Exploring service quality in the health and fitness industry

Stefan Lagrosen (University West, Department of Economics and Informatics, Trollhattan, Sweden)
Yvonne Lagrosen (Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Publication date: 30 January 2007



The purpose of the paper is to discover quality dimensions for the health‐and‐fitness industry and to examine the salient aspects of the quality‐management practices of organisations in this industry.


The research in this paper uses a grounded‐theory approach to a multiple case study of 15 companies in the Swedish health‐and‐fitness industry. Qualitative methods in the form of in‐depth interviews and observation are utilised for data collection.


The paper finds that a framework for fitness quality management is developed and presented. The quality dimensions are found to be “pleasure”, “mental change”, and “physical change”. The main enablers are defined as “relational competence” and “technical competence”. Other indirect enablers are also identified and described.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows that because the framework is based on qualitative data collection, the relationships are not quantified. This could be an objective of further research.

Practical implications

The framework presented in this paper is useful for managers of fitness companies when designing and managing their activities.


The paper presents a novel framework of the salient features of quality in fitness services – an industry that has received little scholarly attention in the past. This research also contributes to the general understanding of service quality, and demonstrates the usefulness of inductive qualitative methodology in this regard.



Lagrosen, S. and Lagrosen, Y. (2007), "Exploring service quality in the health and fitness industry", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 41-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/09604520710720665

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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