Dimensions of service quality of the University of Arizona Sponsored Projects Services Office internal customers
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When a service transaction occurs between a service provider and a customer there are dimensions of that transaction that are essential to making the customer feel satisfied with the transaction. Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry measured those dimensions for transactions that occur between the service provider and an external customer with a survey tool named SERVQUAL. It is theorized that for the external customer to be satisfied with the service transaction, the employees of the service provider must also be satisfied with transactions between the employees, or internal service quality. Those dimensions of internal service quality, or the satisfaction employees feel with each other, have not been described in a higher education setting. The purpose of this study was to determine the goodness of fit between the original SERVQUAL external service quality dimensions and those internal service dimensions identified by the University of Arizona Sponsored Projects Services Office (UASPSO). Through the identification of these dimensions a model of the culture of service quality of the UASPSO was also developed. Sixteen of the 25 Sponsored Projects Services Office employees were interviewed in 2005 to collect data concerning the validity of the original SERVQUAL dimensions and any new dimensions that might be identified with respect to internal service quality. Interviews were conducted using qualitative and constant comparison methods. Of the original ten SERVQUAL service quality dimensions described by Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry, Access, Communication, Competence, Reliability, Responsiveness and Understanding the Customer were found to apply to the construct of internal service quality in the Sponsored Projects Office. Reliability, Responsiveness and Understanding the Customer were subsumed under the new dimension of Mutualism. Credibility, Courtesy and Security were found not to apply, while Tangibles applied only as it supported Access and Communication. Tangibles, Access and Communication were subsumed under the new dimension of Approachability. All eight dimensions are found in the task-oriented realm of the processes and procedures of the Office. An additional five dimensions were also described as applying to internal service quality. Flexibility, Decision-making and Accountability are evident as task-oriented dimensions. Professionalism and Collegiality are evident as non-task-oriented dimensions. The study also described the impact of the culture of the organization on internal service quality. The managerial implications of this study were also suggested.
Baca, David Ray (2006). Dimensions of service quality of the University of Arizona Sponsored Projects Services Office internal customers. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from