AbstractThis ‘proof of concept’ study explores the effect of service climate on student satisfaction in four UK universities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Service climate describes the perceptions that employees share about the conditions for service quality in their organisational environment. Only a handful of existing studies examine the relationship between service climate and service quality in higher education, and only one explores student satisfaction. This is the first such study in the UK and the first mixed methods study in the field.
The research examines possible links between service climate and overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) and whether a positive service climate resulted in greater student satisfaction and ability to respond to students’ needs. Service climate was assessed using a survey adapted from an Assessment of Service Climate Instrument developed by Schneider et al. (1998). Student focus groups and interviews examined how effective the four universities were at satisfying student needs during the pandemic.
All four universities in the study had developed a distinct service climate, with the greatest variation in scores seen in service quality. There was a possible positive correlation between overall student satisfaction NSS scores and service climate, although the Russell Group institution presented an anomaly. There was no evidence supporting a direct relationship between service climate and positive sentiment in the student focus groups and interviews, the detail of which provides a unique insight into how universities have supported their students during the pandemic.
Although issues with sample size and statistical significance mean that only qualified conclusions can be drawn, this study presents a valid instrument for measuring service climate in HE and indicates that service climate is a meaningful predictor of overall student satisfaction in the NSS.
|Date of Award||22 Feb 2023|
|Supervisor||Robert Eaton (Supervisor) & Andrew Pitchford (Supervisor)|