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Doctoral Degrees (Marketing)

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    Entrepreneurship education and students’ entrepreneurial intentions at selected tertiary institutions in Durban.
    (2023) Chasaya, Wimbayi.; Phiri , Maxwell Agabu.
    Entrepreneurship continues to receive much recognition worldwide from both the academic and corporate ends. High unemployment and failing economies amongst other factors have resulted in various stakeholders supporting the promotion of entrepreneurship. Educational institutions have since taken a leading role in promoting entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship courses have been introduced in universities to prepare students for entrepreneurship, institutions in South Africa have played their role in this regard. Emphasis has however been placed on the implementation of interventions that promote entrepreneurial development. Targeted interventions must be implemented to promote entrepreneurship behaviour. This study sought to determine the extent to which entrepreneurship education can enhance entrepreneurial activity as the researcher proposes entrepreneurship education as a key determinant of entrepreneurship intention. The results of the study were intended to benefit formal entrepreneurship education curriculum development towards the promotion of entrepreneurial intention and behaviour. The study followed a quantitative research approach and a survey research design. A sample of 280 students was selected from 1 000 undergraduate students enrolled for entrepreneurship courses in two public Universities in Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal and Durban University of Technology. Using a self-administered structured questionnaire which was electronically distributed, data was collected from 197 students and analysed using SPSS version 27. The findings of the study concluded that there was a positive significant relationship between entrepreneurship education and students’ entrepreneurial intentions (r= .79, p< 0.01). The results of the regression analysis however indicated that the best predictor of entrepreneurship education was subjective norms (B= .347; t= 3.783, p< 0.01). Results from T-tests analysis indicated that students who attended extracurricular (workshops, conferences, seminars) entrepreneurship programs offered on campus (M= 59.44, SD= 15.603) differed significantly with those who did not (M= 52.53, SD= 16.654). Students’ verbal responses indicated that entrepreneurial education must be augmented with practical education and extra-curricular entrepreneurship activities. The study provides recommendations to university education curriculum developers, policy makers and university management on the successful implementation of entrepreneurship education. Formal entrepreneurship education should be augmented with extra-curricular entrepreneurship activities such as business plan competitions, business workshops, entrepreneurship seminars and coaching sessions with industry experts and entrepreneurs.
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    The impact of internal marketing and job satisfaction on service quality in the public health sector: the case of Zimbabwe=Umthelela Wezokumaketha Wangaphakathi kanye Nokuneliseka Kwezingabunjalo Losizo Emkhakhani wezempilo: Isimo Sase Zimbabwe.
    (2022) Mutanho, Peter.; Soni, Sanjay Shantilal.
