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2017, Cilt 7, Sayı 2, Sayfa(lar) 378-391
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2017.215
Assessing the Environmental Conditions of Higher Education: In a Theoretical Approach Using Porter’s Five Forces Model
Bilgi University, School of Tourism and Hospitality, Department of Tourism and Hotel Management, Istanbul, Turkey
Keywords: External environment of Turkish higher education, Theoretical perspective, Five forces model

Increased demand for higher education and the change and competition it has brought have been a subject for many studies. In Porter’s five forces model, forces termed as the threat of new entrants, threat of substitute products, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of customers, and established rivals between the companies are used to understand the threats and opportunities posed by the industry’s environmental circumstances. The five forces model has been extensively used as an analytical tool to determine the intensity of rivalry and levels of profitability. Thus, managers can develop strategies and discover ways to defend their companies against competitive forces. Although there have been numerous studies conducted with this model for various sectors, the studies implementing this theory to higher education are very scarce due to uncertainty about whether higher education could be regarded as an industry together with its profitability and rivalry components. Specifically, in Turkey, with the idea of considering higher education to be an industry being disputable compared with western countries and even regarded as unmannerly and disloyal to academia explains the lack of studies on this subject. In this study, within the scope of the related literature, the five forces model will be discussed in conjunction with higher education. Subsequently, the factors and evaluations that are shown within this scope will be associated with the external environmental conditions of Turkish higher education. Since there is a lack of well-written sources and sufficient data, the association with Turkish higher education will not be deeply detailed. To perceive the threats and opportunities to higher education from external environmental conditions, an overall approach will be achieved. The theoretical substructure introduced by this study will bring a different viewpoint to politicians, university directors and academicians, along with being a basis for and providing vision to studies analyzing the threats and opportunities presented to Turkish higher education to develop proper strategies.

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