Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Business


Faculty of Business and Public Management

First Supervisor

Elaine Leong


Currently the field of marketing is undergoing a transformation concerning the appropriate marketing model to use in business. This transformation arose due to the mounting problems of the existing 4Ps Marketing Model, the heightened importance of customer retention, the requirement to continually add value to business processes and recent advancements in Internet technology. An alternate approach to the 4Ps Marketing Model began to emerge in the 1970's and was termed relationship marketing. This study is exploratory in nature and investigates consumer perceptions concerning customer intimacy. A self-administered mail questionnaire was employed to gather the necessary data from 300 solely external students from Edith Cowan University. In the analysis of the data, descriptive and multivariate statistics were used. The multivariate techniques include Factor Analysis, Stepwise and Multiple Regression and T-Tests. The study found interesting differences regarding the perceptions held by participants concerning customer intimacy at the university. The findings suggest that participants have highly positive perceptions regarding university contact, service continuance and service withdrawal. The study also indicates that participants have positive perceptions concerning external tutors’ knowledge, trust and comfort. Participants indicated moderately strong perceptions concerning the information they receive from the university due to the university's reliability, relevance and cooperation. However, participants had low positive perceptions concerning the personal relationship with tutors and with the university protecting and caring for students. Further analysis of the data with factor analysis, revealed there were four important dimensions in the perception of customer intimacy. The four dimensions are Care, Communication, Trust and Comfort. Cronbach's Alpha coefficient was used to test the reliability of the scale, resulting in coefficients of 0.90, 0.80, 0.65, and 0.70 respectively. Stepwise Regression was used in the analysis to quantify how the four dimensions affected how students rate their relationship with the university and multiple regression was used to determine the dimensions effect on the Internet. The results revealed that Care was a significant predictor of how students rated their relationship with the university. T-Tests were also utilised to determine if gender influenced how students rated their relationship with the university. The implications of these findings for marketers are discussed in the final chapter.

Included in

Marketing Commons