    Despite the growing concern about service quality in the public health sector in the developing world, studies focusing on internal marketing, job satisfaction and service quality in the public health sector are significantly missing in Zimbabwe. The major purpose of this study was to determine the influence of internal marketing and job satisfaction on service quality in the public health sector of Zimbabwe. The current study sought to answer the following questions: What is the influence of internal marketing on job satisfaction in the public health sector? What is the impact of job satisfaction on service quality in the public health sector? And, what is the effect of internal marketing on service quality in the public health sector? A pragmatic philosophy was adopted by the researcher in the current study, which resulted in the use of a mixed-method approach. The mixed-method approach allowed the researcher to use quantitative and qualitative techniques in the same study. A case study design was used, which allowed the researcher to concentrate his efforts on public health workers at Chitungwiza Central Hospital found to have an informed and deep understanding of internal marketing, job satisfaction and service quality. In drawing the sample for the current study, the researcher used stratified sampling to select both health workers and patient participants. Data was collected from a sample of 573 participants who comprised 240 health employees and 333 patients using structured questionnaires and interviews. Quantitative data was then tested using descriptive statistics, multiple linear regressions, explanatory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural modelling. The study ascertained that strategic rewards and organisational structure have a positive relationship with job satisfaction; job satisfaction and service quality-patient are positively related; job satisfaction and service quality and service quality-employee rated are positively related; strategic rewards, organisational structure, organisational culture, and employee empowerment have a statistically significant relationship with both service quality employee-rated and patient-rated. Iqoqa Yize kunokukhula ngokukhathazeka ngezingabunjalo emkhakheni wezempilo kumazwe asathuthuka emhlabeni, ucwaningo olubuka izimakethe zangaphakathi, ukweneliseka ngomsebenzi kanye nosizo kulomkhakha kuyagqoza eZimbabwe. Inhloso enqala yalolu cwaningo kube wukuhlola umthelela wezimakethe zangaphakathi kanye nokweneliseka ngokomsebenzi nezingabunjalo emkhakheni wezempilo eZimbabwe. Lolu cwaningo luhlose ukuphendula lemibuzo elandelayo: Yini umthelela wezimakethe zangaphakathi ekugculisekeni ngokomsebenzi emkhakheni wezempilo? Yini umphumela wezimakethe zangaphakathi ekugculisekeni ngokomsebenzi emkhakheni wezempilo? Nokuthi, yini umsebenzi wezimakethe zangaphakathi ekugculisekeni ngokomsebenzi emkhakheni wezempilo? Injulalwazi ye-pragmatic philosophy isetshenziswe ngumcwaningi kulolu cwaningo, okuholele endleleni exubile yocwaningo. Le ndlela exubile yocwaningo ivumele umcwaningi ukuthi asebenzise amasu ekhwalithethivu nalawo ekhwantithethivu, kulo lolu cwaningo. Uhlaka locwaningo lusetshenziselwe ukuvumela umcwaningi ukuba agxile kubasebenzi bomkhakha wezempilo base Chitungwiza Central Hospital abavele njengababambi-qhaza abanothile ngolwazi lwezimakethe zangaphakathi, ukuneliseka ngokomsebenzi nezingabunjalo lokusiza. Ukutomula isampula kulolu cwaningo, umcwaningi usebenzise amasampula asakuhleleka ukuqoka abasebenzi bezempilo neziguli ezingababambiqhaza. Imininingo iqoqwe kubabambi-qhaza abangama-573 abaqukethe abasebenzi bezempilo abangama-240 neziguli ezingama-333 kusetshenziswa izinhlolombuzo ezihlelekile kanye nezingxoxo. Imininingo eyiKhwalithethivu ihlolwe kusetshenziswa izibalo ezichazayo (descriptive statistics) , i-multiple linear regressions, ukuhlaziya amaqiniso ngokuchazayo (explanatory factor analysis) , ukuhlaziya okuqinisekisayo (confirmatory factor analysis) kanye ne structural modelling. Ucwaningo lukuqinisekisile ubukhona bomvuzo ohleliwe kanye nokuhleleka kwesikhungo njengezinto ezenza umphumela omuhle ebudlelwaneni bokugculiseka ngokomsebenzi obuzingabunjalo kokusizakala kweziguli kanye nobuzingabunjalo bokusiza abasebenzi kuhlobene kahle; umvuzo ohleliwe, ukuhleleka kwesikhungo, usiko lwesikhungo kanye nokuthuthukiswa kwabasebenzi kunobudlelwane obumqoka ngokwezibalo nabasebenzi kanye neziguli ezikaliwe.
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    Bottom of the pyramid: opportunity and feasibility analysis and strategy formulation.
    (2015) Oodith, Pravina Devpersadh.; Parumasur, Sanjana Brijball.
