Social influence and student choice of higher education institution
Keywords:social influence, higher education, student-as-customer, choice models,
AbstractThis conceptual paper discusses changes in higher education sector, growing competition as a result of new private education providers and the adoption of student-as-customer perspective in recruitment and marketing of higher education institutions. The paper reviews numerous models of student choice and identifies inconsistencies in the role of social factors in the student choice. These inconsistencies are of special importance in current higher education landscape and growing prominence of peer-to-peer communication via social media. Consequently, a thorough understanding of influences that effect student choice of higher education institution is imperative. This conceptual paper puts forward a conceptual framework that integrates Kelman’s processes of social influence and Cialdini-Goldstein’s goals that underpin the acceptance of that influence to examine the effects social context has on student choice of higher education institution.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179-211.
Altbach, P. G., Reisberg, L., & Rumbley, L. E. (2009). Trends in global higher education: Tracking an academic revolution. A Report Prepared for the UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higer Education. Retrived from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.177.926&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
Avery, C., & Hoxby, C. M. (2004). Do and should financial aid packages affect students' college choices? Retrieved from: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10102.pdf.
Bagozzi, R. P., & Dholakia, U. M. (2002). Intentional social action in virtual communities. Journal of interactive marketing, 16(2). doi:10.1002/dir.10006.
Bateman, M., & Spruill, D. (1996). Student decision-making: Insights from the college choice process. College Student Journal, 30, 182-186.
Barnes, N.G., & Mattson, E. (2009). Social media and college admission: The first longitudinal study. Centre for Marketing Research. Retrieved from: http://www.umassd.edu/media/umassdartmouth/cmr/studiesandresearch/socialmediaadmissons.pdf.
Bearden, W. O., & Etzel, M. J. (1982). Reference group influence on product and brand purchase decisions. Journal of consumer research, 183-194.
Bearden, W. O., Netemeyer, R. G., & Teel, a. J. E. (1989). Measurement of consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence. Journal of consumer research, 473-481.
Bellezza, S., Gino, F., & Keinan, A. (2014). The Red Sneakers Effect: Inferring Status and Competence from Signals of Nonconformity. Journal of consumer research, 41(1), 35-54. doi:10.1086/674870.
Bertrandias, L., & Goldsmith, R. E. (2006). Some psychological motivations for fashion opinion leadership and fashion opinion seeking. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 10(1), 25-40. doi: 10.1108/13612020610651105.
Bonnema, J., & Van der Waldt, D. L. R. (2008). Information and source preferences of a student market in higher education. International Journal of Educational Management, 22(4), 314-327. doi:10.1108/09513540810875653.
Bouse, G. A., & Hossler, D. (1991). Studying College Choice: A Progress Report. Journal of College Admission, 130, 11-16.
Brooks, R. (2002). 'Edinburgh, Exeter, East London - or employment?' A review of research on young people's higher education choices. Educational Research, 44(2), 217-227. doi:10.1080/00131880110107405.
Burchell, K., Rettie, R., & Patel, K. (2013). Marketing social norms: Social marketing and the ‘social norm approach'. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 12(1), 1-9. doi:10.1002/ cb.
Burnkrant, R. E., & Cousineau, A. (1975). Informational and normative social influence in buyer behavior. Journal of consumer research, 2(3), 206-215.
Cabrera, A. F., & La Nasa, S. M. (2000). Understanding the College-Choice Process. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2000(107), 5-22. doi:10.1002/ir.10701.
Castleman, B. L., & Page, L. C. (2013). The not‐so‐lazy days of summer: Experimental interventions to increase college entry among low‐income high school graduates. New directions for youth development, 140, 77-97.
Castleman, B. L., & Page, L. C. (2013a). Summer Nudging: Can Personalized Text Messages and Peer Mentor Outreach Increase College Going Among Low-Income High School Graduates? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organisation, 15, 144-160.
