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Classification of quality attributes

Lars Witell (Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)
Martin Löfgren (Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 30 January 2007




The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the different approaches to the classification of quality attributes deliver consistent results.


The investigation includes four approaches and enables comparisons to be made from a methodological perspective and from an output perspective. The different approaches are described, analyzed, and discussed in the context of an empirical study that investigates how 430 respondents perceive the performance of an e‐service. The theory of attractive quality rests on a solid theoretical foundation and a methodological approach to classify quality attributes. Recently, various authors have suggested alternative approaches to the traditional five‐level Kano questionnaire – including a three‐level Kano questionnaire, direct classification, and a dual‐importance grid.


The classification of quality attributes are found to be dependent on the approach that is utilized. The development of new ways to classify quality attributes should follow rigid procedures to provide reliable and consistent results.


This is the first attempt to compare alternative approaches to classify quality attributes. For managers, our results provide guidance on what approach to choose based on the strengths and weaknesses with the different approaches.



Witell, L. and Löfgren, M. (2007), "Classification of quality attributes", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 54-73.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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