    ABSTRACT The year 2000 commemorated the inauguration of a millennium declaration in which 192 member countries of the United Nations pledged to achieve eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the first of which is the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. These member countries committed themselves to formulating constructive approaches that will uplift impoverished communities, promote human development and halve poverty by 2015. The intensity of this mammoth undertaking had raised skepticism that the poverty alleviation efforts of government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), aid agencies and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of organisations in the private sector were going to be sufficient in alleviating poverty of approximately 4 billion people who are economically at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) (Prahalad, 2005). The incredulity surrounding the existing poverty reduction tactics had created a necessity for the conceptualisation and implementation of feasible measures that will curtail the problem of poverty. Prahalad, an internationally acknowledged corporate strategist and the prolific author of the book entitled, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, believes that a joint collaborative effort by government, NGOs, large domestic firms, multinational corporations (MNCs) as well as the poverty stricken citizens themselves can be a solution to global poverty diminution. He affirms that this alternative, unorthodox approach to poverty alleviation will yield favourable rewards for all constituents involved. This study aims to analyse the consumer behavioural practices and spending patterns of South African BOP consumers. This study also purports to analyse the viability of Prahalad’s BOP proposition within the South African context, assess how prevailing strategies need to be altered in order for MNCs to profitably serve the needs of these consumers and to articulate creative strategies that will form the basis for a model of active engagement and competitive advantage at the bottom of the pyramid. The results of this study indicate that the BOP proposition definitely has the potential to flourish within the South African context and that this is a lucrative market that can be harnessed by MNCs in order to simultaneously generate profits and enrich the well-being and standard of living of the South African BOP citizens. The recommendations generated from the results of this study provide insight into how this goal will be achieved.
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    Adoption and usage of mobile marketing practices to promote domestic tourism: a case of Zimbabwe’s hospitality sector.
    (2021) Nyatsambo, Maceline.; Phiri, Maxwell Agabu.
    The escalated global use of the mobile phone and mobile internet presents endless opportunities for dynamic marketers. Elsewhere, research on the adoption and use of mobile devices to harness marketing opportunities has been growing steadily, while lagging in Zimbabwe. Despite the problem of declining foreign tourist arrivals, the Zimbabwean tourism and hospitality sector has not harnessed mobile marketing (MM) practices to promote its domestic tourism market for sustainability. The main purpose of the study was to establish the readiness of Zimbabwe's hospitality marketing employees to adopt and use mobile marketing practices to promote domestic tourism. Guided by the research objectives, the study analysed extant literature on mobile marketing adoption, acceptance and use, benefits of specific mobile marketing practices and tools, domestic tourism and hospitality marketing, to come up with theoretical constructs of the hypothesized model. A quantitative research methodology approach and cross-sectional design were adopted. Data was collected from 264 respondents in major tourist destinations of Zimbabwe using a self-completion, mainly structured questionnaire in a survey. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Modelling.The findings indicate that Awareness and nowledge; Experience; Social Networking habits and Perceived Usefulness(PU) positively influence behaviour intention (BI) to use mobile marketing (MM) practices amongst hospitality marketing employees in Zimbabwe. Perceived ease of use(PEOU); Management support; Company mobile technology infrastructure and Technology accessibility had no significant influence on BI. There was a significant indirect effect of Awareness Knowledge to Behaviour Intention mediated by PU and PEOU. Lastly, the results confirmed that BI had a significant positive influence on actual usage behaviour (AUB). The study recommends that marketing management in Zimbabwe’s tourism and hospitality sector should implement MM practice by providing marketing employees with mobile communication devices and mobile internet (Wi-Fi). These MM practices include use of mobile social media tactics like live streaming of tourism destinations and hospitality facilities, GPS enabled location-specific messages and targeted mobile messages via WhatsApp and SMS. Collaborations with mobile network operators would allow hospitality companies access to customer databases that can be used to recruit potential domestic tourists. The study contributes new knowledge by integrating constructs from technology acceptance and use theories and making an initial examination of these from the perspectives of marketing employees in the context of Zimbabwe’s domestic tourism and hospitality sector.
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    Developing a nation brand measurement framework for Zimbabwe.
    (2021) Chawuruka, Patson.; Phiri, Maxwell Agabu.
