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Economic value for university services: modelling and heterogeneity analysis

Vol. 59 No. 5, 2017 p.671–690

Raquel Sánchez-Fernández, David Jiménez-Castillo and Angeles Iniesta-Bonillo

The study described here develops a perceived value model, from the alumni's perspective, to determine the sources of economic value universities must focus on to enhance satisfaction, organisational image and identification. The assessment of university audiences' perceived value of service is increasingly critical for universities to become more innovative and competitive, yet research rarely examines the nature, effects or perceptions of value in this context. The study also aims to identify alumni-specific differences in the model, considering the existence of unobserved heterogeneity. Survey data from a sample of 500 alumni were examined using partial least squares (PLS) and Finite Mixture PLS. Overall results support the model, but the heterogeneity analysis differentiates between two latent classes in the number of sources of economic value and the intensity and significance of the proposed relationships. The findings provide useful theoretical and practical insights, and highlight the importance of uncovering heterogeneity in structural models.


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