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An evaluation of South African Business Schools' brand management strategies and its effect on students; (a case study of the UKZN GSB’s MBA programme)

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ABSTRACT Background The KwaZulu-Natal Graduate School of Business and Leadership is the prominent business school within the KwaZulu-Natal region. One of the primary reasons for its dominance is the competitive advantage derived from its human capital. It stands to reason that if the school wishes to remain the market leader within the KZN region and South Africa, it needs to ensure that it establishes effective brand management strategies to market its MBA programme in order to remain the University of Choice to South African student population. Methods The research design is of a quantitative and descriptive nature. A non-probability sampling technique was used which is described as a technique in which units of a sample are selected on the basis of personal judgment or convenience. A detailed questionnaire was developed for this study. The basis of the questionnaire was the factors and variables that were highlighted in the literature review. The study targeted a total population of 203 and a sample size of 170 2nd year MBA students only. Results The results of this study indicate that student perceptions or choices are influenced largely by three strategies; namely: Inspirational leadership, Seasonal Apprentice Mentorships, and Equitable Rewards. Conclusions Brand awareness and brand communication were the most highlighted as in need of prompt intervention in order to position the school’s brand management strategies on the right track. Recommendations In an attempt to gain market share and to elimate the negative perceptions, it is recommended that the UKZN GSB make changes in its curricula so that students can integrate their learning and be able to apply multiple disciplines in the job.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.