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Exploring competitive priorities in the service sector: evidence from India

Fazli Idris (Graduate School of Business, National University of Malaysia , Selangor, Malaysia)
M. Muzamil Naqshbandi (Dubai Business School, University of Dubai , Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 19 October 2018

Issue publication date: 11 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explain the components of competitive priorities of Indian service firms, to find out the competitive priorities of different service industries in India and to find out how these competitive priorities change across low- and high-performing service firms.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study of 166 firms from five different service industries is undertaken in New Delhi and its surroundings.

Findings

The results reveal the presence of three competitive priorities in the services sector in India: cost, flexibility and quality/delivery, with quality/delivery being the most distinctive competitive priority. Hotel and auto-repair industries are found to be focused on controlling costs, while hospitals, banks and private colleges prioritized quality/delivery. For high-performing firms, cost is the top most competitive priority, followed by quality/delivery and flexibility, while for low-performing firms, quality/delivery remains the top most competitive priority, followed by flexibility and cost.

Originality/value

The paper enhances the understanding of competitive priorities in the Indian services sector. The identification of competitive priorities of different service industries in India and their dynamics across different industries add value to the current literature and fill an important research gap. Additionally, surveying diverse industries in this paper reveals a holistic picture of the Indian service industry and helps achieve some degree of cross-industry perspective.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is supported by a research grant of the National University of Malaysia (UKM GUP EP 07 18 113).

Citation

Idris, F. and Naqshbandi, M.M. (2019), "Exploring competitive priorities in the service sector: evidence from India", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 167-186. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-02-2018-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited