International brand alliances and co-branding: antecedents of cognitive dissonance and student satisfaction with co-branded higher education programs
The study investigates how in international partnerships the brand credibility of each partner, student-institution identification with each partner, and perceived service quality relate to student satisfaction. A structured survey questionnaire was completed by 528 students taking a co-branded higher education program in Hong Kong or Sri Lanka. The results indicate that the brand credibility of a foreign institution is a stronger influencer on student identification with the foreign institution as compared to the relationship between credibility and identification with the local partner. The negative relationship between organizational identification and cognitive dissonance for each institution in the partnership is also stronger for the foreign institution. As the popularity of international partnerships and co-branded higher education programs continues to grow, the importance and dominance of foreign brand credibility and student identification with foreign institutions is recognized.