To read this content please select one of the options below:

Integrated approach for evaluation of service quality in multistage sequential utilitarian service process

Sheila Roy (Department of Operations, S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, India)
Indrajit Mukherjee (Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 18 June 2018




In the context of sequential multistage utilitarian service processes, the purpose of this study is to develop and validate propositions to study the impact of service quality (SQ) perceptions developed in intermediate stages, along with the impact of service gestalt characteristics, such as peak and end experiences, on quality perception at each stage and on overall service quality (OSQ) perception. The cascade phenomenon (interdependency between process stages) is considered in the evaluation of OSQ perception of customer, who experiences service through a series of planned, distinct and partitioned sequential stages.


In this paper, a conceptual framework is used to evolve the propositions. Subsequently, propositions are tested in three different utilitarian service contexts wherein customer survey was conducted for feedback on attributes at each stage, summary perception evaluations of each stage and OSQ evaluation of multistage process. Peak experiences, considered for OSQ evaluation, were defined by a suitable statistical technique. Ordinal logistic regression with nested models is the technique used for analyzing the data.


This work reveals significant cascade effect of summary evaluation of intermediate stages on the subsequent stage. Peak customer experience (negative or positive) is observed to be marginally significant on intermediate stage and OSQ evaluation. In addition, OSQ is observed to be influenced by summary perception evaluations of intermediate stages, which leads to better model adequacy. Finally, among all the stages, end stage performance is observed to have a significant impact on the overall multistage SQ.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that in view of the cascade effect of intermediate stages, managers need to allocate resources to ensure that all stages are performing at an adequate level instead of only focusing on improving peaks and end effects of customer experiences. The proposed approach is easy to implement and suitable for evaluating SQ and OSQ in varied multistage sequential utilitarian service environment.


An integrated approach for evaluation of SQ in sequential multistage utilitarian service processes is proposed from the perspective of cascade effect of intermediate stages and peak and end effects on OSQ perception.



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewer for his/her many insightful comments and suggestions which helped to improve the quality of our manuscript. The authors also acknowledge Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, for partly funding this research [Grant No. 25(0214)/13/EMR-II].


Roy, S. and Mukherjee, I. (2018), "Integrated approach for evaluation of service quality in multistage sequential utilitarian service process", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 117-137.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles