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Analysing the Use of the SERVQUAL Model to Measure Service Quality in Specific-Industry Contexts

Mr. Tameem Al Bassam PhD Researcher tameem.albassam@brunel.ac.uk Information Systems Evaluation and Integration Group (ISEing) Brunel Business School Brunel University Uxbridge, UB8 3PH Middlesex UK Phone: +44 (0) 1895266025 Dr. Sarmad Al Shawi Lecturer sarmad.alshawi@brunel.ac.uk Information Systems Evaluation and Integration Group (ISEing) Brunel Business School Brunel University Uxbridge, UB8 3PH Middlesex UK Phone: +44 (0) 1895266025

Analysing the Use of the SERVQUAL Model to Measure Service Quality in Specific-Industry Contexts The survival of any organisation in a highly competitive environment depends on its ability to provide the best service quality to its existing customers as the quality of service is a key factor in the success of any organisation. It is well established that the measurement of service quality is an important procedure for the improvement of the performance of any organisation. Facts indicate that more attention is needed toward developing an industry-specific scale for measuring service quality from the end-user perspective within specific-industry contexts. The main aim of this research-in-progress paper is to review comprehensively previous and contemporary literature on service quality measurement and to discuss the key issues on the development of an industry-specific scale for measuring service quality from the customer’s perspective in specific-industry contexts. This study contributes to knowledge in the field of service quality research as it suggests future research directions for academicians in related research.

Keywords: Service Quality, SERVQUAL Model.

1.

Introduction

Nowadays, in a severe competitive environment, the most central factor to sustainable competitive advantage is to provide the best possible service quality which will result in improved customer satisfaction, customer retention, and profitability (Sureshchandar et al., 2002; Buttle 1996). The significance of the service quality concept derives researchers and scholars to address this issue and to investigate it further across different service sectors. Thus, throughout the past two decades, service quality has become an established area in the marketing literature. There have been many research studies that have studied, examined, and investigated its nature in the traditional face-to-face service environment (see, for example, Rust and Oliver, 1994; Hallowell, 1996; Sureshchanar et al., 2002, etc.). Moreover, numerous traditional service quality models have been developed to assess and evaluate service quality performance in the traditional service environment such as the SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman et al., 1985). It appears that service quality is not a new concept; however, measuring and managing service quality from the consumers’ point of view is still a developing and a challenging issue. Both from the academic community point of view, and in business practice, it is well established that measurement of service quality is an important procedure for improving the performance of service quality (Jayawardhena et al., 2004). Thus, there has been an abundance of research on the measurement issues of service quality, which have contributed to the development of a solid research foundation. In current service literature, there are a number of key instruments available for measuring service quality performance. Though, the SERVQUAL model has been the major generic model used to measure and manage service quality across different service settings and various cultural backgrounds (Buttle, 1996). However, apart from its wide use, a number of theoretical and empirical criticisms of the measurement

model have been pointed out (Ladhari, 2008). First of all, the validity of the SERVQUAL model as a generic instrument for measuring service quality across different service sectors has been raised. Also, there...
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