Behind the Curtain of the Beauty Pageant: An Investigation of U.S. News Undergraduate Business Program Rankings

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194322
Title:
Behind the Curtain of the Beauty Pageant: An Investigation of U.S. News Undergraduate Business Program Rankings
Author:
Perry, Pamela Ann
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The undergraduate business program rankings in USNWR are based solely on peer assessments from deans and associate deans of AACSB accredited U.S. business schools. Often these reputation-based rankings are discounted and likened to a beauty pageant because the process lacks transparent input data.In this study, ten deans and ten associate deans representing top 50 USNWR undergraduate business programs were interviewed. Seven of the institutions are public and three are private and all but two universities are AAU member institutions.The research answers the following questions: how do deans and associate deans define quality in their school's undergraduate program and in other schools' programs? How are administrators influenced when evaluating the reputation of peer schools? Are competitors treated differently when evaluating academic reputation? What methods are administrators utilizing to influence brand perception with their stakeholder and educational peers?Business school deans and associate deans emphasized different aspects of an undergraduate program in their description of quality. The deans most valued quality from faculty and research. The associate deans valued the undergraduate experience including sense of community, engagement, involvement, leadership, student services, as creating distinction in a program.Business school administrators are barraged by influences that affect their perceptions about program reputations. Overall the influences on perception included quality of faculty, research, student standardized test scores, resources, characteristics of an institution, professional involvement and social networks including networks with faculty, students, other professionals and employers that provide feedback about schools. Professional involvement and social networks (PhD students, other deans, siblings, friends, students, employers, etc.) provided administrators with important insight into academic reputation. The quality of people that the administrators knew from other schools made a difference in peer schools' reputation.Finally, most schools employ integrated marketing communication (IMC) including taglines, direct marketing, event marketing, feature promotions, customer service and brand messages to influence stakeholders and peers. This study confirmed that everyone in a business school is a brand manager because brand is influenced through numbers of interactions over time with a variety of stakeholders. True to the IMC framework, business schools have moved to a relationship driven educational model.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
branding; marketing; prestige; rankings; reputation; undergraduate business education
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Higher Education; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Lee, Jenny
Committee Chair:
Lee, Jenny

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleBehind the Curtain of the Beauty Pageant: An Investigation of U.S. News Undergraduate Business Program Rankingsen_US
dc.creatorPerry, Pamela Annen_US
dc.contributor.authorPerry, Pamela Annen_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe undergraduate business program rankings in USNWR are based solely on peer assessments from deans and associate deans of AACSB accredited U.S. business schools. Often these reputation-based rankings are discounted and likened to a beauty pageant because the process lacks transparent input data.In this study, ten deans and ten associate deans representing top 50 USNWR undergraduate business programs were interviewed. Seven of the institutions are public and three are private and all but two universities are AAU member institutions.The research answers the following questions: how do deans and associate deans define quality in their school's undergraduate program and in other schools' programs? How are administrators influenced when evaluating the reputation of peer schools? Are competitors treated differently when evaluating academic reputation? What methods are administrators utilizing to influence brand perception with their stakeholder and educational peers?Business school deans and associate deans emphasized different aspects of an undergraduate program in their description of quality. The deans most valued quality from faculty and research. The associate deans valued the undergraduate experience including sense of community, engagement, involvement, leadership, student services, as creating distinction in a program.Business school administrators are barraged by influences that affect their perceptions about program reputations. Overall the influences on perception included quality of faculty, research, student standardized test scores, resources, characteristics of an institution, professional involvement and social networks including networks with faculty, students, other professionals and employers that provide feedback about schools. Professional involvement and social networks (PhD students, other deans, siblings, friends, students, employers, etc.) provided administrators with important insight into academic reputation. The quality of people that the administrators knew from other schools made a difference in peer schools' reputation.Finally, most schools employ integrated marketing communication (IMC) including taglines, direct marketing, event marketing, feature promotions, customer service and brand messages to influence stakeholders and peers. This study confirmed that everyone in a business school is a brand manager because brand is influenced through numbers of interactions over time with a variety of stakeholders. True to the IMC framework, business schools have moved to a relationship driven educational model.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectbrandingen_US
dc.subjectmarketingen_US
dc.subjectprestigeen_US
dc.subjectrankingsen_US
dc.subjectreputationen_US
dc.subjectundergraduate business educationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHigher Educationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorLee, Jennyen_US
dc.contributor.chairLee, Jennyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLusch, Roberten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMilem, Jeffreyen_US
dc.identifier.proquest11201en_US
dc.identifier.oclc752261048en_US
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