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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

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Factors Influencing the Development of a Competitive Advantage for Graduate Healthcare Distance Education Programs

Jean-Nicolas Poirier (New York Chiropractic College, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 3:45pm
Institutional Strategies & Innovations
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Oceanic 7
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 4

The attendees will learn and discuss the results of a research on the development of a competitive advantage for graduate healthcare distance education programs

Extended Abstract

The globalization of education has led to an increasingly competitive market among higher education institutions. As the competition for students intensifies, colleges and universities attempt to increase the value of their distance education program offerings by developing competitive strategies. Today, academic institutions are aware of the need to measure themselves against the competition in order to remain at the forefront. To that end, academic leaders need to understand the factors that can improve their competitive position.

This interactive presentation will discuss the results of a research conducted to identify and rate the factors that influence the development of a competitive advantage for graduate healthcare distance education programs as perceived by higher education institution administrators. For the purpose of this study, competitive advantage was defined as a benefit held by a higher education institution or program when it develops or acquires a value-creating quality that is not currently implemented by its competitors and is difficult to imitate. It promotes the development of a dominant position in a market.

The research was performed using a quantitative, descriptive, and cross-sectional approach. An electronic survey was completed by 98 academic administrators who oversee graduate healthcare distance education programs. The results demonstrated that 33 of the 38 suggested factors met the threshold to be considered as influential. Fourteen factors were perceived as "very influential" and 19 were perceived as "somewhat influential". The strength of the program curriculum, the strength of the learning environment, and the strength of the course delivery methods rated the highest. Overall, the factors contained within the category of internal resources and capabilities were perceived as more influential when compared to the factors within the category of external industry structure and context.

The results of this study provide a roadmap for academic programs to better implement their strategies and achieve their mission and goals. The audience will be engaged in a discussion on how the results of this research can be used to influence the development of a competitive advantage at their respective institutions.