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ISO 9000 and quality emphasis ‐ An empirical study of front‐room versus back‐room dominant service industries

Gavin Dick (Staffordshire University Business School, Stoke‐on‐Trent, UK)
Kevin Gallimore (Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, UK, and)
Jane C. Brown (North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, Bucknall Hospital, Stoke‐on‐Trent, UK)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 May 2001

Abstract

This paper seeks to illuminate how the emphasis on quality dimensions differs in service firms dependent on the size of their back‐room activity. It examines how that emphasis differs with Quality Certification (QCert). The research examines the relative importance attached by the chief executives of 93 large service organisations to both internal and external dimensions of quality. It analyses the relationship of these quality dimensions to the importance placed on the possession of QCert. The effect of process structure is explored by categorising service firms as being in front‐room versus back‐room dominant industrial sectors. The research findings provide empirical evidence that service firms who rate the possession of QCert as important, place much more emphasis on quality, and have a balanced perspective where internal and external quality are both emphasised. In contrast, service firms that do not promote QCert, emphasise quality less. In the absence of QCert, we find clear differentiation in how quality is conceptualised in front‐room versus back‐room dominant industrial sectors.

Keywords

Citation

Dick, G., Gallimore, K. and Brown, J.C. (2001), "ISO 9000 and quality emphasis ‐ An empirical study of front‐room versus back‐room dominant service industries", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 114-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/09564230110387498

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited