Human Capital as A Determinant of Service Quality in Accredited Universities in Kenya


  •   Godfrey Nyongesa

  •   Dr. Doris Mbugua

  •   Dr. Rose Boit


The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of human capital on the service quality of accredited universities in Kenya. The study was guided by the positivist domain which is a major doctrine or theory in social sciences largely used in survey types of research. The study employed both a crosssectional research design and an explanatory research design. The target population comprised 74 public and private universities in Kenya. The sample size was 222 respondents. The main data collection tool was a questionnaire. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Findings established that human capital had a significantly positive relationship with service quality. Human capital explained about 38% of the variation in service quality of accredited universities in Kenya. The practical implications for the study are that the human capital such as strategic leaders in universities should be aligned and increase their adoption of strategic leadership practices in order to inspire good managerial practices in universities. Additionally, the finding that human capital affects service quality is consistent with the Upper Echelons theory. This theory offers a framework for viewing leaders as wise, experienced, and educated change agents who serve as critical assets capable of enhancing service quality in their institutions.

Keywords: Accredited Universities, Human Capital, Service Quality.


Abdullah, F. (2006). The development of HEdPERF: A new measuring instrument of service quality for the higher education sector. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 30(6), 569-581.

Alzaydi, Z. M., Alhajla, A., Nguyen, B., & Jayawardhena, C. (2018). A review of service quality and service delivery; Towards a customer’s co-production and customer integration approach. Business Process Management Journal, 24(1), 295-328.

Angell, R. J., Heffernan, T. W., & Megicks, P. (2008). Service quality in postgraduate education. Quality Assurance in Education, 15(3), 236-254.

Archibald, R. B., & Feldman, D. H. (2008). Graduation rates and accountability: Regressions versus production frontiers. Research in Higher Education, 49(1), 80-100.

Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99-120.

Cheriuiyot, C. K., Jagongo, A., & Owino, E. O. (2013). Institutionalization of knowledge management in manufacturing enterprising in Kenya: A case of selected enterprises. International Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 3(10), 127-138.

Chong, Y. S., & Ahmed, P. K. (2012). An empirical investigation of students' motivational impact upon university service quality perception: A self-determination prospective? Quality in Higher Education, 18(1), 35-37.

Demming, W. E. (2000). Out of the Crisis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Center for Advanced Study.

Dewettinck, K., & Ameijde, V. M. (2011). Linking leadership empowerment behaviour to employee attitudes and behavioural intentions: testing the mediating role of psychological empowerment. Personal Review, 40(3), 284-305.

Ebrahimpour, M. (1985). An examination of quality management in Japan: implications for management in the United States. Journal of Operations Management, 5(4), 419-431.

Elkomy, S., Murad, Z., & Veleanu, V. (2020). Does leadership matter for health service quality? Evidence from NHS, England. International Public Management Journal, 1-29.

Galloway, L., & Ho, S. (1996). A model of service quality and training. Training for Quality, 4(1), 20-26.

Gudo, C. (2016). Influence of Financing on Quality of University Education in Kenya. International Journal of Managerial Studies and Research (IJMSR), 4(1), 49-58.

Hitt, Ireland, D., & Hoskinsson, R. E. (2011). Strategic management competitiveness & globalization: concepts and cases (11th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskinsson, R. E. (2010). Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases: Competitiveness and Globalization (9th ed.): Cengage Learning.

Jain, R., Sinha, G., & De, S. K. (2010). Service Quality in Higher Education: An Exploratory Study. Asian Journal of Marketing, 4(3), 144-154.

Juma, C. (2016). Education, Research, and Innovation in Africa: Forging Strategic Linkages for Economic Transformation. Paper presented at the A paper presented at First Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee in Education, Science and Technology.

Kenya, R. O. (2008). Republic of Kenya Investing in the Future of University Education, The National strategy for University Education. (2007-2015). Nairobi.

Kitonga, D. M. (2017). Strategic leadership practices and organizational performance in not-for-profit organizations in Nairobi County in Kenya. (Doctorate Thesis), JKUAT, Juja.

Kitonga, D. M., Bichanga, W. Ogutu, N., & Muema, B. K. (2016a). Strategic leadership and organizational performance in not-for-profit organizations in Nairobi County in Kenya. International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research, 5(5), 17-27.

Kristoffersen, D., & Woodhouse, D. (2005). An overview of world issues in quality assurance for higher education. Retrieved April 17, 2021

Landrum, H., Prybutok, V. R., & Zhang, X. (2007). A comparison of Magal's service quality instrument with SERPERF. Information and Management, 44(104-113).

