An exploration and extension of the Value Discipline Strategy (VDS) typology in educational institutions
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Purpose - While marketing research in the context of educational institutions continues to grow, little is known about the strategic choices associated with international student recruitment (ISR), an important activity that, increasingly, has significant influence on the longevity and prosperity of education institutions in many countries. This study addresses a deficit in the marketing/education literature by using the Value Discipline Strategy (VDS) typology as an appropriate framework upon which to investigate and expand our knowledge of international student recruitment (ISR) strategies operating in educational institutions. Design/methodology/approach - The research design comprised two stages involving both qualitative and quantitative methods. Participants were ISR practitioners in the secondary school and university sectors across two countries, i.e. Australia and New Zealand. Phase 1 involved in-depth interviews with ISR marketing practitioners across educational sectors, while Phase 2 involved the use of an online survey to a larger sample of ISR marketing practitioners. Findings - While the use of the VDS typology was found to be appropriate in the education sector, it was incomplete. This led to the proposal of a fourth strategy the authors label as entrenched isolation (Phase 1). Phase 2 results identified strategy commonalities and some important differences across sectors and countries. Research limitations/implications - From a theoretical perspective, the implications of this study are important as the findings lead to an expansion of the VDS typology. Practical implications - From a practical perspective, ISR practitioners are provided with a valuable tool to identify the ISR marketing strategy in their institution and, furthermore, implement strategic change that can be effectively measured. Originality/value - The contribution of the research is threefold. Firstly, the authors extend marketing strategy theory through the expanded VDS model. Secondly, the authors identify and validate strategies adopted by ISR departments across two countries and, finally, the authors validate the use of the self-typing paragraph method as an appropriate mechanism for strategy identification.
Marketing Intelligence and Planning
© 2012 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)