South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 16, No 2 (2013)

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Managing postgraduate research service quality: Developing and assessing a conceptual model

Shawn Ramroop, Krishna Kistan Govender

Abstract


This paper reports on the conceptual development and empirical evaluation of a postgraduate (PG) research service quality management model, through conducting an electronic survey among a cohort of master’s and doctorate graduates at one of the top three research universities in South Africa, using specifically developed and validated research instruments.By fitting the data from a sample of 117 graduates to a conceptual model using structural equation modelling, it became evident that the PG research students’ perception of the Organisational Climate for Research (OCR) is associated with their perception of the PG Research Service Quality (PGSQUAL), the PG Service Experience (SERVEXP) and their perception of their Role (RC). However, no association was found between the students’ perception of the research climate (OCR) and their satisfaction (SERVSAT) with the research service; the service experience (SERVEXP) and postgraduate research service quality (PGSQUAL); service satisfaction (SERVSAT) and postgraduate service quality (PGSQUAL).  The aforementioned findings imply that higher education institutions need to create a research climate which is supportive of service quality, and better manage the research climate, so that the PG students are clear about their role, which will eventually translate to a better PG service experience and improved perception of PG service quality.

 


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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)