL have been partially mediated by image and satisfaction. Further
analysis shows that two types of three-stage mediation models were significant: the indirect effect of

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Hwang, Choi

SERVQUAL image behavioral intention is .20 (.37 < CI < .66), and the indirect effect of
SERVQUAL satisfaction behavioral intention is .29 (.21 < CI < .39). However, four-stage
mediation of SERVQUAL image satisfaction behavioral intention was not significant: .01
(-.02 < CI < .05). Therefore, we concluded that the three-stage models are consistent with the data, but the
four-stage mediation model does not fit the data.

Discussion
As the perceived importance of service quality of higher education has grown in recent years, this study fills
the gap in previous research by exploring the effect of service quality in higher education on subsequent
outcomes, such as student satisfaction, perceived image of institution, and behavioral intention.

The findings of our study, using SERVQUAL, indicate that students are generally satisfied with the various
aspects (tangibles, reliabilities, responsiveness, empathy, and assurance) of service quality. Also, according
to our empirical results from structural equation modeling, students’ perception of service quality directly
affects both student satisfaction and perceived institutional image, supporting both Hypotheses 1 and 2.
Further, the results indicate students’ perceived institutional image and satisfaction directly influence
behavioral intention, which supports Hypotheses 5 and 6. Although the empirical result of Hypothesis 3
indicates service quality is not a significant construct to predict the behavioral intention of students, our
results show a mediating effect of institutional image and student satisfaction on the relationship between
service quality and behavioral intention. This result shows that good educational service quality may shape
students’ positive images of and satisfaction with their institutions, but it does not always directly influence
positive behavioral intention. Hence, our study revealed the two different causal paths influencing
behavioral intention: service quality → institutional image → behavioral intention, and service quality →
student satisfaction → behavioral intention. In addition, perceived institutional image had a significantly
positive influence on student satisfaction, supporting Hypothesis 4. This result confirms findings from
previous studies in marketing and consumer studies that organizational image can play an influential role
on customer satisfaction (Ali et al., 2013; Hu, Kandampully, & Juwaheer, 2009; Kandampully & Suhartanto,
2000).

Overall, our findings have important implications for the higher education sector, as competition among
higher education institutions in Asia is growing due to globalization and competition from Western
countries such as the US and the countries of the EU. Also, service quality in higher education has a critical
mission for improving competitiveness, attracting promising students, and retaining existing students
(Sultan & Wong, 2013). Therefore, managers and educators in higher education institutions are likely to pay
more attention to the issues regarding quality of educational service. In South Korea, especially, as college
tuition costs continue to escalate, Korean parents and students are likely to demand more in terms of the
quality of the services in higher education. Specifically, students and parents affiliated with higher education
institutions may evaluate their own institutions in depth with a customer mindset and may perceive the
quality of services in terms of multiple dimensions (tangibles, reliabilities, responsiveness, empathy, and
assurance). Applying the SERVQUAL measurement may assist educators in understanding various aspects
of service quality in higher education. Students not only find physical facilities, curriculum, and programs of
the school significant for their perception of service quality, but they also find the relational aspect with
professors and administrative staff as significant factors in shaping the quality of service in their
institutions. In this respect, higher education institutions should put effort into enhancing and building
relationships with the students by applying customer relationship marketing methods. Approachability and
accessibility of faculty and staff are significant factors in the 21st century educational environment, which
involve providing personalized advice and feedback to students.

Recently in the education field, the concept of knowledge value has been gaining attention (Sharabi, 2013).
As the higher education sector enters a hyper-competition stage, students and parents are concerned about
the value of the educational service by comparing it with their investment in the service. One of the most

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Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

significant factors in shaping knowledge value is the quality of the service provided by professors who have
the primary role in delivering educational service. The findings from this study confirm that having reliable
and responsive faculty members will enhance the knowledge value of an institution. Enhancing knowledge
value generates wholly satisfied students who can express strong intention to use repeatedly and promote
the educational service (Brunner, Stöcklin, & Opwis, 2008; Musa, Doshi, Wong, & Thirumoorthy, 2012;
Ting, 2004). In the long run, generating and improving positive behavioral intention is a significant
attribute for the competitiveness of educational institutions.

Even though this study will help researchers and educators to understand the relationships among service
quality in higher education, institutional image, student satisfaction, and behavioral intention of students, it
is essential to clarify the limitations of this study. As the current study was conducted at a private business
school located in Seoul, South Korea, its findings cannot be generalized to other settings. Hence, similar
research should be conducted in other countries’ public or private colleges to expand the generalizability of
the results. Also, future studies could include a cross-cultural comparison in perceiving service quality of
higher education institutions and its effect on other constructs such as satisfaction and behaviors. In
addition, how students’ personal and social situational factors moderate the effects of service quality on
satisfaction and behaviors should be considered for future studies.

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