University Institutional Research and Student Recruitment Performance: Utilizing Marketing Communication for Knowledge Heterogeneity

Reuy-Wei GONG, Fu-Sheng TSAI


Abstract. Institutional research constantly generate useful but heterogeneous knowledge for university administrations. Thus the effectiveness of institutional research dependes on the communication of those heterogeneous knowledge to major stakeholders (e.g., parents, students, teachers, etc.). A conceptual paper is developed in regards to the influences of institutional research, word-of-mouth (via internal students and faculties), quality signaling (to external prospect students and stakeholders as potential customers), and customer relationship management, on student recruitment performance as a special form of customer decision. Grounded on the marketing communication perspective, we propose that the student recruitment performance is largely affected by word-of-mouth, quality signaling, and customer relationship management as strategic marketing communications, which are facilitated by institutional research. Institutional research is interpreted as a strategic marketing tool that can help identify, communicate, and visualize the strengths of a university. The conceptual model contributes to the search for marketing mechanisms through which institutional research can generate impact to external stakeholders. Formal propositions and their implications for future, larger-scaled surveys were discussed.

Keywords: Institutional research, Word-of-mouth, Quality signaling, Customer relationship management, Student recruitment.

JEL. C40, H43, J68.


Institutional research; Word-of-mouth; Quality signaling; Customer relationship management; Student recruitment.

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