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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2007

Mahmoud M. Yasin and Jafar Alavi

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to study the environmental and competitive factors in the service organizations and second, to investigate the extent of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to study the environmental and competitive factors in the service organizations and second, to investigate the extent of effective implementation of quality improvement initiatives in different operational settings.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper factor analysis is used to determine the underlying factors associated with the changes in the competitive environment. Proportional measures are used to study the implementation of quality improvement initiatives.

Findings

The paper finds that quality improvement initiatives are not implemented uniformly by all the service industries. Organizations implementing quality improvement initiatives face varying degrees of effectiveness. Positive operational and strategic outcomes have been observed by organizations implementing the quality improvement initiatives.

Practical implications

The results of this paper show that implementation of different types of quality improvement initiatives has a positive impact on operational and strategic aspects of service organizations.

Originality/value

The empirical investigation in this paper shows the practical and theoretical value of issues related to the performance of service organizations.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Abstract

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Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-881-0

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Ching-Chan Cheng and Cheng-Ta Chen

The motel industry in Taiwan is a highly competitive industry, which requires considerable investment and demands innovative services. This paper aims to identify the…

Abstract

Purpose

The motel industry in Taiwan is a highly competitive industry, which requires considerable investment and demands innovative services. This paper aims to identify the competitive qualities that urgently require improvement to enhance the service quality of motels using the two-phase method of importance-performance and gap analysis (IPGA) and the Kano model, and develops specific improvement strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

By questionnaire survey, this study collects 562 valid questionnaires from motels in Taipei City. The IPGA and Kano model are used to identify the service attributes of market competitiveness that urgently require improvement.

Findings

The results show there are 14 attributes that should be urgently improved, of which four are the attractive qualities of market competitiveness (competitive qualities). This study develops ten improvement strategies, as based on the four competitive qualities, for the reference of the motel industry.

Practical implications

The results can identify the competitive qualities that require urgent improvement to address the development of improvement strategies for motels. The managers of motels can refer to the ten improvement strategies to create excellent and competitive motel services.

Originality/value

The results combine “customers’ needs” with “the competitive meanings of quality attributes in the market” under limited resources, to upgrade motel service quality, customers’ willingness to purchase and motel competitiveness.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Juan José Tarí

The purpose of this paper is to study the EFQM model self‐assessment in a Spanish university.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the EFQM model self‐assessment in a Spanish university.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study methodology is used based on five services provided by a public university in Spain.

Findings

The findings show the steps that one university can follow in order to apply this exercise in a successful manner, its benefits, its obstacles and its key factors such as management and employee commitment, and the support to self‐assessment teams (e.g. training, review).

Originality/value

The paper provides lessons for managers from other universities who wish to develop a self‐assessment exercise.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2010

Juan José Tarí

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on self‐assessment processes and to identify the difficulties, benefits and success factors of the European…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on self‐assessment processes and to identify the difficulties, benefits and success factors of the European Foundation for Quality Management self‐assessment model, analysing the importance of follow‐up.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the paper carries out a literature review on self‐assessment, and then it uses the case study methodology based on ten services provided by a public university in Spain to identify difficulties, benefits and success factors of self‐assessment.

Findings

The findings show, first, what the literature suggests on self‐assessment in general and for higher education, and second, the difficulties, benefits and success factors and the importance of follow‐up for successful self‐assessment.

Originality/value

The paper provides a literature review on self‐assessment and lessons for managers from other universities, or other public sector organisations, who wish to know the difficulties, benefits and success factors, and the characteristics of follow‐up.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Stuart A. Green, Liz Evans, Rachel Matthews, Sandra Jayacodi, Jenny Trite, Anton Manickam, Rachel Evered, John Green, Joanna Williams, Ed Beveridge, Caroline Parker and Bill Tiplady

National and local policy supports the involvement of patients at all levels in the design, delivery and improvement of health services. Whilst existing approaches to…

Abstract

Purpose

National and local policy supports the involvement of patients at all levels in the design, delivery and improvement of health services. Whilst existing approaches to support involvement have been described and disseminated, including the 4Pi National Involvement Standards, their application in quality improvement is rarely reported. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

A quality improvement initiative within a mental health trust was developed with a multi-disciplinary team, including those with professional experience of delivering or improving care and those with lived experience. The aim of the initiative was to improve the physical health of inpatients within an acute mental health unit. This case study aims to describe how the integration of concepts from the 4Pi National Involvement Standards (Principles, Purpose, Presence, Process and Impact) provided a framework for engaging and involving service users. The case study also aims to describe how co-design was included within the 4Pi approach and supported the development of a tool to aid improving physical healthcare.

Findings

The 4Pi National Involvement Standards provided a guiding framework for the involvement of service users within a quality improvement initiative. Value of the approach was realised through the co-design of a tool developed by service users, along with healthcare professionals, to facilitate discussion and support shared-decision making about inpatients’ physical health.

Practical implications

Identifying “ways that work” for service user involvement is crucial to move beyond the policy rhetoric or tokenistic involvement. Involvement in quality improvement initiatives can bring benefits both to services and the service users themselves.

Originality/value

Whilst the 4PI approach is recognised as a useful framework for involvement, few examples exist of its practical applications within a quality improvement setting.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Bo Edvardsson and Bo Enquist

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of change pressure exerted by the “market” on governmental services in quality improvement processes. Two research…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of change pressure exerted by the “market” on governmental services in quality improvement processes. Two research questions are investigated. How can the role of external pressure exerted by customers and users, for quality improvement, be described and understood in governmental services? How can we understand the internal response (to external pressure exerted by customers and users, for change and quality improvement) as a strategic and cultural process?

