Effects of the Awareness of University’s CSR on Students’ Word-of-Mouth Intentions

  • Oluwatobi A. OgunmokunEmail author
  • Seldjan Timur
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Management and Industrial Engineering book series (LNMIE)


Under recent circumstances such as globalization, edu-tourism and the privatization of institutions of higher education, the resultant competition in the higher education industry has forced universities to adopt an approach that is more business-oriented to compete in and overcome the challenges of the industry. One of the major challenges facing universities is student attraction and retention, as students face little or no barrier in transferring from one university to another. As a result, universities continue to seek effective ways to remain attractive to prospective students in addition to ensuring that their current students do not leave. While corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a means for firms to improve societal well-being, it likewise offers the opportunity to have a positive reputation and competitive advantage. Studies reporting the positive effect of CSR on stakeholders’ behavior are gradually increasing; thus, universities can use CSR as a part of their competitive strategy and positively influence the behavior of their students. However, for this strategy to be effective, attention has to be given to the significant role played by students’ understanding and awareness of the university’s CSR activities. This study investigates the association between students’ awareness of their university’s CSR initiatives and their intentions to recommend their university. This is particularly relevant primarily because studies that have explored the effect of CSR on stakeholders’ behavior have hardly considered the higher education sector thus leaving a void in literature this study seeks to fill. The primary data for this study is obtained from a structured questionnaire survey administered to students of Eastern Mediterranean University. Based on a conceptual model developed on the theory of planned behavior (TPB), this study investigates the causative relationships among awareness of CSR activities, perceived behavioral control, subjective norm, attitude and Word-of-Mouth intention using PROCESS macro. Theoretically, the present study contributes to the existing body of knowledge in this field by recommending and empirically analyzing an extended TPB model to predict students’ recommendation intentions as a result of being aware of their university’s CSR activities. This study is also relevant to the managers of higher education institutions as the findings suggest they can leverage on their CSR activities to build a reputation and gain competitive advantage.


Word-of-Mouth intention Corporate social responsibility Universities Theory of planned behaviour Higher education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationEastern Meditteranean UniversityFamagustaNorth Cyprus

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