Reputation in Higher Education: A Fuzzy Set Analysis of Resource Configurations

Carolin Plewa, Joanne Ho, Jodie Conduit, Ingo Karpen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Reputation is critical for institutions wishing to attract and retain students in today's competitive higher education setting. Drawing on the resource based view and configuration theory, this research proposes that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) need to understand not only the impact of independent resources but of resource configurations when seeking to achieve a strong, positive reputation. Utilizing fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), the paper provides insight into different configurations of resources that HEIs can utilize to build their reputation within their domestic and international student cohorts. Specifically, the results of a survey of current students at an Australian university distinguish nine diverse resource configurations leading to HEI reputation for domestic students. Reputation in the international cohort, on the other hand, is associated with six configurations, centered around learning support and campus life. Theoretical and managerial implications for HEIs are provided leading to directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)3087-3095
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Reputation
  • Higher education
  • Resource complementarity
  • fsQCA
  • Students

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