School Recommendations and Alumni Donations


Grady Bruce is looking for studies on word of mouth in the context of MBA students recommending their schools

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 18:28:19 -0600
From: "Grady Bruce" <>

I am working with a large, multi-year, international sample of graduates from MBA programs.  Research focuses on antecedents to: (1) the likelihood that they will recommend their schools to others deciding where to pursue an MBA; and (2) whether they are likely to give future financial donations to their schools.  Data are available for exploring many possible antecedents (including satisfaction with potential MBA benefits and satisfaction with aspects of the school/program they attended, expected salaries, and demographic characteristics).  While the WOM literature is rich (especially as regards recommendation effects), I am still looking for studies conducted in a higher-education context, especially as pertains to MBA graduates.  As regards donation behavior, the literature (cited below) is also rich, with criterion variables that are either based on actual donation behavior (Clotfelter, 2003; Belfield, 2000; Okunade, 1996; Okunade, 1997; and Hueston, 1992) or willingness to give (Stutler, 1996).  I have discovered only one paper (Okunade, 1996), however, that deals specifically with MBA alumni.
Any references to specific research on antecedents to MBA graduates’ (1) willingness to recommend their schools to others or (2) likelihood of making future financial donations would be greatly appreciated.
Belfield, C.R. and A.P. Beney (2000).  "What Determines Alumni Generosity?  Evidence for the UK," Education Economics, Vol. 8, No. 1, 65-80.
Clotfelter, C.T. (2003). "Alumni Giving to Private Colleges and Universities," Economics of Education Review, Vol. 22, No. 2, 109-120.
Hueston, F.R. (1992).  "Predicting Alumni Giving:  A Donor Analysis Test," Fund Raising Management, July, 1992, 19-22.
Okunade, A.A. (1996).  "Graduate School Alumni Donations to Academic Funds," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 55, 213-229.
Okunade, A.A. (1997).  "Determinants of Charitable Giving of Business School Alumni," Research in Higher Education, Vol. 38, No. 2, 201-214.
Stutler, D. and D. Calvario, "In Alumni Support, Satisfaction Matters," Fund Raising Management, November, 1996, 12-13.

Grady Bruce
Professor Emeritus
California State University, Fullerton