    The study sought to develop a nation branding measurement framework for Zimbabwe. The problem is that there is no objective measure that is used to assess the strength of a country brand, and Zimbabwe is not spared in this regard. The study adopted the post-positivism philosophy whose factor or cause-driven deterministic view falls in line with the objective of this research whose thrust was to determine the critical determinants of nation branding that may be incorporated in the nation branding measurement framework for Zimbabwe. The study used a mixed-method research design which combines quantitative and qualitative methods. Probability and non-probability sampling methods were used, as well as the stratified random sampling approach. The respondents were put into three strata, being drawn from key ministries, parastatals, and stakeholders. The purposive sampling approach was used, which in this study targeted respondents who had the requisite knowledge on nation branding in Zimbabwe. The research found that the strategic issues that were needed to improve Zimbabwe are sound economic reforms, political stability, the attraction of foreign direct investment, revision of policies, infrastructural development, and good governance. The other findings revealed that the critical dimensions needed in the development of Zimbabwe’s nation branding measurement framework, included people, tourism, investment and immigration, culture and heritage, governance, and exports. It emerged that the Zimbabwe government needed to make urgent efforts to address the issue of its negative image to avoid remaining side-lined by the international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. Political reforms were thus viewed as being necessary for fruitful re-engagement with the UK, USA, and the EU. Another noted observation was that the people dimension was a powerful element in branding Zimbabwe. It was thus recommended that to brand Zimbabwe, the country should utilise prominent personalities in the business and academic worlds. In considering the country’s high literacy rate, the exportation of skilled professionals like medical doctors, teachers, and other tradesmen to the Southern Africa region and beyond was recommended as a rewarding strategy that can help market the country. A need to conscientise policymakers on the benefits of nation branding to a country that has a negative image was also recommended. The study concludes that Zimbabwe needs both economic and political reforms before any nation branding exercise can be done because without such reforms re-engagement with the western countries would be a futile exercise.
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    The Impact of Corporate Brand Image on Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty and Switching Behavior: A Case Study of Mobile Telecommunications Customers in Zimbabwe.
    (2021) Chigwende, Shylet.; Govender, Krishna.
    Mobile telecommunication service providers in Zimbabwe are using corporate brand image to market their products and minimize brand switching which is resulting from increased market competition. The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of corporate brand image on customer satisfaction, loyalty, and switching behavior. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenient sample of 385 participants in Harare, the largest city of Zimbabwe. The sample size was determined using Rao soft sample size calculator to extract an acceptable sample size. A self-administered questionnaire with a five point Likert scale was used to collect data. Data collected were tested for reliability and validity using SPSS version 20. Structural models were constructed using SPSS with Amos (version 20). Five study hypotheses were found to be statistically supported. These were: 1) mobile network service providers’ brand image positively affects customer satisfaction; 2) Mobile network service providers’ brand image has a positive effect on customer brand switching behaviour; 3) Customer satisfaction positively affects loyalty; 4) Customer satisfaction has an effect on consumer brand switching and corporate brand image has an indirect effect on consumer brand switching behaviour through customer satisfaction; and 5) Corporate brand image has an indirect effect on customer loyalty through customer satisfaction. Two postulated hypotheses were not statistically supported and these are: 1) Mobile network service providers’ brand image has a positive effect on customer loyalty, and 2) customer satisfaction has an effect on consumer brand switching in the telecommunications sector. The researcher recommends marketers to take the present findings into consideration when designing promotional strategies for mobile network services. Marketers are also recommended to build a positive corporate brand image by participating in corporate social responsibility, improving the shopping environment, service quality and building good corporate reputation and identity for their organisations.
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    Digital marketing resources, capabilities, and marketing performance of agro-processors in Harare, Zimbabwe.
    (2020) Chinakidzwa, More.; Phiri, Maxwell Agabu.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    The relationship between consumer awareness, consumer protection, service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty among long-term insurance consumers in Namibia.
    (2019) Tjizumaue, Magreth Bianca Tareekouje.; Govender, Krishna Kistan.
