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Service quality scales in online retail: methodological issues

Prateek Kalia (Department of Research, Innovation and Consultancy, I.K. Gujral Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala, India)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




Measuring service quality in online retail is critical. The purpose of this paper is to put in foreground key methodological issues of prevailing research related to scale development for the measurement of service quality in the context of online retail.


Content analysis of 30 research papers sourced from prestigious databases has been done to detect defects within research and sampling methods, survey administration, item generation and purification, dimensionality analysis, reliability and validity assessment. Also observations regarding dimensionality of online service quality constructs have been highlighted.


Study revealed deficiencies in sample size and composition, quantitative orientation in research methods, leniency in item generation/purification and negligent assessment of reliability and validity. It was found that e-service quality is multidimensional in nature and there is no consensus on number and nature of dimensions, although security/privacy, website design, reliability, responsiveness and information emerged as most cited dimensions. Electronic and traditional service quality dimensions displayed analogy in direct or adapted form.


This paper is first to highlight key methodological issues of prevailing research on e-service quality scale development in context of online retail. Implications for researchers and managers are summarized at the end of the study.



Kalia, P. (2017), "Service quality scales in online retail: methodological issues", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 630-663.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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