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Managerial approaches towards service quality : the case of three service organisations

Soltani, E. and Lai, P.C. and Van Der Meer, R.B. and Williams, T.M. (2008) Managerial approaches towards service quality : the case of three service organisations. Services Industries Journal, 28 (10). pp. 1399-1414. ISSN 0264-2069

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Using a multiple case study, this paper is concerned with assessing the impact of senior management's approach and attitudes on service quality and its implications for middle and firstline managers. Date from 52 semi-structured interviews representing a variety of managerial levels suggests that there exist many conflicts and differences in senior management's orientation and approach towards quality management (QM) with that of middle and firstline managers. The results further indicate that getting such consistency appropriate to the needs of top, middle, and firstline management, and of the QM itself, is one of the key problems of current management of service quality. However, the findings highlight that where there is consistency between senior managers' underlying approaches towards service quality goal with that of middle and firstline managers, service quality programmes will highly likely produce expected results. Finally, the implications of these findings as well as future research are put forward.