    Due to the absence of appropriate consumer protection legislation in Namibia, there seems to be a lack of consumer protection and this may result in the exploitation of consumers by the suppliers of goods and services. Since the literature reveals that consumer awareness, protection, service quality and customer satisfaction influence customer loyalty, this relationship was explored among consumers of long-term insurance products. The researcher embedded the study in the Services Marketing and User’s Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction theory and developed a framework to create a more aware consumer and thus contribute to the growth and survival of the long-term insurance industry in Namibia. A mixed methods approach was employed, which included in-depth interviews with relevant government officials and representatives of certain long-term insurance service providers in Namibia, as well as a survey, using a questionnaire, among a judgmental sample of 407 consumers. The data obtained using each research approach was analysed separately and the results were triangulated. Structural Equation Modelling was used to analyse the hypothesized relationships among the research constructs alluded to in the title of this study. NVivo was used to analyse the qualitative data obtained from the individual interviews. In summary, it was ascertained that if customers were made aware (have sufficient knowledge) of products and their consumer rights, they would feel protected against unfair business practices. Furthermore, if they perceived that they were receiving quality services, they would more likely be satisfied with the service provider and would, therefore, remain loyal. It is recommended that long-term insurance companies create product awareness and ensure that consumers are educated about their rights. Furthermore, these companies should also adhere to consumer protection guidelines, as well as ensure that their employees receive training on the products. Moreover, government regulators also have to ensure that strict penalties are in place to sanction insurance companies that do not adhere to consumer protection laws and exploit ignorant consumers. Finally, consumers should be vigilant when purchasing long-term insurance products and know when and where to complain, should the need arise.
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    The influence of packaging and brand equity on over-the-counter herbal medicines in Kumasi, Ghana.
    (2018) Oppong, Peter Kwasi.; Phiri, Maxwell Agabu.
    In a highly competitive drug market, building vibrant brands would ensure that traditional herbal medicine companies gain sustainable competitive edge and long term profits. More importantly, successful brands need to be recognized as strong and enduring assets that can boost the companies` future growth in the industry. Distinctive packaging design is well-acknowledged to provide less expensive means of creating healthy brands with high commercial value. Despite the numerous advantages associated with well-designed packaging and brand equity of late, traditional herbal medicine companies are yet to reap the benefits in the over-the-counter pharmaceutical market. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of packaging and brand equity of herbal drugs in the over-the-counter medicine market. The research utilized a quantitative research method to align the research objectives with the philosophy underpinning the study. Using a systematic sampling technique, data were gathered face-to-face from 348 respondents selected from the herbal medicine market in Kumasi metropolis in Ghana. Through structural equation modelling (SEM) technique using SPSS Amos 22, the proposed research hypotheses were analysed. The findings of the research indicate that brand loyalty, brand awareness and brand association are the key sources of customer perceptions of brand equity in the over-the counter market. Essentially, brand loyalty was found to be the most important driver of value for brands in the over-the-counter medicine industry. The results also demonstrate that packaging contributes to enhance brand equity through the impact of brand loyalty, brand association, perceived quality and brand awareness of herbal medicine in the over-the-counter market. The study further found that, among the dimensions of brand equity, packaging plays a substantial role in creating brand loyalty in the over-the-counter pharmaceutical market. The study recommends that traditional herbal medicine companies need to concentrate their efforts on developing brand loyalty given its strategic role in the success of a business. Furthermore, traditional herbal medicine companies need to consider packaging in their brand-building efforts to strengthen overall brand equity in the over-the-counter drug market.
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    Business to business dimensions of relationship marketing in the South African cement manufacturing industry.
    (2015) Mubango, Phineas.; Phiri, Maxwell Agabu.
