A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and Its Implications for Future Research

6917 Words Mar 1st, 2011 28 Pages
A. Parasuraman, Valarie A. ZelthamI, & Leonard L Berry

A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and Its Implications for Future Research
The attainment of quality in products and services has become a pivotal concern of the 1980s. While quality in tangible goods has been described and measured by marketers, quality in services is largely undefined and unresearched. The authors attempt to rectify this situation by reporting the insights obtained in an extensive exploratory investigation of quality in four service businesses and by developing a model of service quality. Propositions and recommendations to stimulate future research about service quality are offered.

"People want some wise and perceptive statemeni like. 'Quality is
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Second, services, especially those with a high labor content, are heterogeneous: their performance often varies from producer to producer, from customer to customer, and from day to day. Consistency of behavior from service personnel (i.e., uniform quality) is difficult to assure (Booms and Bitner 1981) because what the firm intends to deliver may be entirely different from what the consumer receives. Third, production and consumption of many services are inseparable (Carmen and Langeard 1980, Gronroos 1978, Regan 1963, Upah 1980). As a consequence, quality in services is not engineered at the manufacturing plant, then delivered intact to the consumer. In labor intensive services, for example, quality occurs during service delivery, usually in an interaction between the client and the contact person from the service firm (Lehtinen and Lehtinen 1982). The service firm may also have less managerial control over quality in services where consumer participation is intense (e.g., haircuts, doctor 's visits) because the client affects the process. In these situations, the consumer 's input (description of how the haircut should look, description of symptoms) becomes critical to the quality of service performance. Service quality has been discussed in only a handful of writings (Gronroos 1982; Lehtinen and Lehtinen 1982; Lewis and