Design/methodology/approach

This study focuses on two main levels: the operational level, where we analyse how the service offerings (or concepts) are designed to meet the needs (and changing needs) of the customers/citizens, the design of the service process, and the formation of the service system in terms of resources, organisational structure and culture; and the strategic level, where we analyse the interdependence between service strategy and service culture. Three cases originating from governmental services in Sweden form the empirical basis for the study.

Findings

First, the service concept must be in line with, and match, the target group to be served. If there is a gap the organisation will have an inherent quality problem. The second lesson is that the service process must be understood and accepted by both the employees and the users/customers. The results show that a lack of flexibility is a common reason behind quality problems. Involving customers more is one way of designing more flexibility. The third lesson is that the service system is also a question of the norms and values forming the basis for a service culture that supports the service process.

Research limitations/implications

The article is based on just three cases from one country. More case studies are needed, and in different cultural contexts.

Practical implications

The pressure for change exerted in governmental organisations is not very different when compared to commercial service companies. Customers are most often the same people, with the same – or similar – needs, expectations and requirements. Quality is assessed in more or less the same way. The differences seem to surface when we take into consideration how external changes exert pressure for change within the organisation, and in the design and delivery of governmental services.

Originality/value

This article contributes to a theoretical point of departure for describing and analysing service quality improvement in a dynamic perspective, where both the key aspects of service strategy and service culture are taken into consideration. The empirical study shows that the framework is useful and produces fruitful empirical findings.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2013

Nattapan Buavaraporn and James Tannock

The purpose of this paper is to explore how financial institutions adopt business process improvement (BPI) for improving service quality, to enhance customer…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how financial institutions adopt business process improvement (BPI) for improving service quality, to enhance customer satisfaction. To explain this adoption, it was necessary to develop a theory to explain the linkages between BPI initiatives and customer satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study was used as the research strategy, following the theory‐building process suggested by Eisenhardt. In total, three phases of data collection were employed, with expert interviews for theory enhancement and validation.

Findings

The authors identified three main stages of BPI adoption. A theory model was developed and refined using the empirical findings, to provide understanding of the outcomes of BPI initiatives. This model is compared with existing service quality models.

Research limitations/implications

The research outcomes represent an extension of existing service quality approaches, to consider the BPI adoption process as well as broader organisational issues. However, data were collected only from Thai financial institutions, which might impact the generalisation of the results.

Practical implications

The proposed theory model is developed at an operational level, and specifically aims to provide managers with adoption guidance and a practical foundation for further development of operational‐level assessment, assisting a more systematic evaluation of the outcomes of specific BPI initiatives at the project level.

Originality/value

The paper provides empirical evidence of BPI adoption in a financial services context. A theory model is presented based on service quality principles, to help explain BPI adoption outcomes at an operational (e.g. project) level, which provides a different perspective to that of existing service quality models.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

Bo Edvardsson

The topic for this article is quality improvement in service operations. Quality improvement is used as a collective expression for quality assurance, quality management…

Abstract

The topic for this article is quality improvement in service operations. Quality improvement is used as a collective expression for quality assurance, quality management and quality control. Service operations refer to private as well as to public service operations and to services in manufacturing companies. Although services play a predominant role as regards GDP and employment in the OECD countries, we still know very little about quality management in service operations. Concepts and models in organization theories, marketing and other fields are, to a great extent, based on studies of and experience from manufacturing companies. Quality is no exception, even though it has received some attention during the past 15 years, especially from researchers in Scandinavia.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Carley Sutton

Human Sigma is an emerging topic among many academics and practitioners. At present, limited studies have been reported about the successful applications of Human Sigma in…

Abstract

Purpose

Human Sigma is an emerging topic among many academics and practitioners. At present, limited studies have been reported about the successful applications of Human Sigma in small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The purpose of this paper therefore is to provide an analysis of contemporary business improvement tool implementation in UK tourism SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents an exploratory study of the Human Sigma approach to business improvement. Particularly, the research offers an overview of approaches to business improvement, whilst also presenting a framework for the implementation of Human Sigma. Adopting a case study of tourism SMEs, the paper examines attitudes to service quality management in terms of the implementation of business improvement tools.

Findings

The results of the study reveal that many of the SMEs are not aware of the Human Sigma approach to business improvement and while there is a range of tools, techniques and approaches available, they perceive several key barriers to prevent them from fully engaging. The research highlights the critical success factors for successful implementation are often related to customers and not employees. The perceived benefits from the usage of these tools are also displayed.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research are recognised, in particular the relatively small number of SMEs in a geographically confined area. Nevertheless, the research is intended primarily as an exploratory study designed to identify themes and issues as a basis for further research. Consequently, the study offers a number of significant findings that contribute more broadly to the Human Sigma literature.

Originality/value

This paper presents an initial study on the status of Human Sigma implementation in UK tourism SMEs. The service sector is dominated by a large number of SMEs and despite escalating attention paid within the literature to issues related to quality management, limited research has been undertaken into the utilisation and contribution of contemporary business improvements tools. A framework for the implementation of the Human Sigma approach to business improvement is illustrated. This paper will yield value to academics, consultants, researchers and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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