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Internal services: classification and quality management

Bernd Stauss (Catholic University Eichstaett, Ingolstadt, Germany)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 May 1995


The ultimate goal of total quality programmes is customer satisfaction. In order to reach that goal, TQM applies the customer orientation maxim internally, assuming that it can be applied without problems to internal services, too. Analyses the justification for this assumption. Argues that the concept of internal customer orientation only makes sense for workflow and audit/advice services, while evaluation/audit relationships do not comprise any kind of customer‐supplier relationship. It is shown that internal customer orientation does not arise automatically but results from management decisions which bring about an appropriate setting. Deals with the characteristics of workflow and non‐standardized support/ advice services and the consequences of these for the employment of customer‐oriented quality instruments. Points out that the strict realization of internal customer orientation can cause problems which prevent organizations from improving the quality of their products and services which are marketed externally.



Stauss, B. (1995), "Internal services: classification and quality management", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 62-78.




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