An Exploration of the Components of Service Quality

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Literature Review Service Quality The initial efforts of defining and measuring quality have primary focused on goods since the end of 1970s (e.g., Clark et al, 1987; Garvin, 1984). Crosby (1979) described goods quality as to reach or exceed standards. Garvin (1983) suggested that goods quality could be evaluated by the incidence number of failures which occur either before a product leaves the factory or after a unit is set up in the field. Compared with the discussions on goods quality, service quality had been explored rarely then (e.g., Sasser, Olsen & Wyckoff, 1978; Gronroos, 1982; Lewis & Booms, 1983). Parasuranman et al (1985) is one of the cornerstone studies of service quality, which gave the definition of service quality as the discrepancy between customers’ expectation for service and their perceptions of service performance they receive. The three authors further developed a comprehensive measurement set of service attributes called SERVQUAL. An appliance repair and maintenance firm, several retail banks, a long-distance telephone provider, a securities broker, and credit card companies. ERVQUAL is a 22-item scale which measures service quality from five perspectives; reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles (Parasuraman et al, 1988). SERVQUAL has been widely used as criteria of evaluating service quality (e.g., Reidenbach & Sandifer-Smallwood, 1990; Tan & Pawitra, 2001; Markovic & Raspor, 2010). Zeithaml et al (1990, p. xi) applauded
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