CORVALLIS, Ore. – A journal article by Oregon State University researchers Jim McAlexander and Hal Koenig on brand communities in higher education has been selected for the Alice L. Beeman Award for Outstanding Published Scholarship by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
The award was for their 2010 paper published in the Journal of Marketing for Higher Education.
In the paper, more than 2,000 alumni of colleges and universities from all 50 states and the District of Columbia were surveyed by OSU’s Close to the Customer Project, which is directed by McAlexander and Koenig. The Close to the Customer Project provides professional market research and consulting services delivered by faculty and student teams.
In this paper, the researchers found that alumni of smaller schools have more positive feelings about their education than those at large schools. These small-school alumni also tend to maintain closer connections with their faculty, advisers, and institutional leadership than the graduates of larger schools. However, they found no evidence that alumni had stronger or weaker connections to the school’s brand based on institution size, nor did alumni from smaller schools report having more satisfying interactions with their alumni peers.
“We are pleased and honored that our research efforts to help advancement professionals build better and stronger relationships with alumni are gaining respect and are having positive impacts,” said McAlexander, a professor of marketing at OSU.
“As academics we understand the tremendous importance and value of maintaining supportive and vital relationships with our alumni,” he added. “As our research demonstrates, the university and its alumni are both well served when we can foster mutually valued and supportive relationships with our alumni.”
For more information on the Building Community Initiative, go to: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/c2cbci/