The Serpval Scale: a Multi-Item Instrument for Measuring Service Personal Values

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Journal of Business Research xx (2004) xxx – xxx

The SERPVAL scale: a multi-item instrument for measuring service personal values
Luis Filipe Lagesa,*, Joana Cosme Fernandesb,1
a
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, Campus de Campolide, 1099-032 Lisboa, Portugal Ericsson Telecommunications Portugal, Edifıcio D. Henrique, Quinta da Fonte, 2780-730 Paco de Arcos, Portugal ´

¸

b

Received 14 October 2003; received in revised form 1 June 2004; accepted 1 October 2004

Abstract
Personal values have long been considered an important variable in understanding consumer purchasing behaviors. Although research on values has been performed in a wide range of social disciplines, this variable has never been operationalized in the services marketing context. In this paper, we develop a scale that measures the personal values that are associated with using a service: the Service Personal Values (SERPVAL) scale. Insights from two empirical studies of service users indicate that this scale is multi-dimensional. It presents three dimensions of service value to (1) peaceful life, (2) social recognition and (3) social integration. Findings also reveal that all three of the SERPVAL dimensions are positively and significantly associated with satisfaction. Moreover, while service value to social integration (SVSI) is related only with loyalty, service value to peaceful life (SVPL) is associated with both loyalty and repurchase intent. Discussion centers on implications of this scale to theory and to managerial development of services strategies. Directions for future research in services marketing and personal values are also presented.

D 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Services marketing; Personal values; SERVQUAL; SERPVAL; Means end chain approach; Measurement; Satisfaction; Loyalty; Repurchase intent

1. Introduction
The shift towards a service-based economy has been
globally evident since the 1970s. Since then growth has
proceeded at double-digit rates. Today, services are a global business with the value of global trade representing one-fifth of all world trade. More firms than ever are selling services instead of selling goods (Szymanski, 2001). Even though

services are growing at an ever-faster pace, literature has
focused on a limited number of aspects, considering mainly
the extent to which consumers recognize service quality

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +351 21 3801 600; fax: +351 21 3886 073.
E-mail addresses: lflages@fe.unl.pt (L.F. Lages)8
joana.fernandes@ericsson.com (J.C. Fernandes).
URL: http://prof.fe.unl.pt/~lflages.
1
Tel.: +351 21 4466 662; fax: +351 21 4466 680.

(Parasuraman et al., 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994) or service
value (Bolton and Drew, 1991; Cronin et al., 1994).
However, there are unlimited avenues of interest in the
service area to be explored.
Major advances in services marketing will only be made
possible by means of a more integrated approach to
conceptualizing and developing measurement scales for
services. As a foundation for our research, we use Zeithaml
(1988) means end chain approach, which suggests that
before the final decision is taken, consumers analyze the
information associated with a service using four different
abstraction levels, ranging from simple attributes to quality, value and, finally, complex personal values. Surprisingly,
and although the intermediate levels have been extensively
explored in the services marketing literature, particularly
through the SERVQUAL scale (Parasuraman et al., 1985,
1988, 1991), there is a clear research gap at the highest
level, probably because this last level is more individual and

0148-2963/$ - see front matter D 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2004.10.001

JBR-06049; No of Pages 11

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L.F. Lages, J.C. Fernandes / Journal of Business Research xx (2004) xxx–xxx

complex than all of the other...
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