Service Quality

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www.sciedu.ca/ijba

International Journal of Business Administration

Vol. 2, No. 1; February 2011

Comparative Analysis of Business Students’ Perceptions of Service Quality Offered in Kenyan Universities Sarah Wambui Kimani (Corresponding author) The Catholic University of Eastern Africa P. O. Box 62157, 00200, Nairobi, Kenya Tel: +254-716-642262 E-mail: swambui@cuea, swambuikimani@yahoo.com Elias Kiarie Kagira Department of Business Administration, Africa Nazarene University (Kenya) P.O. Box -53067 Nairobi, Kenya Tel. +254- 713-209606 E-mail:ekiarie@anu.ac.ke, kkagira@yahoo.com Lydia Kendi Department of Educational Psychology, Kenyatta University (Kenya) P.O. Box 43844 Nairobi, Kenya Tel. +254-723- 835188 Received: December 6, 2010 Abstract The purpose of this study was to ascertain business students’ perception of quality of service provided by public and private universities in Kenya. As a comparative study, it aimed at understanding how various factors or dimensions of service quality affected their perception within a university setting. The comparison was between two public and two private universities located in rural and urban settings in Kenya. A survey design of cross sectional nature was used to assess business students’ perception of service quality. A 7-point likert scale questionnaire was used. It contained 73 statements about university administration, lecture halls, students’ cafeteria, library, residential halls, switch board, student support, academic staff, general institution and students’ welfare. The questionnaire also contained statements about overall quality of the institution, students’ feelings about the institution and their future visits in addition to the background data of the respondents. A total of 424 questionnaires were used for analysis. Findings indicated that most university students were positive about the quality of service they received in their respective universities with overall mean scores above average. The important dimensions or factors that determined service quality in Kenya universities were administrative quality, academic quality, programs quality, student support, and availability of resources. The comparative analysis indicated that the Rural Private university perception was most positive leading with an average score of 5.25, followed by Urban Public university (4.42), Urban Private university (4.22) and Rural Public university (4.07) in that order on a scale of 7.0. One of the limitations of this study was in the sample whereby the study measured only business students’ perceptions and left out all the other students taking other degree programmes. This limits the generalization of the findings across universities. The managerial implication is that measuring students perceptions of service quality enables a university to prioritize important factors identified as important by the students for effective allocation of resources. Comparing perceptions across the universities is critical for benchmarking and collaborative accreditations. Keywords: Service quality, Higher education, Perception 1. Introduction In today’s competitive environment, rendering quality service is a key for success, and many experts concur that the most powerful competitive tool currently reshaping marketing and business strategy is service quality. Over the years, 98

ISSN 1923-4007 E-ISSN 1923-4015

E-mail: lkendiuk@yahoo.co.uk doi:10.5430/ijba.v2n1p98

Accepted: January 31, 2011

www.sciedu.ca/ijba

International Journal of Business Administration

Vol. 2, No. 1; February 2011

service quality has been linked with increased profitability and is seen as providing an important competitive advantage by generating repeat sales, positive word of mouth feedback, customer loyalty and competitive product and service differentiation. As Zeithaml, Bitner and Glemler (Zeithaml, Bitner, & Glemler, 2009) point out that the issue of highest priority involves understanding the impact of...
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