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Assessment of logistics service quality using the Kano model in a logistics-triadic relationship

Jea-Il Sohn (Sales Team, KLA-Tencor, Hwasung, Republic of Korea)
Su-Han Woo (Department of International Logistics, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Taek-Won Kim (Department of International Trade and Logistics, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to evaluate logistics service quality using the Kano’s service quality model in the logistics-triadic context.


This study undertakes a survey research in semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME) industry. Logistics service quality is categorized using Kano’s classification and a comparison is made of the perception of three sample groups who are SME firms, semiconductor manufacturers (SMs) and third-party logistics (TPL) providers.


Several attributes of logistics service quality are evaluated as “Must-be” quality which does not contribute to customer satisfaction, indicating existence of the non-linear relationship between some logistics service quality attributes and customers’ satisfaction. The group comparison reveals that TPL firms perceive most quality attributes as “Attractive” and “One-dimensional” whereas SMs and SME firms perceive more attributes as “Must-be.”

Research limitations/implications

Logistics service quality elements should not be used in the same way assuming the same effect of logistics service elements on customer satisfaction. It should be also noted that logistics service quality attributes have different effect on satisfaction according to the positions in the logistics triad.

Practical implications

This paper provides SME firms with useful information on how to manage their logistics service quality to improve customer satisfaction. SME firms and TPL providers need to arrange a collaborative format where logistics service quality is regularly monitored and three members discuss solutions to improve their quality performance.


This study is a rare empirical investigation to actually assess and compare perception on logistics service quality among the entities in a logistics triad. This study applies the Kano model to the triadic relationship in logistics service provision, which may be the first attempt to the authors’ best knowledge.



The authors are much grateful to the editor for the encouragement and guidance, and also to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive and valuable comments. This paper was presented at the 2015 SUBA-ALRT conference, held in Taipei, Taiwan on August 31-September 1, 2015.


Sohn, J.-I., Woo, S.-H. and Kim, T.-W. (2017), "Assessment of logistics service quality using the Kano model in a logistics-triadic relationship", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 680-698.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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