Purpose - To measure the degree of implementation and satisfaction level with the outsourcing initiatives from higher education institutions. Design/methodology/approach - Uses a survey questionnaire to measure the levels of satisfaction with the institutions' services and the questionnaire was based on six factors that are deemed significant in making a privatization decision. It was tested for validity and was then e-mailed to a total of 138 presidents and/or vice-presidents of all private and public schools in the states of Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia in the USA. Findings - It was observed that the vast majority of institutions in all three states surveyed hold on to the concept of outsourcing according to their position in the system. The research shows that the possible motivations for outsourcing are cost savings and budgetary constraints, improvement of quality of services and staffing, lack of capability, safety concerns or liability of service, command from governing bodies, and pressure from peer institutions. Research limitations/implications - This is not an exhaustive survey of all private and public schools in the USA and it surveyed only the opinions of presidents and/ or vice-presidents of the selected schools. A case study may provide in-depth analysis of outsourcing in institutions of higher education. Practical implications - Focusing solely on surveys alone to determine the level of satisfaction of outsourcing in institutions of higher education can lead to false information. Originality/value - Provides valuable empirical evidence in designing and implementation of outsourcing in institutions of higher education. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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