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Zones of Tolerance: Alternative Scales for Measuring Information Systems Service Quality Author(s): William J. Kettinger and Choong C. Lee Source: MIS Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 2005), pp. 607-623 Published by: Management Information Systems Research Center, University of Minnesota Stable URL: . Accessed: 18/10/2013 21:58 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact . Management Information Systems Research Center, University of Minnesota is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to MIS Quarterly. This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions & Lee/Alternative Scales forIS SERVQUAL Kettinger V JllCil KXZl RESEARCH NOTE ly Alternative Scales Zones of Tolerance: for measuring information systems Service Quality1 By: William J. Kettinger Moore School of Business University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 20208 U.S.A. level of IS service desired, and (2) adequate ser vice: theminimum level of IS service customers are willing to accept. Defining these two levels is a "zone of tolerance" (ZOT) that represents the range of IS service performance a customer would consider satisfactory. Inotherwords, IS customer expectations are characterized by a range service Choong C. Lee Graduate School of Information Yonsei University Seoul KOREA measure of levels, rather than a single expectation point. This research note adapts the ZOT and the generic operational definitionfrom marketing to the IS field, assessing its psychometric properties. Our findingsconclude that the instrumentshows validityof a four-dimension IS ZOT SERVQUAL for desired, adequate, and perceived service quality levels, identifying18 commonly applicable question items. This measure ad dresses past criticismwhile offeringa practical diagnostic tool. Abstract The expectation norm of InformationSystems SERVQUAL has been challenged on both concep tual and empirical grounds, drawing intoquestion the instrument'spractical value. To address the criticism that the original IS SERVQUAUs expec measure is ambiguous, we testa new set of tation IS service quality, zones of tolerance, Keywords: IS management, SERVQUAL, evaluation, user services function expectations, information scales that posits thatservice expectations exist at two levels that IS customers use as a basis to assess IS service quality: (1) desired service: the Introduction M_HB_i_^_-_-_-_-_-_-l was the accepting senior editor for this 1V. Sambamurthy T. Watson L. Carr and Richard paper. Christopher served as reviewers. Over the past decade, SERVQUAL has garnered considerable scholarly and managerial attentionas a diagnostic tool foruncovering areas of informa tion systems service quality strengths and weak MIS Quarterly Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 607-623/December 2005 607 This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions & Lee/Alternative Scales forIS SERVQUAL Kettinger nesses. Praised for its practical relevance Jiang, Klein, and Carr 2002; Jiang, Klein, and Crampton 2000; Kettinger and Lee 1994, 1997; Pitt et al. 1995, 1997; Watson et al. 1998), ithas often been criticized on conceptual and psych (e.g., Research SERVQUAL and the Recon ceptualization of the Expectation Inmarketing Challenges with ometrics grounds (Lee and Kettinger 1996; Kohlmeyer and Blanton 2000; Van Dyke et al. 1997,1999). A primaryarea of criticismconcerns reliance on gap scores that are SERVQUAL's derived by calculating the difference between IS users' perceived levels of service and their expectations forservice. Critics both in marketing (e.g., Brown et al. 1993; Cronin and Taylor 1992, 1994; Teas 1993, 1994) and in IS (e.g., Kettinger and Lee 1997; Van Dyke et. al. 1997, 1999) point to conceptual and empirical difficulties with the instrumentand have sug original SERVQUAL gested thatalternatives to theoriginal "gap scored" IS-adapted SERVQUAL be explored. In their 1997 article Kettinger and Lee2 called for the further study of an alternative instrument Norm _ __ __ can consumer research, satisfaction adapted from marketing referredto as the "zones of tolerance" (ZOT) service qualitymeasure. This zones of tolerance measure is conceptualized and empirical integrity instru of the SERVQUAL ment. These articles focused primarily around two use of major concerns related to SERVQUAL's difference or gap scores. Researchers such as be broadly characterized as a post-use evaluation of product or service quality given pre-use expec tations. SERVQUAL was developed tomeasure service quality. Indeveloping theirSERVQUAL of Parasuraman, Zeithaml instrument,the intent and