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A critical review of techniques for classifying quality attributes in the Kano model

Josip Mikulić (Department of Tourism, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Darko Prebežac (Department of Tourism, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 25 January 2011

8689

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is: to review the most commonly used approaches to the classification of quality attributes according to the Kano model; to identify the theoretical/practical strengths and weaknesses of these techniques; and to provide guidance for future research and managerial practice in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an extensive review of the literature on the Kano model and the relevant marketing/management literature, five approaches (Kano's method; “penalty‐reward contrast analysis”; “importance grid”; qualitative data methods; and “direct classification”) are evaluated in terms of their validity and reliability for categorising attributes in the Kano model. Several illustrative examples provide empirical evidence for the theoretical arguments advanced in the study.

Findings

The Kano questionnaire and the direct‐classification method are the only approaches that are capable of classifying Kano attributes in the design stage of a product/service. Penalty‐reward contrast analysis (PRCA) is useful for assessing the impact of product/service attributes on overall satisfaction with a product/service, but its applicability to the classification of Kano attributes is questionable. The importance grid (IG) is not recommended for use with the Kano model. The critical incident technique and the analysis of complaints/compliments are valid for the Kano model, but have questionable reliability.

Originality/value

The study makes some important points about accurate semantic terminology in describing issues related to the Kano model. In particular, researchers should be aware that an attractive quality element (must‐be quality element, respectively) might in fact be a dissatisfier (satisfier, respectively), due to significant conceptual differences between performance in terms of the Kano model (i.e. objective performance) and subjective performance perceptions.

Keywords

Citation

Mikulić, J. and Prebežac, D. (2011), "A critical review of techniques for classifying quality attributes in the Kano model", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 46-66. https://doi.org/10.1108/09604521111100243

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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