Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

KM in Higher Education: Modeling Student Help-Avoidance Behaviors and Performance

KM in Higher Education: Modeling Student Help-Avoidance Behaviors and Performance
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Author(s): Derek Ajesam Asoh (Southern Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 3
Source title: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-929-8.ch340
ISBN13: 9781599049298
EISBN13: 9781466665378


Knowledge management is a relatively new management activity which many companies have embraced in an attempt to meet the challenges of an increasingly global business environment to compete over customers. Even though some have questioned the view that educational institutions can be and indeed are in business (Bishton, 2005), the competitive wave is being experienced in educational institutions. More than ever before, higher educational institutions now have to compete for students. Others have also questioned the view of students – whether students are customers or products (Clayson and Haley, 2005; Obermiller, Fleenor, and Raven, 2005). We take the view that students are customers to educational institutions, just as customers are to companies. We draw an analogy between the customer-company relationship and the student-university relationship and contend that just as companies have embraced knowledge management for customer relationship management; higher educational institutions could do same for student relationship management. Furthermore, we compare and contrast (a) educational institutions and companies as providers of services and/or products and (b) students and customers as recipients of services and/or products; contending that just as helpdesks are instrumental for customer relationship management in companies, faculty members play a similar role in student relationship management. Although every effort is made in colleges and universities to recruit, retain, and graduate students, quite often, little or no attention is focused to understand student help-seeking behaviors; which is an important contributing factor to student academic achievement and success. On the contrary, companies devote a lot of attention on acquiring and retaining customers. While customers will readily seek help from help-desks, the same is not true of students, who do not often approach faculty members to seek help. The purpose of the study is to develop a structural equation model relating student help-seeking behaviors and academic performance. Using a modified previously tested instrument, data collected through a survey of 120 students in an undergraduate IT course will be analyzed using the Partial Least Squares (PLS) structural equation modeling (SEM) software to delineate factors that account for student help-seeking behaviors. The quantitative analysis will be supplemented by qualitative analysis of interviews of eight faculty members teaching the course. The research builds on the theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1970) and will attempt to answer the following questions: (1) why do students seek or avoid seeking help when doing their academic assignments? (2) how does help-seeking behaviors relate to academic performance?, and (3) what should faculty members do to improve and foster student help-seeking behaviors? Based on the results of analysis, we provide recommendations for better management of the student relationship from a knowledge management perspective. Results of the study should be beneficial to educators and students.

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