Berry (hereafterPZB) was to derive a service quality measure that transcended multiple mea surement contexts. Over the years, SERVQUAL has been adapted to the measurement of many service delivery contexts, including IS service delivery. With its widespread application, studies in marketing emerged questioning the conceptual to overcome one of the most significant points of with theoriginalSERVQUAL instrument; criticisms namely, the need for a more quality parsimonious expectations, levels. This con while ceptualization of service Cronin and Taylor (1992, 1994) questioned the gap mea predictive superiorityof SERVQUAL's sure (perceived service quality minus expected service quality score tioning calculate the quality) over a performance to measure Marketing only service (SERVPERF); need score. in essence, expectations scholars ques or as such retaining the practical diagnostic power of under note tests the psychometric properties of an IS ZOT service quality instrument.Structured as a context-only extension (Berthon et al. 2002), this study finds that the IS zones of tolerance service quality measure offers standing service expectation research a gap diagnostic tool for IS managers and as an alternative toovercome problems with theexisting instrument. IS SERVQUAL significant promise as a (1993, 1994) questioned the conceptual of SERVQUAL's expectation measure, integrity that it suffered from different interpre stating tations. Considerable debate and subsequent marketing and in IS study have occurred both in these concerning challenges to the expectation measure of the original SERVQUAL concep Teas tualization. we will make frequent reference to the authors Leyland and C. Bruce Kavan, we will refer Pitt, Richard Watson, to them as PWK and likewise, William J. Kettinger and Choong C. Lee will be refer to as K&L. research focuses 2As the work on which the SERVQUAL A. from that of the marketing scholars originated Zeithaml Parasuraman (Z), and Leonard (P), Valarie we will make frequent reference Berry (B), and because to their various joint publications, we will refer to them as PZB, PBZ, ZBP BPZ, or ZPB, as the case may be. As Gap Measure Versus Single Perceived Score researchers have shown that the gap original (difference)scored SERVQUAL instru ment demonstrates poorer predictive validity than a perceived performance only (SERVPERF) ser was PZB (1991) In fact, it vice quality measure. scores who first reported that the SERVPERF Numerous 608 Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 MIS Quarterly This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions & Lee/Alternative Scales forIS SERVQUAL Kettinger produced higher adjusted R2 values when com pared toSERVQUAL's gap scores foreach of the five dimensions assurance, (e.g., reliability, and tangibles). responsiveness, The superior scores empathy, power scriptive insights, take a slightly different tack where they state that conceptual problems iden tifiedwith the original SERVQUAL expectation measure was predictive of the performance-only furtherconfirmed by Babakus and Boiler (1992), Cronin and Taylor (1992), Boulding et al. (1993), and PZB (1994b). These same results were later demonstrated with an IS adapted SERVPERF measure by Lee and Kettinger in of an expectation-based figurations measure. push for exploration of alternative con ISSERVQUAL Rethinking the Expectation Measure A second major criticism of the original SERVQUAL expectation measure challenges the ideal service (PZB 1988) and excellent service (PZB 1991) expectation norm of comparison used indifference scoring. This criticismhighlightsan and expectation (Cronin 1992, 1994; Peter et al. 1993; Van Dyke etal. 1997). 1996, by PWK in 1997, and by Van Dyke et al. in 1999. Given these findings,some researchers in both Marketing and Information Systems have a single item comparative of perception argued for While conceding the improvedpredictive power of the perceived performance only instrument, advo cates (e.g., PZB 1994b; PWK 1997) of theoriginal gap-scored SERVQUAL measure argue thevalue of difference scores both on practical and theoretical grounds. PZB (1994b, p. 116) state, in companies that have executives switched to a disconfirmation-based measurement approach tell us that the information generated by this approach have examining only performance ratingcan actions than examining lead to different those ratings relative to expectation. greater diagnostic value. Moreover, distinction between the twomain stan important dards that represent expectations inthe confirma tion/disconfirmationliterature.One standard re presents the expectation as a prediction of future events (Churchill and