The paper provides a step-by-step guide in the guise of a roadmap for service improvement initiatives using importance performance map analysis (IPMA).
To empirically illustrate how IPMA can be applied to any service industry, three sectors are considered; sports and fitness (study A), hospitality (study B) and higher education (study C). Following the proper selection of measuring instruments and their evaluation using structural equation modeling-partial least squares (Smart-PLS), IPMA is applied to identify those attributes having strong total effects (high importance) over the targeted construct (satisfaction) but which also have low average latent variable scores (low performance).
For sports and fitness (study A), the physical aspects and programme quality require managerial attention. For the hospitability sector (study B), it is service commitment, interaction quality and internal sense of happiness. Whereas for higher education (study C), it is administrative quality as well as the element of transformative quality, namely the university’s role in adding to its students’ emotional stability, which needs the attention of the top management.
This study provides researchers and practitioners with a roadmap for applying PLS-SEM and IPMA for continuous service quality improvement. The roadmap extends upon Ringle and Sarstedt’s (2016) work. It highlights critical decisions that need to be considered in the pre-analytical stages of the IPMA application, i.e. at the research design phase in selecting the most appropriate service quality measurement model specifications. It not only contributes to the existing body of knowledge by providing empirical evidence to advance theory development in the quality management field but also has implications for the practitioners in any service sector on where to focus their attention for an effective service improvement.
Ms N Teeluckdharry has been awarded a scholarship by the Higher Education Commission, and the authors wish to thank the HEC for the support.
Teeluckdharry, N.B., Teeroovengadum, V. and Seebaluck, A.K. (2022), "A roadmap for the application of PLS-SEM and IPMA for effective service quality improvements", The TQM Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-11-2021-0340
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