    The focus of this study was relationship marketing (RM) in the business-to-business (B2B) context in the cement manufacturing industry in South Africa. Literature reveals published research for the cement industry is limited, particularly in South Africa, regarding the dimensions of relationship marketing. Research in this field focuses primarily on other industries and no agreed dimensions of RM exist. One of the objectives of the study was to test satisfaction as a mediator between causes and outcomes, with the causes being supplier competencies, trust, commitment and communication and the outcomes being cooperation and loyalty. An additional objective of the study was to develop a framework of relationship marketing dimensions for the South African cement industry. Data was collected from 362 major cement customers throughout South Africa’s nine provinces using a face-to-face interview technique with self-administered questionnaires. The data collected in the empirical study was analysed using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). A framework of relationship marketing dimensions for the cement industry in South Africa was developed. It is anticipated this framework may contribute towards addressing the deficiencies in the implementation of relationship marketing strategies. The empirical results of this study suggested that a cement supplier should invest in methods of enhancing customer trust and communication in order to maintain customer satisfaction. The results also show that customer loyalty and cooperation could be maintained, by focusing on strategies for building relationships on the basis of customer satisfaction as well as surpassing customer needs and desires. One of the contributions of this study is the examination of the sequential logic of relationship marketing constructs in a business-to-business context for the cement industry. As a result, this study makes both theoretical and practical contributions to the field of relationship marketing. The outcome of the study developed a framework of RM dimensions, which could be used for the benefit of future researchers. It also presents findings of managerial interest such as the knowledge that satisfaction is a key factor between trust and communication. In addition, important outcomes of the relationship are cooperation and loyalty. The study offers practical contribution to the field of marketing by assisting cement companies to formulate profession-shielding mechanisms from competitors. The findings of this study also contribute by providing dimensions of RM, which may improve customer cooperation and loyalty within the cement and other business-to-business environments in related industries, which could lead to larger market share, higher customer retention and greater profitability. A limitation of the study is the use of a judgemental sample since the results may be interpreted to represent populations of those similar to the respondents only. Generalisation of results to the South African population and industries is therefore restricted. In light of this, it is recommended that the study is replicated for other South African industries.
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    Marketing mix's influence on mobile banking adoption by the rural unbanked consumers in Masvingo Province.
    (2016) Mbengo, Pinigas.; Phiri, Maxwell Agabu.
    Despite the growing concern in mobile banking adoption research in the developing world, studies focusing on mobile banking adoption by the rural unbanked consumers are significantly missing in Zimbabwe. The major purpose of this study was to determine the influence of marketing mix elements on attitude formation toward mobile banking by the rural unbanked consumers in Masvingo province. The current study strived to answer the research questions which included: Do financial product or service attributes have an effect on attitude to adopt mobile banking by the rural unbanked consumers? What is the impact of price satisfaction dimensions on attitude to adopt mobile banking by the rural unbanked consumers? Do distribution elements have an effect on attitude to adopt mobile banking by the rural unbanked? What is the influence of promotional elements on attitude to adopt mobile banking by the rural unbanked consumers? Is there any relationship between attitude and behavioural intention to adopt mobile banking by the rural unbanked consumers? 299 rural unbanked consumers in Masvingo province were interviewed and were intercepted at growth points, shopping centres and in the rural interior. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed to gather data through the use of a questionnaire. Quantitative data was tested using descriptive tools, bivariate analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and multiple regression analysis, and hypotheses were tested. Qualitative analysis was done in order to obtain further insights that could not be established from quantitative research. The study ascertained that perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, accuracy, price-quality ratio, perceived cost, trust, advertising, personal selling and financial education had a positive and statistically significant relationship with attitude formation toward mobile banking. Network coverage and price transparency revealed an inverse and statistically insignificant relationship with attitude. However, no significant relationships were recorded for trialability and service convenience with attitude toward mobile banking. The study established new factors such as price differentials, corporate social responsibility, price reduction, and other factors from the qualitative analysis. It is recommended that marketers, policy makers, and other stakeholders should consider the influence of marketing mix variables when developing strategies to ensure effective market acceptance of mobile banking services and policies that foster financial inclusion in Zimbabwe.
