Scales in services marketing: a critique and way forward

Audrey Gilmore, Rosalind McMullan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the use of measurement scales and to illustrate some of the drawbacks of using scales for measuring service quality without due recognition of the limitations and rigidity of such scales, especially when they are applied to the complexity of service marketing situations and contexts.Design/approach – A review of the most widely used scales in services measurement, including SERVQUAL and SERVPERF is provided, along with some of the conceptual issues surrounding scale design and use in service contexts. Then some qualitative research techniques are considered in terms of their adaptability and flexibility for carrying out research regarding the complex nature of services.Findings – Measurement scales are evaluated and discussed. The key criticisms of the most well known scales used for services situations are presented. Then consideration is given to what might be a ‘best practice’ scenario for measuring and assessing service related issues in a service context. Originality/value – The discussion draws attention to the importance of recognising the most suitable research method for a service specific research problem/question rather than imposing a well known measurement scale or technique that may not suit the purpose.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages640-651
    JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
    Volume43
    Issue number5/6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    Services marketing
    Measurement scales
    Rigidity
    Research methods
    Best practice
    Service quality
    Adaptability
    Criticism
    Scenarios
    Qualitative research

    Keywords

    • Keywords – measurement scales
    • service marketing
    • quantitative techniques
    • qualitative techniques.

    Cite this

    Gilmore, Audrey ; McMullan, Rosalind. / Scales in services marketing: a critique and way forward. In: European Journal of Marketing. 2009 ; Vol. 43, No. 5/6. pp. 640-651.
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    Scales in services marketing: a critique and way forward. / Gilmore, Audrey; McMullan, Rosalind.

    In: European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 43, No. 5/6, 2009, p. 640-651.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - McMullan, Rosalind

    PY - 2009

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    AB - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the use of measurement scales and to illustrate some of the drawbacks of using scales for measuring service quality without due recognition of the limitations and rigidity of such scales, especially when they are applied to the complexity of service marketing situations and contexts.Design/approach – A review of the most widely used scales in services measurement, including SERVQUAL and SERVPERF is provided, along with some of the conceptual issues surrounding scale design and use in service contexts. Then some qualitative research techniques are considered in terms of their adaptability and flexibility for carrying out research regarding the complex nature of services.Findings – Measurement scales are evaluated and discussed. The key criticisms of the most well known scales used for services situations are presented. Then consideration is given to what might be a ‘best practice’ scenario for measuring and assessing service related issues in a service context. Originality/value – The discussion draws attention to the importance of recognising the most suitable research method for a service specific research problem/question rather than imposing a well known measurement scale or technique that may not suit the purpose.

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