subsequent dimensions, and overall structure is presented in Figure 1 above.
The qualitative findings suggest students’ perception of the SIR reflect
three relational constructs — Relational Participants, the Environment as a
Relational Setting or Context, and the interaction of each.
Relational Participants (P)
When asked which institutional representatives and interactions contributed
to their perception of the SIR, unsurprisingly, student respondents identified
a variety of individuals and groups of individuals. Students also included
inanimate organizational entities as being influential contributors, support-
ing the study’s overarching premise that students (and other college com-
munity members), anthropomorphize the SIR and elements of the college
experience (e.g., the college as a whole, institutional governance, and the
collective student body).
Descriptions of influential relational participant dimensions contributing
to student perceptions of the SIR also became evident during analysis.
These include the institutional role the participant holds at the college and
the relational role the participant plays in the relationship. Human and in-
stitutional relationship research suggest that the expectations participants
hold of other participants and interactions and the participants’ character-
istics or conditional effects also play a role in the student-institution rela-
tionship (SIR).
These findings are set out in Figure 2 below.
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