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    Service quality satisfaction and brand equity : a case study of select South African universities.
    (2015) Soni, Sanjay Shantilal.; Govender, Krishna Kistan.
    Service quality, student satisfaction, and brand equity are key principles in marketing that are known to play an important role in marketing success. Changes to the South African higher education landscape and the subsequent challenges accompanying these changes such as, inter alia, greater competition, declining government subsidies, and more discerning students, has necessitated managing higher education institutions like businesses, and the application of business and marketing principles to attain success has become imperative. Whilst the areas of Service Quality, Student Satisfaction and Brand Equity within a higher education context have been studied over time, there remains a dearth of literature in a South African higher education context. In fact, the association between service quality and brand equity, including their sub-categories, in a higher education context, is not only an under-researched area in South African higher education, but also in higher education internationally. Hence, the study’s contribution can be considered unique particularly in this context. The main problem that the study tries to seek answers to is what is the perception amongst students of Service Quality, Student Satisfaction, and Brand Equity, and the associations between these constructs for the selected sample of higher education students in South Africa? A purposive judgmental sample of 400 students from two select higher educational institution campuses were selected in equal proportions (i.e. 200 students from each institution). The data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and subjected to different kinds of statistical analyses. Descriptive tests for each construct were conducted based on frequency tables and graphs (including cross-tabulations with select demographic variables e.g. gender), cluster analyses, and factor and Confirmatory Factor Analyses. Inferential statistical analyses, to show the associations and predictive abilities of the independent variables within each construct was conducted using correlations, multiple linear regression analyses AND Structural Equation Modelling. A conceptual model was tested based on the aforementioned analyses. The study’s findings are:  The key service quality factors rated from highest to lowest were Responsiveness, Assurance, Reliability, Tangibles, and Empathy. iv  OVERALL SERVICE QUALITY (OSQ), OVERALL STUDENT SATISFACTION (OSS) and OVERALL BRAND EQUITY (OBE) were rated as above average.  No differences were found in OVERALL SERVICE QUALITY (OSQ), OVERALL STUDENT SATISFACTION (OSS) and OVERALL BRAND EQUITY (OBE) across demographic categories, except for race.  The key service quality dimensions based on its importance to the student, in descending order were Responsiveness, Reliability, Assurance, Empathy and Tangibles.  Statistically significant negative gaps were found for all the service quality dimensions, suggesting improvements are needed in all areas in order to close the gaps. The largest negative gaps were found for Reliability and Empathy.  Important service quality explanatory factors were Empathy, Tangibles. Reliability, Responsiveness and Helpfulness.  Important brand equity explanatory factors were Key Associations and Differentiation, Loyalty and Awareness.  Empathy, Responsiveness, Reliability and Assurance were significant and positive predictors of OVERALL SERVICE QUALITY (OSQ).  Empathy, Responsiveness, and Tangibles were positive and significant predictors of OVERALL STUDENT SATISFACTION (OSS).  Significant and positive relationships were found to exist between Empathy and Tangibles with OVERALL BRAND EQUITY (OBE).  Significant and positive relationships were also found to exist between Key Associations and Differentiation and Loyalty with OVERALL BRAND EQUITY (OBE).  The relationship between the dimensions of brand equity and OVERALL BRAND EQUITY (OBE) differ for male and female students.  Empathy and Tangibles significantly predict Loyalty.  Empathy, Assurance, Reliability and Tangibles significantly predict Key Associations and Differentiation.  OVERALL STUDENT SATISFACTION (OSS) and OVERALL SERVICE QUALITY (OSQ) are significant predictors of OVERALL BRAND EQUITY (OBE).  Service Quality (SQ), Brand Equity (BE) and OVERALL STUDENT SATISFACTION (OSS) are significantly and positively associated. In the light of the various findings, it is recommended that greater emphasis be placed by higher educational institutions on measuring and managing Service Quality, Student Satisfaction, and Brand Equity. Furthermore, the associations between the aforementioned constructs, and their measurement dimensions which emerged as being significant also needs to be carefully considered if Higher Education leaders are to attract and retain students in the highly competitive environment.
