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Using qualitative research to refine service quality models

Jamie Burton (Jamie Burton is a Doctoral Researcher at Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK.)
Christopher Easingwood (Christopher Easingwood is Caudwell Professor of Marketing and Head of Marketing and Strategy at Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK.)
John Murphy (John Murphy is the Abbey National Visiting Professor of Service Quality, at Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK.)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 1 December 2001



Describes a qualitative research project involving a “narrowing” research process. The first stage involved initial, highly exploratory qualitative work. The findings led to a second stage that involved a review of relevant literature and secondary sources of data, followed by more focussed, focus group research into the issues uncovered. The problem investigated was how to measure customers’ evaluations of quality for an industry in which the service/product offering is dominated by the tangible product. The initial fear was that traditional process‐oriented measurement models for customer perceptions of quality, might not offer full and comprehensive measurement of all the antecedents of customer quality evaluations and their subsequent satisfaction with, and attitude towards, product‐dominated service providers. In attempting to answer the research question, the qualitative work undertaken suggests that consumers’ evaluations of quality will depend on product quality, process quality and additional external factor quality based on evaluations of image.



Burton, J., Easingwood, C. and Murphy, J. (2001), "Using qualitative research to refine service quality models", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 217-223.




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