© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to extend existing research on stakeholder orientation (SO) on higher education institutions (HEIs) by segmenting Spanish public universities based on their perceived levels of SO and describing the profiles of the different segments identified. Given that being stakeholder-oriented, as well as being market-oriented, is a matter of degree and not an absolute condition, the authors expect to find heterogeneity among public universities in terms of their levels of SO. Design/methodology/approach: The authors designed a mail survey that was e-mailed to all managers of Spanish public universities, resulting in 795 usable questionnaires. A latent segmentation methodology was used to define the segmentation and profiling of the individuals. Findings: Through latent class segmentation analysis, two clusters were identified: high stakeholder-oriented universities (HSOs) and low stakeholder-oriented universities (LSOs). Interestingly, HSOs universities perceive themselves to have greater organisational complexity and a lower level of reputation than LSOs, but that they are more active in terms of resource acquisition. LSOs universities are larger than HSOs and have a superior ranking. Practical implications: This study will help university managers by providing useful information that will enable them to be more sensitive to the wants and needs of their stakeholders. It will also assist policy-makers who wish to support strategic decisions to promote differentiation among public universities, avoiding the mimetic effect. Originality/value: Latent class segmentation can be a very useful technique to segment public universities based on their SO. Wherever heterogeneity exists, the latent class analysis will facilitate identification of the clusters of public universities and the profile of these different clusters according to their level of SO (either responsive or proactive).
- Public universities