At the end of Chapter 5,the authors note that people may be more willing to make specific investments in a relationship if the length of that…

At the end of Chapter 5, the authors note that people may be more willing to make specific investments in a relationship if the length of that relationship is secured. Although this discussion focuses on business relationships, the authors cite marriage as an example of a long-term commitment that encourages us to make specific investments in the relationship.

Another important set of relationship-specific investments are the commitment that students make to their universities. These relationships tend last for several years while the students are working on their degree programs (and beyond through the alumni programs). Suppose the relationship involved shorter term commitments — for example, suppose students had to reapply for admission to the university each year during their course of study, and there is a chance that a student may not be readmitted in the middle of their degree program.

What impact would this change from a long-term to a short-term relationship have on the investments that students make in their relationship with the university? How could the students protect themselves in this situation? Are there any reasons why the universities may prefer to keep their relationships with their students as a long-term commitment?

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