The IUP Journal of Marketing Management
Understanding the Dynamics Between Trust, Student Loyalty and Word-of-Mouth: A Case of Higher Education Institutions

Article Details
Pub. Date : November, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Marketing Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJMM161121
Author Name : Insha Amin
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Marketing
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 20



Previous researchers have made an attempt to study trust as an antecedent to student loyalty in higher education institutions but took a very narrow view, thereby treating it as a unidimensional construct. This study conducted an empirical investigation considering all aspects of brand trust that would be useful to fill this gap in the literature. A non-proportionate stratified random sampling technique was adopted and data was collected from 580 respondents. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), followed by Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), was used. The results show that different dimensions of trust have different impact on student loyalty. The main contribution of this study lies in validating a diverse measurement model of brand trust in the education context, which includes components like reliability, benevolence, credibility and integrity studied as separate dimensions, that was so far examined narrowly by previous researchers. By using these components as individual antecedents, the study was able to evaluate the relative effects of those on student loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. This in itself is a novel contribution, as no prior study has examined them this way.


The education sector, public as well as private, is booming. The demand for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs hereafter) has increased in the last few years (Girad and Pinar, 2020). Competition among the HEIs has increased significantly and they are struggling to attract and retain students (James-MacEachern and Yun, 2017; and Azzone and Soncin, 2019). Many HEIs are closing down every year because of lack of operating expenses and profits (ASSOCHAM, 2017). As a result, the education sector has become more commercialized and the concept of acquiring competitive advantage has gained momentum (Rampl and Kenning, 2014; and Tan et al., 2016). Previous researchers have made an attempt to study the antecedents to student loyalty and word-of-mouth formation in HEIs and used constructs such as student satisfaction, program image, institute image, etc. A few used brand trust as an antecedent for student loyalty in the higher education sector (e.g., Alves and Raposo, 2007; Helgesen and Nesset, 2007; and Yousaf et al., 2020). Despite the popularity that brand trust has gained in the literature,