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Title: A service quality model matched by a customised instrument for measurement of retail service sector performance.
Author: Wang, Tianjin.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3561 6145
Awarding Body: University of Paisley
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 1998
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Developed nations, like the United Kingdom, increasingly have become service-based economies: in Taiwan, service industry accounts for more than 50% of GDP, exceeding the output value of manufacturing industry. Since 1988, Taiwan has followed the trend towards dominant employment by the service sector as opposed to manufacturing activity. The measurement of service quality performance is therefore important. Thus the main aim of this research programme was to develop a Service Quality Performance (SQP) model and to match it by a customised instrument for measurement of service quality performance. The service sector selected for study was that of retail supermarkets operating in Taiwan or in the UK. To achieve customisation of the Service Quality (SQ) instrument, the author used a sequence of synthetic procedures for generation of an item pool, complemented by analytic procedures for purification of test items: membership of the SQ domain was thus ascertained. Six stages of data collection served to test the relevance of items and factors to the service industry sector surveyed. Four of these stages were dedicated to development of a customised SQ instrument for use in Taiwan supermarkets. The fifth stage involved data collection from selected supermarkets in Taiwan and in the UK: relative weights of each SQ item and factor were then determined. Sixth stage customer survey of UK supermarket performance allowed comparison of Taiwan and UK service quality rating. The customised SQ instrument is named SCOPES, a mnemonic for its 6 factors: product Strategy, corporate Culture, employee Orientation, company Policy, physical Environment, and customer Support. Four factors represent the intangible elements of SQ performance, two factors represent tangible elements. A novel feature of the methodology employed by the author is application of Fuzzy Delphi and Fuzzy AHP methods to purify and to weight service quality test items and factors. Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA) was used to identify high importance/low performance items, followed by Cluster Analysis to enable comparison of competitive SQ performance of supermarket firms grouped intra-cluster and intercluster. Critical discussion of the SCOPES instrument by the author differentiates it from the SERVQUAL scale. The 26-item content of the author's instrument, customised for measurement of supermarket SQ performance, incorporates only 10 of the 22 items comprising the SERVQUAL scale: the others were deleted by virtue of purification procedures. The 6-factor structure of the SCOPES instrument is distinguished from the 5-dimension structure of the SERVQUAL scale. Acceptable validity and reliability findings in respect of the SCOPES instrument are reported. The author suggests that his item generation and purification procedures could be usefully extended to other sectors of service industry. Thus, item pools specific to each service entity could be created, refining customised measurement of niche service quality performance. Cost and time constraints limited sampling to twelve supermarket service providers, but the author advocates wider ranging study of developed and developing nations in respect of comparative service quality performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management & business studies