Chalcraft, D., Hilton, T., & Hughes, T. (2015). Customer, collaborator or co-creator? What is the role of the student in a changing higher education servicescape? Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 25(1), 1-4. doi:10.1080/08841241.2015.1044790.
Chapman, D. W. (1981). A Model of Student College Choice. The Journal of Higher Education, 490-505.
Childers, T. L., & Rao, A. R. (1992). The influence of familial and peer-based reference groups on consumer decisions. Journal of consumer research, 198-211.
Cialdini, R. B., & Goldstein, N. J. (2004). Social influence: compliance and conformity. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 591-621. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych. 55.090902.142015.
Cialdini, R. B., Reno, R. R., & Kallgren, a. C. A. (1990). A focus theory of normative conduct: recycling the concept of norms to reduce littering in public places. Journal of personality and social psychology, 58(6), 10-15.
Constantinides, E., & Zinck Stagno, M. C. (2011). Potential of the social media as instruments of higher education marketing: a segmentation study. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 21(1), 7-24. doi:10.1080/08841241.2011.573593.
DesJardins, S. L., Ahlburg, D. A., & McCall, a. B. P. (2006). An integrated model of application, admission, enrollment, and financial aid. Journal of Higher Education, 381-429.
Deutsch, M., & Gerard, H. B. (1955). A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment. The journal of abnormal and social psychology, 51(3), 629-636.
Donehower, N. (2003). The Personal Touch Is Gone From College Admissions. Chronicle of Higher Education, 49(18), B16.
Ellison, N. B., & Vitak, a. J. (2015). Social network site affordances and their relationship to social capital processes. The Handbook of the Psychology of Communication Technology, 205-227.
Fernandez, J. L. (2010). An exploratory study of factors influencing the decision of students to study at Universiti Sains Malaysia. Kajian Malaysia, 28(2), 107-136.
Festinger, L. (1954). A Theory of Social Comparison Processes. Human Relations, 7(2), 117-140. doi:10.1177/001872675400700202.
Flint, T. A. (1992). Parental and planning influences on the formation of student college choice sets. Research in Higher Education, 33(6), 689-708.
Galotti, K. M., & Mark, M. C. (1994). How do high school students structure an important life decision? A short-term longitudinal study of the college decision-making process. Research in Higher Education, 35(5), 589-607.
Gatfield, T., & Chen, C.-h. (2006). Measuring Student Choice Criteria Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour: The Case of Taiwan, Australia, UK, and USA. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 16(1), 77-95. doi:10.1300/J050v16n01_04.
Gifford, D., Briceño-Perriott, J., & Mianzo, F. (2005). Pen to Mouse: Web-Based Technology's Impact on College Admission Applications. Journal of College Admission, 188, 16-20.
Guilbault, M. (2016). Students as customers in higher education: reframing the debate. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 26(2), 132-142. doi: 10.1080/08841241.2016.1245234
Hamid, S., Bukhari, S., Ravana, S. D., Norman, A. A., & Ijab, M. T. (2016). Role of social media in information-seeking behaviour of international students. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 68(5), 643-666. doi:10.1108/ajim-03-2016-0031.
Hanson, K. H., & Litten, L. H. (1982). Mapping the road to academe: A review of research on women, men, and the college selection process. In: P. Retrun (Ed.), The undergraduate woman (pp.73-97). Issues in educational equity.
Hartley, M., & Morphew, C. C. (2008). What's being sold and to what end?: A content analysis of college viewbooks. The Journal of Higher Education, 79(6), 671-691.
Hemsley-Brown, J., & Oplatka, I. (2015). University choice: what do we know, what don’t we know and what do we still need to find out? International Journal of Educational Management, 29(3), 254-274. doi:10.1108/ijem-10-2013-0150.
Hossler, D. (1999). Effective admissions recruitment. New directions for higher education, 1999(108), 15-30.
Hossler, D., & Gallagher, K. S. (1987). Studying Student College Choice: A Three-Phase Model and the Implications for Policymakers. College and university, 62(3), 207-221.
