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Dynamics of service attributes: a test of Kano's theory of attractive quality

Lars Nilsson‐Witell (Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)
Anders Fundin (Department of Quality Sciences, School of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 April 2005




The aim of the paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the theory of attractive quality through an empirical investigation of an e‐service. Our focus is on the consistency of different levels of service attributes and their dynamics. Our empirical investigation aims to increase both the validity of the theory of attractive quality and the use of technology readiness as a means to understand the variation of customer perceptions of service attributes.


A survey of customers' technology readiness, usage and perceptions of an e‐service was conducted. Four propositions concerning the consistency and dynamics of Kano's theory of attractive quality are tested, mainly using general linear models.


Our results show that by investigating customers at different stages of the service adoption curve, a better understanding of certain dynamics of service attributes can be achieved. When the e‐service was introduced, it was perceived as indifferent; at present it is seen as an attractive service by the market. But the early adopters of e‐services already regard it as a one‐dimensional or a must‐be service.


The study provides a new framework and methodology for how to investigate the dynamics of service attributes, not only between individuals within different market segments, but also at different service attribute levels. From a managerial standpoint, our results suggest consequential insight about the life cycle of the services that an organization provides to its customers.



Nilsson‐Witell, L. and Fundin, A. (2005), "Dynamics of service attributes: a test of Kano's theory of attractive quality", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 152-168.



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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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