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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2013

Michael Stodnick and Kathryn A. Marley

The purpose of this paper is to use a longitudinal analysis of the zone of tolerance to reconcile the growing divide between the acceptance of the theoretical model and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use a longitudinal analysis of the zone of tolerance to reconcile the growing divide between the acceptance of the theoretical model and the lack of empirical support for it.

Design/methodology/approach

A combination of simple linear regression and piece‐wise regression is used on a data set of 699 observations of a training program from the telecommunications industry.

Findings

This study demonstrates that the zone of tolerance model is a significantly better predictor of changes in customer satisfaction than the traditional linear model. Furthermore, the study supports early zone of tolerance propositions regarding the effect of negative quality perceptions.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study resolve the apparent disconnect between the acceptance of the zone of tolerance theory and the lack of empirical research support for it.

Practical implications

By demonstrating that customers are willing to accept some heterogeneity in service delivery, this research demonstrates to practicing managers that they do not need to micro‐manage service delivery. Furthermore, by validating an early zone of tolerance proposition regarding the relative magnitude of the effect of poor service quality, this research shows the importance of preventing service failures.

Originality/value

This research is the first to use a longitudinal methodology to investigate a growing research stream, namely, the zone of tolerance theory. This unique methodology allows us to explain the apparent divide between the conceptual theory and previous academic research.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Jim Walker and Julie Baker

As conceptualizations of expectations in consumer evaluations continue to evolve, researchers have been exploring multiple levels of expectations in satisfaction and…

Abstract

As conceptualizations of expectations in consumer evaluations continue to evolve, researchers have been exploring multiple levels of expectations in satisfaction and service quality evaluations. In 1993 Zeithaml, Berry and Parasuraman proposed that consumers use both desired and adequate expectations in service quality evaluations and a “zone of tolerance” separates these levels. This study extends the Zeithaml et alwork by investigating the zone of tolerance as it relates to consumer experience with the service provider, perceived competitive choice opportunities, and the essentialness of differing service dimensions. Results indicate that consumers readily distinguish between desired and adequate expectation levels; and understanding both expectation levels is important. Although perceptions of what a firm should offer remain relatively stable, perceptions of acceptable performance vary by service dimensions and as consumers acquire experience. In comparison with the traditional SERVQUAL framework, this multiple expectation conceptualization offers service marketers the opportunity to fine‐tune resource allocations.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1995

Robert Johnston

Briefly reviews some of the literature on service quality and inparticular the zone of tolerance – the zone of acceptable orexpected outcomes in a service experience. Uses…

Abstract

Briefly reviews some of the literature on service quality and in particular the zone of tolerance – the zone of acceptable or expected outcomes in a service experience. Uses the zone of tolerance to explore the relationships between customers′ satisfaction with individual transactions, or service encounters, and their satisfaction with the overall service. Provides nine propositions which identify how customers′ perceptions of the quality of a service can be influenced and how the thresholds of the zone of tolerance can be adjusted during the process of service delivery. Also considers some of the design implications of the propositions.

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Rooma Roshnee Ramsaran‐Fowdar

The purpose of this paper is to look at the influence of switching barriers on patients' private general practitioner (GP) service expectations and tolerance zone

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look at the influence of switching barriers on patients' private general practitioner (GP) service expectations and tolerance zone

Design/methodology/approach

From 750 questionnaires distributed to a convenience sample, 257 were completed and returned, yielding a 34 per cent response rate.

Findings

There was a significant association between switching barriers and what patients expected from their GPs. Switching barriers did not have a significant association with the tolerance zone.

Practical implications

Private GPs can develop strategies to overcome switching barriers. For example, they can develop personal relationships with their patients, re‐familiarise themselves with the patient's medical history before the consultation and provide better services to patients who perceive high switching barriers and hence higher adequate expectations.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing literature relating to healthcare service quality.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Jingliang Chen, Ken Goldberg, Mark H. Overmars, Dan Halperin, Karl F. Böhringer and Yan Zhuang

Fixtures and feeders are important components of automated assembly systems: fixtures accurately hold parts and feeders move parts into alignment. These components can…

Abstract

Fixtures and feeders are important components of automated assembly systems: fixtures accurately hold parts and feeders move parts into alignment. These components can fail when part shape varies. Parametric tolerance classes specify how much variation is allowable. In this paper we consider fixturing convex polygonal parts using right‐angle brackets and feeding polygonal parts on conveyor belts using sequences of vertical fences. For both cases, we define new tolerance classes and give algorithms for computing the parameter specifications such that the fixture or feeder will work for all parts in the tolerance class. For fixturing we give an O(1) algorithm to compute the dimensions of rectangular tolerance zones. For feeding we give an O(n2) algorithm to compute the radius of the largest allowable tolerance zone around each vertex. For each, we give an O(n) time algorithm for testing if an n‐sided part is in the tolerance class.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Frederico A. de Carvalho and Valdecy Faria Leite