Suprenant 1982; Miller 1977), defined as an objective calculation of the probabilityof performance. The other standard is a normative expectation of futureevents (Miller 1977; PZB 1988; Swan and Trawick, 1980; ZBP 1993), operationalized either as a desired or ideal expectation. Although these two standards use different expectation measures, expectation and perceptions are treated as linked via the dis confirmation of expectation paradigm (Oliver 1980), which states that the higher theexpectation in relation to the actual performance, the greater the degree of disconfirmation and lower satis ask, They rhetorically Are managers who more use service interested quality in ac measurements service shortfalls or curately identifying explaining variance inan overall measure of perceived service quality? (p. 116). Inthe IS context, PWK (1997) argue thatthe richer information contained in IS SERVQUAL's discon firmation-based measurements provides ISman faction. Critics of the normative standards such as Teas (1993) inmarketing and Van Dyke et al. SERVQUAL's expec (1997,1999) in ISargue that measure suffersfrom tation multiple interpretations depending on whether a customer bases his/her assessment on a prediction of what will occur in the next IS service encounter or on what ideally should occur. agers with diagnostic power that typicallyout weighs statistical and convenience benefits de rived fromthe use of IS SERVPERF. K&L (1997), while agreeing with PZB (1994b) and PWK (1997) more meaningful pre thatdifference scores offer ZBP (1993, Recognizing a need for improvement, that their of p. 3) acknowledged original "definition the expectations was broad.. .and did not stipulate norms of expectations used by customers in assessing service quality." Citing empirical sup port (e.g., Tse and Wilton 1988) for both a pre dicted and ideal expectation standard, ZBP point MIS Quarterly Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 609 This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions & Lee/Alternative Scales forIS SERVQUAL Kettinger to a service quality confirmation/disconfirmation process minimum expectations that may move even a range beyond desired levels of expectations into of service surprise sometimes termed delight. Based on this rethinkingof expectations, ZBP offered a reconceptualized model of customer services actions that include more than one expectation comparison. Similarly other confirmation/discon firmation researchers (e.g., Oliver et al. 1997) indicate thata range of satisfaction exists beyond involving complex, simultaneous inter SERVQUAL concept in the IS setting: Is an IS SERVQUAL adapted ZOT psychometrically sound? More specifically, do the two expectation levels of IS service quality (desired and adequate) and the perceived IS service level possess the same dimensions of SERVQUAL (including com mon items)? To address these questions, we adapted PZB's (1994a) ZOT SERVQUAL concept to the IS context, whereby the IS adapted measures were subjected to reliability and validity testing. the customer wanted to be performed. Second, a minimum tolerable expectation (Miller 1977) was defined as the lowest levelof performance accep (see Figure 1). Their revised service quality expectation comparison norm delineates two types of expectations. First, a normative expectation was termeddesired expectations (e.g., Spreng and MacKoy 1996; Swan and Trawick 1980), which was defined as the level of service Research Methods and Analysis _ _-_ _ table to a customer that incorporates the influence of predicted service and situational factors. Further clarifying their conceptualization, PZB (1994b, p. 112) recommended comparative norms as "two differentcomparison norms for service quality assessment: desired service (the level of service a customer believes can and should be delivered) and adequate level of service the A preferred method to cross-validate an instru ment's dimensionality is to examine the factor structureof one sample within the factorstructure of a second sample, commonly referredto as the holdout sample (Chin and Todd 1995). Since the process objective of this study requires a refining to obtain a common set of validated items and factors for all three levels of IS service quality (desired, adequate, and perceived), we followed Chin and Todd's approach to examine the service sample groups: a university quality of twodifferent IS services (minimum) service (the considers accep customer table)." Separating these two levels is a zone of tolerance that represents the range of service performance tory. tions In other are a customer words, would customer by a consider service range satisfac expecta of