Brand Image of Umeå University: A Quantitative Study of the Effects on Students’ Attachment and Commitment
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The main purpose of this thesis was to examine the possible effects of various components of the university brand image on students’ attachment and commitment to the brand of Umeå University. In order to make a theoretical contribution to the university branding research, the conceptual model was developed and tested to find out the possible effects of constructs on each other. The proposed conceptual model focused on the university brand image, which contained nine different constructs. The other three constructs consisted of brand attachment, affective commitment and continuance commitment. The model was developed after revising the existing theory and realizing the knowledge gaps. Although there was previous research on the components of the university brand image as well as the research on attachment and commitment, these two studies were conducted separately. The theoretical contribution of this thesis was to combine these constructs in one conceptual model and test their effects. Besides, none of the found studies on attachment and commitment were conducted in the university context. The following research question was formulated in this study:
What kind of effects do various components of Umeå University brand image have on students’ attachment and commitment?
The study was conducted at Umeå University and the respondents were current students of the university. The findings of this study showed that not all hypothesized effects were significant as it was expected. The model on the effects of the components of the university brand image on attachment was not strong enough. However, it was found that mission and vision, social environment, practicability, physical actualities and aesthetic had significant effects on attachment. When testing the effects of the components of the university brand image on affective commitment it was seen that the model itself was strong. Moreover, mission and vision, social environment, practicability and aesthetic also had significant effects on affective commitment. In relation to continuance commitment, the regression analysing the impacts of the components of the university brand image was weak and only physical actualities had a significant effect. Another regression showed the significant effect of attachment on affective commitment. When testing the impact of attachment on continuance commitment, it was found that attachment had a positive effect on continuance commitment.
As a practical recommendation, it was suggested that Umeå University had to improve its graduation prospects, learning facilities, educational standards and external communications as these constructs did not have significant effects neither on attachment nor on affective and continuance commitment. If these areas were improved, it would probably lead to a higher attachment to the university. Higher attachment would, in turn, have a positive impact on commitment and it would probably keep students satisfied and improve the university’s image overall. A special attention should be also paid to the components, which were found to have significant effects, such as mission and vision, social environment, practicability, physical actualities and aesthetic as they currently determine students’ attachment and commitment to Umeå University brand.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 76 p.
Umeå University, brand image, attachment, commitment
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-74434OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-74434DiVA: diva2:633927
International Business Program
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law