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Measuring Business Schools’ Service Quality in an Emerging Market Using an Extended SERVQUAL Instrument

Listed author(s):
  • Esther Mbise

    (College of Business Education, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

  • Ronald S.J. Tuninga

    (Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, the Netherlands.

Registered author(s):

    Purpose: An extended SERVQUAL instrument is developed, validated and used to measure perceived service quality delivered to students by business schools in an emerging market economy. Design/ Methodology/Approach: The study adopts a quantitative approach. A longitudinal survey is conducted with conveniently selected students in their final year of study from two business schools in an emerging market economy. The study is based on the Gaps model (Parasuraman et al., 1985). Procedures for developing a reliable and a valid multi-item instrument are observed. Pre-testing of the instrument has been conducted before it is administered to the sampled population. Findings: The students’ gap scores on perceived education services from an emerging economy are presented. The use of the extended SERVQUAL model is suggested to monitor student/employee expectations and perceptions during and after the education service delivery process. Students attach different weights to the service quality dimensions. The new Process Outcome dimension is found to substantially add to the SERVQUAL model and is more important than the other dimensions. The validity of the extended SERVQUAL model for practical use is >0.95. Prediction of the level of service quality delivered, using six dimensions, indicates that the level of service quality is explained mostly by Process Outcome and Tangibles dimensions. Research Limitations/Implications: The study was conducted at only two business schools, conveniently selected in an emerging market. This limits the generalization of results. The data were collected at two points in time using the same participants. This may have prompted the participants to remember responses given in the previous survey while responding in the second survey. Practical Implications: It is suggested that using the extended SERVQUAL model as a tool can enable managers of business schools to identify the factors on which students/employees base their quality assessment of the education services they receive. Knowledge of these factors will enable managers in emerging economies to periodically assess, sustain and improve quality of the whole service delivery process. Priorities can be set to allocate scarce resources properly to make effective investment decisions to improve quality per school and in higher education, in general. The paper further suggests that Regulatory bodies make use of this model when comparing performance of business schools, focusing on student experiences as a supplement to the traditional performance measures. Originality/Value: An extended SERVQUAL model has been developed and validated to measure education services quality of business schools from the perspective of students as customers who receive such services in an emerging market economy. A Process Outcome dimension measuring students’ satisfaction with the knowledge and skills received from education services has been added to the original SERVQUAL model. The study is longitudinal making it different from previous studies, which are mostly cross-sectional in nature.

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    File Function: First version, 2012
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    Paper provided by Maastricht School of Management in its series Working Papers with number 2012/04.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2012
    Handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2012/04
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