The added value of brand alliances in higher education

Kalafatis, Stavros, Ledden, Lesley, Riley, Debra and Singh, Jaywant (2016) The added value of brand alliances in higher education. Journal of Business Research, 69(8), pp. 3122-3132. ISSN (print) 0148-2963


This study examines perceptions of brand alliances, in the form of dual degrees, between UK universities. Signalling theory and attitude accessibility are applied to test for evidence of added value of dual degrees bearing the names of two universities compared to single degrees. The results support the main hypothesis that perceptions of added value of a dual degree initiated by a high (low) ranked context university decline (increase) in line with the ranking of a lower (higher) rank partner university. The findings reveal interaction effects between the rank position of the initiating university and the evaluation criteria. Name-order effects explain the higher perceived value of a dual degree between high-and-low ranked universities compared to a dual degree between low-and-high ranked universities. In addition to being the first study to examine brand alliances in the UK HE domain, the study makes a number of contributions to the general brand alliance literature and provides managerial guidelines.

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