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Title: Exploring lean strategy for service quality improvements in UK based airline
Author: Ali, Asmi
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 7533
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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As the airline industry continues to rapidly expand and evolve, today's airlines leaders are faced with the challenge of balancing long term strategies with short term solutions. Customer satisfaction has become significantly important for airline operations and as a result service quality has also gained paramount importance in this sector. Lean's customer-focused theme for improving service quality has gained a momentum in services, however, Lean deployment within the airline service sector is generally a long way behind manufacturing and health services. These factors have motivated research into investigating Lean phenomena within a leading UK airline company. For quantitative and qualitative data analysis, 9 cases were collected from 3 internal departments of the airline company, 35 semi-structured interviews were held, and 220 survey questionnaires were circulated of which 180 were returned. Within-case and cross-case analysis techniques were applied and, to develop a framework and 5 key relationships were identified. This study’s contribution is in the area of Quality Management as it: (a) highlights the role of ‘customer value’ and ‘engagement value’ in the domain of technical and functional service quality attributes; (b) maps cost-quality-delivery relationships through linking Lean improvements to its results; and (c) constructs an ‘outcome-driven’ framework from the findings. Ultimately, this research provides knowledge and understanding of how an airline company deploys Lean as business strategy to improve their service quality. The novelty of the research in terms of deliverables is two-fold: firstly, it establishes framework linking Lean improvement initiatives to its results, which extends to the sustainability, commitment, future profitability and market share characteristics of improvement results; and secondly, it provides a tool, which could assist key decision makers in evaluating the results of the Lean initiative to provide better understanding for Lean deployment. Key words: Lean services; business improvement strategy; service quality improvements; quality management; airline services; customer satisfaction; employee satisfaction.
Supervisor: Sharif, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Lean services ; Business improvement strategy ; Service quality improvements ; Quality management ; Customer and employee satisfaction