The Determinants of Service Quality : Satisfiers and Dissatisfirers

8635 Words Mar 16th, 2013 35 Pages
The determinants of service quality: satisfiers and dissatisfiers
Robert Johnston
University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Introduction There appear to be five major debates taking place in the service quality area. One debate concerns the similarities and differences between the constructs of service quality and satisfaction (see e.g. Anderson and Sullivan, 1993; Bolton and Drew, 1991; Cronin and Taylor, 1992, 1994; Oliver, 1993; Parasuraman et al., 1988; Taylor, 1993; Zeithaml et al., 1993). There appears to be a consensus emerging that satisfaction refers to the outcome of individual service transactions and the overall service encounter, whereas service quality is the customer’s overall impression of the relative inferiority/superiority
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In the next phase of their research, Berry et al. (1985) found a high degree of correlation between, on the one hand, communication, competence, courtesy, credibility and security, and, on the other, between access and understanding; and so they created the two broad dimensions of assurance and empathy, that is, five consolidated dimensions. They then used the five dimensions – tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy – as the basis for their service quality measurement instrument, SERVQUAL (Parasuraman et al., 1988; Zeithaml et al., 1990). They reported further that, regardless of the service being studied, reliability was the most important dimension, followed by responsiveness, assurance and empathy. The intangibles were of least concern to service customers. These dimensions have been the subject of some criticism, though they have formed the basis for a considerable amount of research and application in the field of service management. Finn and Lamb (1991), for example, in a study of retailing, concluded that their results did not support Berry et al.’s (1985) belief that the instrument could be used to assess quality in a wide range of service firms. They found that the model’s five dimensions were insufficient to cover quality in a retailing setting. They questioned particularly

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