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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2001

Vicente Martínez‐Tur, Jose´ M. Peiro´ and Jose´ Ramos

The literature shows a paradox in the understanding of the relationship between structural complexity (defined as the diversity of services offered by an organization) and…

Abstract

The literature shows a paradox in the understanding of the relationship between structural complexity (defined as the diversity of services offered by an organization) and customer satisfaction. Structural complexity tends to be a popular strategy designed to satisfy different customer needs. However, a negative relationship between structural complexity and customer satisfaction has also been argued. Based on the research on the public versus private distinction, this paper proposes that type of ownership is associated with the paradox mentioned, moderating the relationship between structural complexity and customer satisfaction. The authors tested this hypothesis using a sample of 60 managers and 897 customers of service organizations. The results indicated that as structural complexity increases, public organizations are less able to maintain customer satisfaction than private organizations. Ownership appeared to be an important contingency factor in understanding the paradoxical relationship between service structural complexity and customer satisfaction.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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