Latif, K. F., Latif, I., Saibzada, F., & Ullah, M. (2019). In search of quality: measuring Higher Education Service Quality (HiEduQual). Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 30(7-8), 768-791.

Lear, L. W. (2012). The relationship between strategic leadership and strategic alignment in high-performing companies in South Africa. (Doctoral Thesis), University of South Africa, Pretoria.

Longden, B. (2006). An institutional response to changing student expectations and their impact on retention rates. Journal of Hiigher Education Policy and Management, 28(2), 173-187.

Mahmoud, A. B., & Khalifa, B. (2015). A confirmatory factor analysis for SERVPERF instrument based on a sample of students from Syrian universities. Education +training Journal, 57(3), 343-359.

Mbuchi, M. M. (2013). Innovations and service quality in Kenyas’ Higher education. (Masters), University of Nairobi, Nairobi.

Miller, W. H. (1996). Leadership at a crossroads. Industry Week, 19, 43-57.

Mutai, E. (2017, 26th, January). University of Nairobi is broke, says Auditor-General, Business Daily Newspaper.

Nel, C. (2008). High performing organizations. Unpublished document. University of Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch.

Odhong, C. A., Marangu, W. N., & Masungo, T. W. (2015). Strategic Leadership and Performance of Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies in Kakamega County, Kenya. European Journal of Business and Management, 7(13), 65-75.

Oduor, A. (2017). New admissions shine spotlight on quality of university programmes, The Standard Newspaper, pp. 19-22.

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1988). SERVQUAL: a multiple-item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of services quality. Journal of Retailing, 64(1), 12-40.

Parasuranam, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implication for future research. Journal of Marketing, 49, 41-50.

Serfontein, J. J. (2010). The impact of strategic leadership on the operational strategy and performance of business organizations in South Africa (Doctoral Thesis), University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, Stellenbosch.

Sharabi, M. (2013). Managing and improving service quality in higher education. International journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 5(3), 309-320.

Shisia, A., Sang, W., Matoke, J., & Omwario, B. M. (2014). Strategic Innovation and Performance of Public Universities in Kenya. European Journal of Business and Management, 6(23), 259-269.

Sifuna, D. N. (2012). Leadership in Kenyan public universities and the challnges of autonomy and academic freedom: an overview of trends since independence. Journal of higher education in Africa., 10(1), 121-137.

Sirmon, D., Hitt, M., & Ireland, R. D. (2007). Managing firm resources in dynamic environments to create value: Looking inside the black box. The Academy of Management Review, 32(1), 273-292.

Sultan, P., & Ho, Y. W. (2010). Service quality in higher education - a review and research agenda. International journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 2(2), 259-272.

Sultan, P., & Tarafder, T. (2007). Critical factors in service quality measurement for private universities: The case of Bangladesh. Ritsumeikan Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, 22, 75-98.

Sunder, M. V., & Sunder, M. V. (2016). Constructs of quality in higher education services. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 65(8), 1091-1111.

Taylor, J. S., Maria, D. L. M., & Marvin, W. P. (2008). Leadership and Strategic Management: Keys to Institutional Priorities and Planning. European Journal of Education, New Public Management and Academic Practices, 43(3), 369-386.

Tetteh, G. A. (2019). Evaluating university service performance using lean Six Sigma framework. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 10(4), 1018-1040.

Wangenge-Ouma, G. (2008). 'Higher education marketization and its discontents: the case of quality in Kenya'. Higher Education, 56(1), 457-471.

Yang , S. U., Sue, W. A., & Dennis, F. K. (2008). An Integrative Analysis of Reputation and Relational Quality: A Study of University-Student Relationships. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 18(2), 145-170.

Yeo, R. (2008). Brewing service quality in higher education. Quality Assurance in Education, 16(3).

Zakariah, M. R., Zakariah, S., & Pyeman, J. (2016). IPA vs SERVQUAL: Service quality measurement for higher education industry. Paper presented at the In Proceedings of the 1st AAGBS International conference on Business Management, Singapore.

Zeithaml, V. A., Bitner, M., & Gremler, D. (2006). Services marketing: integrating customer focus across the firm: McGraw-Hill Irwin.


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite
Nyongesa, G., Mbugua, D. D., & Boit, D. R. (2022). Human Capital as A Determinant of Service Quality in Accredited Universities in Kenya. European Journal of Business and Management Research, 7(5), 155–159.