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Comparison of SERVQUAL and SERVPERF metrics: an empirical study

Lewlyn L.R. Rodrigues (Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India)
Gopalakrishna Barkur (Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India)
K.V.M. Varambally (Manipal Institute of Management, Manipal, India)
Farahnaz Golrooy Motlagh (Department of Computer Science, Islamic Azad University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




The choice between SERVQUAL and SERVPERF metrics for service quality measurement is subjective and the research literature lacks evidence on whether these instruments differ in their outcomes significantly or concur with each other. Hence, empirical investigation regarding the concurrence or difference of the two instruments is the purpose of this paper.


The research is qualitative (meta‐analysis of service quality literature) and quantitative (application of standard statistical procedures to test hypothesis). A pilot test of 35 students was conducted followed by a stratified random sampling of 84 students each for SERVQUAL and SERVPERF. Data collection was through a self‐administered questionnaire.


The empirical study proves that there is a significant difference in the outcomes of the two metrics. The implications of the study are based on the combined use of the two instruments. The research identified that tangibles and reliability are the two dimensions of higher service quality satisfaction, whereas empathy and assurance are the dimensions of least satisfaction in a higher education sector.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the sample size is adequate, the study outcome cannot be generalized completely as it is based on a research focused on a specific service.

Practical implications

The paper gives a methodical approach to apply both SERVQUAL and SERVPERF metrics and draw implications on the combined basis. The strengths and weaknesses thus identified would facilitate the service providers in implementing total quality management.

Social implications

Social responsibility is a key issue to be addressed by higher educational institutes and the implications of this research contribute to it strengthening.


Research inferences are based on the primary data obtained from service receivers of higher education and the inferences would add value to the body of knowledge of service quality literature, as the two most prominent instruments of service quality are empirically investigated for concurrence.



Rodrigues, L.L.R., Barkur, G., Varambally, K.V.M. and Golrooy Motlagh, F. (2011), "Comparison of SERVQUAL and SERVPERF metrics: an empirical study", The TQM Journal, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 629-643.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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