Hossler, D., Schmit, J., & Vesper, N. (1999). Going to college: How social, economic, and educational factors influence the decisions students make. Baltimore: JHU Press.
Ivy, J. (2001). Higher education institution image: acorrespondence analysis approach. International Journal of Educational Management, 15(6), 276-282. doi: 10.1108/09513540110401484
Ivy, J. (2008). A new higher education marketing mix: the 7Ps for MBA marketing. International Journal of Educational Management, 22(4), 288-299. doi: 10.1108/09513540810875635
Jackson, G. A. (1982). Public Efficiency and Private Choice in Higher Education. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 4(2), 237-247.
Jeong, J. W., Morris, M. R., Teevan, J., & Liebling, D. J. (2013). A Crowd-Powered Socially Embedded Search Engine. Retrieved from: https://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM13/paper/viewFile/5986/6365.
Jetten, J., Postmes, T., & McAuliffe, B. J. (2002). `We're all individuals`: group norms of individualism and collectivism, levels of identification and identity threat. European Journal of Social Psychology, 32(2), 189-207. doi:10.1002/ejsp.65.
Johnston, T. C. (2010). Who And What Influences Choice Of University? Student And University Perceptions. American Journal of Business Education (AJBE), 3(10), 15-23.
Joseph, M., & Joseph, B. (1998). Identifying needs of potential students in tertiary education for strategy development. Quality Assurance in Education, 6(2), 90-96. doi: 10.1108/09684889810205741.
Kealy, M. J., & Rockel, M. L. (1987). Student perceptions of college quality: The influence of college recruitment policies. The Journal of Higher Education, 683-703.
Kelman, H.C. (2006). Interests, relationships, identities: three central issues for individuals and groups in negotiating their social environment. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 1-26. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190156.
Kelman, H. C. (1958). Compliance, identification, and internalization: Three processes of attitude change. Journal of conflict resolution, 2 (1), 51-60.
Kelman, H. C. (1961). Processes of opinion change. Public opinion quarterly, 25(1), 57-78.
Kelman, H. C. (2006). Interests, relationships, identities: three central issues for individuals and groups in negotiating their social environment. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 1-26. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190156.
Kern, C. W. K. (2000). College Choice Influences: Urban High School Students Respond. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 24(6), 487-494. doi: 10.1080/10668920050137255.
Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons, 54(3), 241-251. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.005.
Kim, K.-S., & Sin, S.-C. J. (2016). Use and Evaluation of Information From Social Media in the Academic Context: Analysis of Gap Between Students and Librarians. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(1), 74-82. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2015.11.001.
Kinzie, J, Palmer, M., Hayek, J., Hossler, D., Jacob, S.A., & Cummings, H. (2004). Fifty years of college choice: Social, political and institutional influences on the decision-making process. Retrieved from: https://www.immagic.com/eLibrary/ARCHIVES/GENERAL/LUMINA/L040910K.pdf
Kropp, F., Lavack, A. M., & Silvera, D. H. (2005). Values and collective self-esteem as predictors of consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence among university students. International Marketing Review, 22(1), 7-33.
Liew, T. W., Tan, S.-M., & Jayothisa, C. (2013). The Effects of Peer-Like and Expert-Like Pedagogical Agents on Learners' Agent Perceptions, Task-Related Attitudes, and Learning Achievement. Educational Technology & Society, 16(4), 275-286.
Litten, L. H. (1982). Different strokes in the applicant pool: Some refinements in a model of student college choice. The Journal of Higher Education, 53(4), 383-402.
Mangleburg, T. F., Doney, P. M., & Bristol, T. (2004). Shopping with friends and teens’ susceptibility to peer influence. Journal of Retailing, 80(2), 101-116. doi:10.1016/ j.jretai.2004.04.005.
