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The Importance of Consumerism in Business Schools: A Comparative Study of Spain and Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Consumerism has been an increasing tendency in our society, especially in developed countries. The sovereignty of the consumer regarding to the supply is a much discussed topic in all industries. Business school industry, as an economic sector with high competition, has alsostarted to give some steps in this direction, looking for what is best for the students in the long term. The intention of this study is to analyze how Consumerism is applied in business schools, comparing two developed countries like Spain and Sweden.Consumerism has various meanings but we adhere to the following one developed by Kotler: Consumerism demands that companies should do what is best for the consumer; serve their interests, not their desires; even if this is not always what the consumer wants, especially in the short term (Kotler, 1972, p.50).The theoretical framework is composed by the following sections: First, what has been written about Consumerism is analyzed, in order to understand the meaning and implications of this concept. The second part aims to see what has been written about business school s to gain basic knowledge about the sector and comprehend the context in which a change is asked from the traditional way of working. Peter Lorange’s IMD model is used to illustrate this demand. Thirdly, both topics are linked to find the relevant aspects of Consumerism in this industry. Finally, a theoretical framework model is developed to achieve the aim of this thesis; to studyhow Consumerism is applied in business schools.This thesis is an inductive qualitative research, with an interpretative paradigm. The empirical research is based in seven semi-structured interviews with two business schools’ staff members(DBS and USBE) and their students. Findings are presented following the ten variables that we will define as relevant for the application of the Consumerist tendency in the business school industry. Eight of them refer to Consumers’ Protection and two of them to the knowledge offering (Valuable Knowledge and Preparation). Moreover, they are analyzed in three different implication levels: country, industry and consumer level.The results show that when it comes to consumers’ protection both countries’ business schools ensure all the basic rights of the students in a greater or lesser extend. Nevertheless, there is still a long way of improvements in the educational model, were a balance must be found between theoretical and practical knowledge. After considering the limitations of our sample, Spanish schools tend to be too practical and Swedish ones too theoretical. To enhance this situation, discrepancy between students and business schools should be minimized and best aspects of both schools strategies’ should be taken into account in order to give a better and more complete service that will satisfy consumers long term needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
Consumerism, Business School, Long Term Needs, Consumers’ Protection, Valuable Knowledge and Preparation
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-64000OAI: diva2:586011
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-01-15 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2013-01-15Bibliographically approved

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