IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Assessing the Quality of Public Services: A Conceptual Model

  • Cláudia Carvalho


    (Universidade Portucalense)

  • Carlos Brito


    (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto)

  • José Sarsfield Cabral


    (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto)

Registered author(s):

    One of the major challenges faced by Public Administration is how to create more value for both citizens and firms, mainly because of the increasing budgetary constraints and challenging demands from society. In fact, over the past two decades there has been a general movement of public reform in most developed countries, and for this reason it is essential to understand how users assess the quality of public services. The aim of this paper is to clarify the determinants of public service quality. Due to the nature of the research problem, we have adopted a case-study methodology. The research involved extensive qualitative and quantitative data collection with managers, citizens and front and back-office public servants by means of interviews, questionnaires and focus groups. The paper presents the case of Public Service Citizens’ Shops (Loja do Cidadão) in Portugal, a recent and innovative channel for the delivery of public services. Firstly, it explores the kind of relationships that develop during the public service encounter between the citizen, the public organization and society. Secondly, citizen satisfaction and dissatisfaction with public services are both investigated. The basic premise is that these two concepts are not opposite but have different determinants. Furthermore, the paper also explores the nature of tolerance and emphasizes the importance of managing emotions in the public service encounter. Finally, it also considers how the quality assessment of public services should also take into account implications regarding value to society.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series FEP Working Papers with number 345.

    in new window

    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:345
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200 PORTO
    Phone: 351-22-5571100
    Fax: 351-22-5505050
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:345. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.