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Title: The meaning and management of product-service quality
Author: Backholer, Charlotte
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 4086
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores how quality is measured when a combination of product and service are being provided and investigated how these processes are managed. Relatively little research exists on measuring quality of Product Service Bundles (PSB). This thesis attempts to address this gap by carrying out multiple, cross-sectional case study research on a variety of business-to-business (B-2-B) PSB providers situated within the UK. The thesis makes three principal contributions. First, some aspects of quality need to be considered ‘core’ when providing an integrated PS offering and this work identified four that were predominant: physical product, product performance, service experience and service outcome. The empirical work also confirmed that these aspects need to be integrated in some manner and measurement was a critical part of this process. Second, building on this question of integration, the analysis of the eight pilot cases and four main project cases illustrated that the development of a quality assurance system (QAS) to measure the quality aspects of the PSB is fundamental to its success. The empirical work identified the role of the QAS, predominately focused on the product elements. Although, the QAS had the capability to manage the service element of the integrated PS offering, the research findings identified this was underutilised. Third, the management of the quality of an integrated PS offering, via the QAS, etc., must recognise the complementary nature of contractual and relational governance and then actively develop mechanisms that address and intertwine both dimensions of inter-organisational exchange. While existing research has considered them separately, this research considered them jointly, as part of the PS offering. Finally, several potential avenues of further work have been identified but, in particular, a longitudinal study would help to determine how the life cycle of the PSB influences the management of PS quality.
Supervisor: Lewis, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available