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    Consumer awareness, ethnocentrism, attitude and purchase behaviour toward imported poultry products : a Zimbabwean perspective.
    (2014) Makanyeza, Charles.; Du Toit, Francois.; Ramchander, Manduth.
    The global poultry meat industry has become very competitive as a result of increased international trade of poultry products for the past few decades while consumer behaviour studies focussing on international markets have received considerable attention. However, none of these studies have focussed on how consumer awareness predicts consumer attitude and purchase behaviour toward imported products. More so, the existing empirical evidence does not reveal how consumer ethnocentrism predicts the actual purchase behaviour of consumers. The present study, therefore, sought to answer the questions as follows: - (i) does consumer awareness predict consumer attitude and purchase behaviour toward imported poultry products? (ii) does consumer attitude predict consumer purchase behaviour towards imported poultry products? (iii) does consumer ethnocentrism predict consumer attitude and purchase behaviour toward imported poultry products? (iv) which are the critical decision factors considered by consumers when purchasing imported poultry products? A cross-section of 305 consumers was taken from Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. The respondents were intercepted while shopping in major supermarkets. A mixed method approach was used to collect data through an interviewer administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistical analysis, exploratory factor analysis and hypothesis testing were done on quantitative data. Qualitative data were analysed at three levels, namely thematic, content and discourse analyses. The study established that consumer awareness positively predicts consumer attitude towards imported poultry products. No significant relationship was found between consumer awareness and consumer purchase behaviour towards imported poultry products. Consumer ethnocentrism was found to inversely predict consumer attitude while no significant relationship was found between consumer ethnocentrism and consumer purchase behaviour towards imported poultry products. Lastly, the established that the factors considered by consumers when purchasing imported poultry products are price, quality, genetically modified food status, product labelling, country of origin, packaging, production methods and branding. It is therefore recommended that both marketers and policy makers take into account the present findings when designing strategies on the marketing of imported poultry products.
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    The effectiveness of the call centre in managing customers and their needs.
    (2012) Oodith, Devina.; Parumasur, Sanjana Brijball.
    Since customer service has become a key ingredient in cementing relationships, customer call centres have emerged as a tool for improving greater customer satisfaction. The aim of the study is to investigate the service environment within the call centre of the organisation and to explore the extent to which both call centre agents and customers perceive the dimensions (Human Resource, Technology, Infrastructure/Sick Building Syndrome, Customers) as having the potential to influence call centre effectiveness. The target institution selected is a Public sector service organisation that is an incoming call centre. In terms of the sample size of the study a sample of 151 call centre agents and 220 customers was drawn for the study using the cluster sampling and simple random sampling techniques respectively. A probability sampling technique was used to ensure greater generalisation of results. A separate questionnaire was administered to both sets of samples respectively; which comprised of 5 sections each. Section A pertained to the biographical details of respondents while Sections B through to E pertained to questions relating to the sub-dimensions of the study. The Validity and Reliability of the questionnaire was assessed using Factor Analysis and Cronbach’s Coefficient Alpha respectively. Descriptive and Inferential statistics were used to generate the results of the study. This study revealed that customer relationship management and services marketing are the cornerstone in today’s fast paced business world and failure by a business to embrace these concepts can cause firms to lose valuable customers in the future. The results of the study reflect that both agents and customers perceive that the dimensions (Human Resource, Technology, Infrastructure/Sick Building Syndrome and Customers) have the potential to significantly influence call centre effectiveness. Call Centres are indeed very powerful tools in forging strong ties between a firm and its customers but proper management and control is critical to this relationship. Based on the results of the study, a model comprising of critical recommendations has been compiled for practioners and other stakeholders which when implemented has the potential to enhance call centre effectiveness.