According to the Parasuraman‐Berry‐Zeithaml conjecture, the greater the importance of a given quality dimension, the thinner the corresponding tolerance zone would be…

Abstract

According to the Parasuraman‐Berry‐Zeithaml conjecture, the greater the importance of a given quality dimension, the thinner the corresponding tolerance zone would be. This paper seeks to test the conjecture when attribute items are individually considered. The original data have been collected to assess the quality of postal services in Brazil. A qualitative stage yielded a list comprising 39 attribute items. In the quantitative stage the three‐column format of a SERVQUAL questionnaire was employed to permit the computation of importance weights and tolerance widths for each attribute item. The questionnaire was mailed to a sample of some 5,900 firms. About 10 per cent (540) of mailed questionnaires returned and were considered valid. The values obtained for the correlation coefficients were significantly negative and consistently close to each other. The inverse association between importance and tolerance of service quality attributes was then accepted. The most interesting consequence of this finding is that simply ordering the computed width of attributes’ zones of tolerance will yield the most important attributes. Other implications are also discussed.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Abstract

Details

Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-723-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2001

Jochen Wirtz and Anna S. Mattila

Research in economics, finance and decision science has shown that consumers are familiar with unit‐to‐unit variability, and in the context of services it has been…

Abstract

Research in economics, finance and decision science has shown that consumers are familiar with unit‐to‐unit variability, and in the context of services it has been demonstrated that consumers often anticipate and perceive performance heterogeneity. However, satisfaction models to date have failed to explicitly treat expectations as distributions. In this study, expectations were modeled along two dimensions – mean and variance of expected performance – which were manipulated together with actual performance in a true experimental design. The findings indicate that the expected variance in performance had an impact on perceived disconfirmation. Specifically, at low levels of incongruity (i.e. small absolute performance deviations from the expected mean), a high expected variance in performance reduced the level of perceived disconfirmation. Conversely, at high levels of incongruity (large absolute performance deviations from expectations), the expected variance in performance exerted minimal influence over perceived disconfirmation. These findings are reconciled and discussed using the zones of indifference and tolerance, and assimilation processes.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2007

Rogério Puga‐Leal and Zulema Lopes Pereira

The purpose of this research is to develop an index for assessing service capability when the customer considers satisfactory a certain range of service performance, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to develop an index for assessing service capability when the customer considers satisfactory a certain range of service performance, the so‐called zone of tolerance.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature on service research and statistical process control (SPC) was used to develop a conceptual approach that is later worked out for implementation. Some of the quality function deployment principles are used in the approach to articulate customer perceptions and expectations with parameters of service performance.

Findings

It is demonstrated that traditional capability indices do not cope properly with service performance characterized by a zone of tolerance and that the new capability index, proposed by the authors, is more than adequate to deal with the specific features of services.

Research limitations/implications

It was assumed that performance levels within the zone of tolerance are not perceived as different by customers and that service performance could be considered as normally distributed. Further research is clearly needed, not only to test the assumptions in different service environments, but also to assess the robustness of the proposed index when the assumptions are violated.

Practical implications

Improvement efforts of the organizations can be better allocated if the relation between customer expectations and service performance is understood and characterized.

Originality/value

A new approach to understand the relationship between customer expectations and perceptions and service performance is launched. The approach led to the development of a service capability index and might constitute a contribution to all researchers and practitioners that intend to spread SPC principles within the service sector.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 24 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2014

Hwansuk Chris Choi, Woojin Lee, HeeKyung Sung and Chien-Fen Chiu

This study compares the applicability of the zone of tolerance and importance-performance analysis (IPA) techniques in the evaluation of convention delegates’ perceptions…

Abstract

This study compares the applicability of the zone of tolerance and importance-performance analysis (IPA) techniques in the evaluation of convention delegates’ perceptions of products and services. Overall, 217 cases out of 400 were used for analysis, a response rate of 54 percent. The study results indicate that although an IPA technique is still useful in assessing the service performance of a convention facility, IPA should be employed with caution, concrete criteria, and clear goals. The study results also show that the zone of tolerance is practically applicable into business practice to assess service performance item by item.

Details

Tourists’ Perceptions and Assessments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-618-7

Keywords

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