May 5, 2020

New Publication

New paper published in Higher Education Quarterly titled "Students’ perceptions, academic departments’ image, and major‐choice in business administration studies—The example of Hamburg Business School".
In Germany enrolment in majors is of considerable interest to academic departments, because their budget depends on the number of enrolled students. Besides observed factors, we presume that unobserved latent variables influence the major‐choice decision of students.

Using stated preferences data from a discrete choice experiment among students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Hamburg Business School (HBS), we employ an integrated choice and latent variable model (ICLV). Thereby, we model the influence of a major‐specific latent variable, labeled image, on the major‐choice decision of the students. To identify the latent variables, we utilise ordered categorical indicators that we obtained from the assessment of major‐specific psychometric factors among students. Our findings reveal a significant impact of the latent variable image on the major‐choice decision. We further show the advantageous characteristic of an ICLV model by illustrating the cause‐and‐effect relationship compared to classic multinomial logit models. Based on our results, we examine practice‐oriented, requirements, research, and supervision to be the most relevant psychometric factors that lead to the identification of the latent variables and provide insights on how academic departments at HBS can raise their major’s attractiveness from the student’s perspective.