HCBE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship


Russell Abratt

Committee Member

David Smith

Committee Member

Mike (Yuh Jia) Chen


The objective of this research is to ground the reputation construct in theory and to explore the formation of reputation through beliefs about the university and attitude toward the university. Additionally, it will allow for analysis of the consequences of reputation, specifically behavioral intentions, which has received limited attention in the extant literature.

This study seeks a better understanding of the construct of reputation. Much of the existing literature on reputation has focused on measuring reputation. Earlier work identified reputation from a strategic perspective and more recently, studies have identified the importance of also understanding reputation from the stakeholder perspective. However, very few of either types of research have identified the theoretical foundation for the formation of reputation (Caruana, Cohen, & Krentler, 2006).

There is also a paucity of research that examines the consequences or outcomes of reputation. This study will specifically examine the impact of university reputation on the behavioral consequences of prospective students. This study utilizes the theory of planned behavior (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) to identify how reputation is formed through beliefs about and attitude toward the organization that results in behavioral intentions. The proposed model for this study is an adaptation of the Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) model and the model presented by Money and Hillenbrand (2006).

Respondents to the survey were prospective students at two universities in the southeastern United States. Results support the hypothesis that beliefs about the organization and attitude toward the organization are related. Multiple regression identified that emotional appeal, social and environmental responsibility and financial performance of the university were significant predictors for a student‟s likelihood of enrolling in the university.

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