Maringe, F. (2006). University and course choice. International Journal of Educational Management, 20(6), 466-479. doi:10.1108/09513540610683711
Maringe, F., & Mourad, M. (2012). Marketing for Higher Education in Developing Countries: emphases and omissions. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 22(1), 1-9. doi:10.1080/08841241.2012.719297.
McCorkindale, T., DiStaso, M. W., & Fussell Sisco, H. (2013). How millennials are engaging and building relationships with organizations on Facebook. The Journal of Social Media in Society, 2(1), 66 – 87.
Mehboob, F., Shah, S. M. M., & Bhutto, N. A. (2012). Factors influencing student's enrollment decisions in selection of Higher Education Institutions (HEI's). Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 4(5), 558-568.
Mourali, M., Laroche, M., & Pons, F. (2005). Individualistic orientation and consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence. Journal of Services Marketing, 19(3), 164-173. doi:10.1108/08876040510596849.
Obermeit, K. (2012). Students' choice of universities in Germany: structure, factors and information sources used. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 33(2), 206-230.
Osatuyi, B. (2013). Information sharing on social media sites. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(6), 2622-2631. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.07.001.
Owyang, J. K., Bernoff, J., Cummings, T., & Bowen, E. (2009). Social media playtime is over. Forrester. Retrived from: http://www. forrester. com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0, 7211(47665), p.00.
Pampaloni, A. M. (2010). The influence of organizational image on college selection: what students seek in institutions of higher education. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 20(1), 19-48. doi:10.1080/08841241003788037.
Perna, L. W., & Titus, M. A. (2004). Understanding differences in the choice of college attended: The role of state public policies. The Review of Higher Education, 27(4), 501-525.
Pimpa, N. (2005). A family affair: The effect of family on Thai students’ choices of international education. Higher Education, 49(4), 431-448. doi:10.1007/s10734-004-2825-6
Price, I., Matzdorf, F., Smith, L., & Agahi, H. (2003). The impact of facilities on student choice of university. Facilities, 21(10), 212-222. doi:10.1108/02632770310493580.
Rowan-Kenyon, H., T., Bell, A., D., & Perna, L., W. (2008). Contextual Influences on Parental Involvement in College Going: Variations by Socioeconomic Class. The Journal of Higher Education, 79(5), 564-586. doi:10.1353/jhe.0.0020.
Schiffman, L. G., & Kanuk, L. L. (2007). Consumer behavior (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Sojkin, B., Bartkowiak, P., & Skuza, A. (2014). Changes in students’ choice determinants in Poland: a comparative study of tertiary business education between 2008 and 2013. Higher Education, 69(2), 209-224. doi:10.1007/s10734-014-9770-9.
Somers, P., Haines, K., Keene, B., Bauer, J., Pfeiffer, M., McCluskey, J., Settle, J., & Sparks, B. (2006). Towards a Theory of Choice for Community College Students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 30(1), 53-67. doi: 10.1080/10668920500248886.
Stafford, J. E. (1966). Effects of Group Influences on Consumer Brand Preferences. Journal of Marketing Research, 3(1), 68. doi:10.2307/3149437.
v. Wangenheim, F., & Bayón, T. (2004). The effect of word of mouth on services switching. European Journal of Marketing, 38(9/10), 1173-1185. doi: 10.1108/03090560410548924.
Veloutsou, C., Lewis, J. W., & Paton, R. A. (2004). University selection: information requirements and importance. International Journal of Educational Management, 18(3), 160-171. doi:10.1108/09513540410527158.
Wang, X., Yu, C., & Wei, Y. (2012). Social Media Peer Communication and Impacts on Purchase Intentions: A Consumer Socialization Framework. Journal of interactive marketing, 26(4), 198-208. doi:10.1016/j.intmar.2011.11.004.
Yang, J., He, X., & Lee, H. (2007). Social reference group influence on mobile phone purchasing behaviour: a cross-nation comparative study. International Journal of Mobile Communications, 5(3), 319-338.
How to Cite
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. All authors agree for publishing their email adresses, affiliations and short bio statements with their articles during the submission process.