Unti 1

Welcome to unit 1 – loyalty! In this unit we …

  • define the term of loyalty.
  • we ask you to develop your own definition of loyalty.

Learning goal

  • You know more about the meaning of loyalty in the context of student participation.
  • You have an idea of what loyalty means and what it needs to develop.

Definition of loyalty in the context of student participation

For genuine, conscientious students’ involvement, students need to feel a certain degree of ‚loyalty‘, defined as a strong feeling of allegiance and attachment to one’s university or indeed to a collectivity or group of people within that university.Klemenčič, Manja

Source: Klemenčič, Manja (2015): Student Involvement in University Quality Enhancement.

If we have a look at the organizational theory, we can identify three different types of connections between the organisation and its members:

  1. Need fulfilment: It is about the students’ perception that they benefit from their university and that their expectations are compatible with those of the university.
  2. Mattering: It is about the students’ perception that the university cares about students’ matters. Students rate their university according to the level of wellbeing at this institution, including course offer, learning infrastructure, or offered services.
  3. Belonging: It is about the students’ perception that there is a deeper connection to their university. Whether through “perceived insider status, psychological ownership and organizational identification” (Klemenčič, Manja, 2015).

According to Stamper and Masterson (2002) the insider status is associated with students’ perception that they are an important part of the university. In case of psychological ownership, students feel strongly connected to their university and consider it “my university”. Organizational identification occurs when students define themselves through their university. This kind of identification is supported when students regard their university as special (Masterson and Stamper, 2002).

The sense of belonging only influences the degree of academic engagement but is also relevant for student retention, motivation, well-being and even health (cf. Klemenčič, Manja, 2015). The aim is to develop an appreciative partnership between students and the institution. This includes sharing of responsibilities and setting common strategies and goals. Students may develop from partners to leaders by defining their own pathways of engagement.

Source: Christina L. Stamper, Suzanne S. Masterson (2002): Insider or outsider? how employee perceptions of insider status affect their work behavior. Klemenčič, Manja (2015): Student Involvement in University Quality Enhancement.

Sense of belonging as a prerequisite or outcome of student participation?

We asked student representatives of the University of Applied Sciences: What were the reasons for you to get involved in your studies?

Student representatives of the University of Applied Sciences

Redefining and building loyalty

You now know more about the theoretical framework of loyalty, but what about the real-life practice? What do you need to develop a sense of belonging to a particular group of people? What does it take to transfer this feeling to an organization like your Higher Education Institution? Do you feel that you study at “your university”?

Let’s talk about loyalty!

Please use the following protected link to answer some questions.

You have forgotten the password for the survey? Please contact the administrator of the Mooc!

Additional material and literature

  • Klemenčič, Manja (2015): Student Involvement in University Quality Enhancement. In: Jeroen Huisman, Harry de Boer, David D. Dill und Manuel Souto-Otero (Hg.): The Palgrave International Handbook of Higher Education Policy and Governance. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, S. 526–543.
  • Masterson, Suzanne S.; Stamper, Christina L. (2003): Perceived organizational membership: an aggregate framework representing the employee-organization relationship. In: J. Organiz. Behav. 24 (5), S. 473–490.

Go back to module loyalty and culture.