• A study into the factors influencing the choice-making process of Indian students when selecting an international university for graduate studies using grounded theory

      O'Brien, Ann; Webb, Paul; Page, Steve; Proctor, Tony; University of Delft ; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (2007-07)
      Universities operate in an increasingly competitive market place facing new and complex socio-technical and economical challenges. For many universities international student recruitment is desirable and necessary for survival. Universities knowledge in this area is often an imperfect tool as the changing environment and diversity of cultures with which it must interact challenge previous assumptions and common wisdom. The overall goal of this study is to identify those factors responsible for influencing Indian students’ choice of international university for graduate studies. The results are based on a longitudinal study that was carried out using the Grounded Theory research method. This qualitative methodology provides a good framework for rigorous and relevant research of emerging phenomena in student mobility. Primary data consisted of unstructured interviews, focus groups and questionnaire surveys among participants of the sample population. The literature was used as a source of secondary data. A narrative style and thick description were used to report the research findings. Four major influencers emerged from the analysis, which are referred to as programme content, international reputation, funding and job prospects and quality. Drawing together these findings the study examines the implications for recruiting graduate students from India and reveals that there are a number of ways in which the university can influence the choice-making process. The results clearly provide a sound basis for future study.
    • Measurement of customer satisfaction and performance measurement within a local government framework

      Wood, Sheena; Webb, Paul; Page, Steve; University of Chester (2007-07)
      The aim of the paper is to establish a performance measurement framework for addressing and improving customer satisfaction levels within a public sector service. The paper describes the methods utilised in order to achieve these objectives by reviewing relevant literature associated with organisational performance and customer satisfaction. This informs and provide the framework for the research. A useful framework model was produced that facilitates the application of customer satisfaction measurement and enables performance in this respect to be monitored.
    • The “new managerialism”: Experiences of introducing formal management education into the public sector through the mechanism of the MBA dissertation

      Page, Steve; Proctor, Tony; Webb, Paul; University of Chester (2007-06)
      This paper reflects upon the authors' experience of supervising dissertations on a public sector executive MBA programme run for a large metropolitan council. The research method is based on participant observation and reflection whilst directing the work undertaken by the MBA students in carrying out their dissertation. We assess the benefits that accrue to staff teaching on the programme and reflect on the new opportunities, in terms of career development and better management practice afforded to executives who have participated in the programme. Academic staff benefits include: interesting and stimulating work which sometimes leads to refereed publications at conferences and in journals; consultancy & significant applied teaching materials and improvements to the applied knowledge base of teaching staff. Lessons have also been learned about good practice in supervising dissertations. Executive benefits include progression to promoted posts & gaining new insights into better or best working practices. Organisational benefits include cross fertilisation of ideas produced through interaction between programme members. This paper discusses how the MBA programme meets the demands of various interested parties.