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Service intangibility and its impact on consumer expectations of service quality

Charlene Pleger Bebko (Professor of Marketing, Eberly College of Business, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 1 February 2000



Among the areas which need to be addressed in service quality research is the nature of consumer expectations across the range of intangibility. Previous research has compared consumers’ service quality expectations across services, but different groups of subjects were evaluated for each different service. The problem with using different subjects for each service is that the subject’s demographic characteristics may be responsible for the significant differences in expectations of quality. This research uses a controlled, repeated measures design where subjects were each asked to evaluate three services, varying in their degree of intangibility, over a ten week period. This made it possible to look at service quality expectations without risking the problem that demographics would account for most of the differences in the data. A classification matrix for services based strictly on the feature of intangibility is proposed. The managerial implications of this simplified classification scheme for services are discussed.



Pleger Bebko, C. (2000), "Service intangibility and its impact on consumer expectations of service quality", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 9-26.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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