levels sample. The firstsample was used to test the factor structure of IS ZOT SERVQUAL using an exploratory factoranalysis, and thesecond sample was used as a holdout to sample cross-validate for a confirmatory the derived factor analysis sample and an industrial IS service sample. dimensionality from the first Using the three column ZOT formatproposed by PZB (1994a) and the IS adapted items of K&L was instrument (1994), the IS ZOT SERVQUAL a with interviews IS series of pretested through on Based students. and IS professionals graduate characterized been practically applied to numerous services contexts such as the assessment of the student service quality of a business school (Caruna et al. the service quality of 2000) and in assessing libraries (e.g., Blixrud and research university 2002; Cook et al. 2003). (between desired and adequate service), rather than a single point. Even though the zones of had tolerance (ZOT) SERVQUAL instrumentation not been empiricallyvalidated, it has subsequently the results of pretesting, additional wording section, adjustments were made inthe instruction such as the originalword of "adequate" service in scale was changed to "minimum" service in PZB's The previous discussion leads us to the following questions concerning the validity of the ZOT order to clearly differentiate the desired and the minimally adequate service levels. Itshould also be noted that while researchers (e.g., K&L 1994; PZB 1991) have questioned the strength of the Tangible dimension, theTangible dimension was 610 Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 MIS Quarterly This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions & Lee/Alternative Scales forIS SERVQUAL Kettinger Perceived Service-> Superiority .-. I_I Expected Service Desired Service I-* Perceived Service - Adequate Service Adequacy j ,_t i-*j -> I Perceived Service IS Desired and Adequate Standards: Comparison Figure 1. Dual Expectation L. "The Nature of A. V. L. and from Service Parasuraman, Zeithaml, Berry, (Adapted Journal of the of Service of Customer Determinants Academy Expectations Quality," of Marketing Science (21:1), 1993, pp. 1-12)_ retained inthisstudy given the fact thattheoriginal PZB ZOT (1994a) instrument included Tangible and this dimension has been included insubse quent ZOT operationalizations inother organiza tional contexts (e.g., Caruana et al. 2000). After pre-testing and refiningthe instrument,two samples were chosen forthe cross validation: an initialsample from the university setting and a holdout sample from the industrysetting. Two U.S. universities formed the initialsample for testing of the IS-adapted ZOT SERVQUAL. Anonymous, self-administered questionnaires containing items from the IS-adapted ZOT were distri SERVQUAL (sample 1) instruments buted to approximately 560 upper-level under graduate and graduate students in several MIS and management sciences courses in the two universities. Total sample size was 250 with the response rates averaging about 45 percent at both organizations. Such a student sample has been used in past research as a general measure of service quality (see Boulding et al. 1993; Ford et al. 1999; Rigotti and Pitt 1992) and in the IS ser vice quality context (K&L 1994; Kettinger et al. 1995), showing high consistency with measures and validity. For example, Jaing, Klein and Crampton (2000) revalidated theoriginalKettinger and Lee findings in the industrial context with similar results. Inaddition, there isongoing sup continued use in port for ZOT SERVQUAL's educational institutions (Caruna et al. 2000; Cook et al. 2003). As a holdout sample, another set of data (sample 2) was collected from four large Asia (two banks, one telecommuni companies in cation, and one IS consulting firm). Question naires were distributed to a total of 500 em ployees; 188 were returned fora response rate of 37.6 percent. Inboth the universityand industry settings, users had access to the fullarray of IS services (e.g., network access and IDs, application software access on their PCs and shared servers, Web intranet accounts, e-mail accounts, help desk, con sultingsupport, training?both online and tutorial network dial-in, Internet access, laptop hook-up, online access to records and accounts, tested in industrial settings intermsof itsreliability users had at least 1 year of experience with the provided computing and network services, en suring a basic level of computer and network access competence. Inaddition, all users had at least a minimum level of face-to-face interaction etc.). All Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 MIS Quarterly 611 This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions & Lee/Alternative Scales forIS SERVQUAL Kettinger at each with information service function(ISF) staff site their net sample whereby they established work, e-mail, and software user authorization; many had also taken advantage of help desk and services. Ingeneral, the users fromeach training sample can be described as motivated by either class orwork responsibilities toactivelymake use of the IS resources and to avail themselves of IS support. Our objective was to determine if there are a validated, common set of factorsand itemsamong three levels of service quality. Therefore, a dual design of statistical approaches (exploratoryfactor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis) was samples respectively and applied for twodifferent sequentially. The perceived service scale was selected as a calibration scale for exploratory factor analysis of sample 1 because, as was discussed previously, it is the one SERVQUAL indicator that has not been the subject of debate of concerning itsformatthroughoutthe longhistory criticism concerning SERVQUAL's expectation measurement. five service quality dimensions on the perceived was completed on the sample 1 data. service level Using commonly accepted factorselection criteria as specified inTable 1, four constructs with 18 itemswere derived. Three original SERVQUAL constructs emerged from the exploratory factor analysis (tangibles, reliability,and responsive ness). However, two of the original dimensions, one dimen empathy and assurance, merged into sion. Based on a review of the retained itemsand the seeming similarity of the constructs when applied in the IS context, the new merged con structwas named rapport because the construct items focus on an IS service provider's ability to convey a rapport of knowledgeable, caring, and courteous support. Past researchers using ZOT different service contexts have also SERVQUAL in a such experienced merging of the original five factorstructure (e.g., Caruana et al. 2000). The derived factor structure and items from the exploratory factoranalysis on the perceived scale (refertoTable 1)were then subjected to confirma tory factor analysis (CFA) and reliabilitytesting using the holdout sample forthe three different IS service quality levels. Covariance matrices, the and descriptive Mardia's non-normality coefficient, Results To use the ZOT method, its three IS service quality levelsmust share the same constructs and the corresponding items. This requires a test to determine whether the dimensions of IS ZOT all three levels. This SERVQUAL are the same for study examined whether thecommon constructs of perceived service, desired service, and minimum statistics for three sets of service levels of the holdout sample are reported inAppendix A. To overcome the limitationof maximum likelihood method regardingmultivariate non-normality4the likelihood [ML,Robust] method, which in the first attemptwith the holdout sample resulted ingood fits of themodels foreach of the three different levels, as shown in the composite fit index of Table 2. In confirming the validity of the IS ZOT SERVQUAL at three levels, the guidelines sug gested byAndersen and Gerbing (1988) were fol parameters were estimated using the maximum service expectations captured equivalent dimen sions with equivalent question itemsand mapped intoa diagnostic method using all of these three levels of IS service quality. Given SERVQUAL the extent of revision to the IS ZOT to bring it into the IS context, an exploratory factoranalysis3 for itemsof theoriginal on the was applied component analysis 3Principal to derive the minimum 1 data since we wanted sample for the maximum portion number of factors that account inan exploratory manner. of the total variance to correct potential bias implemented errors. maximum standard EQS's option provides these estimators. from a ques continuous data collected a non-normal tionnaire, our raw data possess shaped the distribution. However, aware of the risk of assuming data to be multivariate normal, a "sandwich" parameter estimator covariance 1990) was (Satorra and Bentler 4Like most in estimating the likelihood, robust 612 Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 MIS Quarterly This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Scales forIS SERVQUAL & Lee/Alternative Kettinger I Table 1. Exploratory Factor 1 P1 0.104 P2 0.283 P3 0.034 P4 0.008 P5 -0.036 P7 0.044 0.260 P8 P9 0.153 P11 0.594 P12 0.780 P13 0.759 P14 0.663 P15 0.732 P16 0.680 P17 0.777 Factor Analysis*: Factor 2 0.813 0.626 0.759 0.771 0.745 0.560 0.056 0.239 -0.080 0.099 0.165 0.001 -0.083 0.046 -0.017 Perceived Factor 3 0.037 -0.052 -0.087 -0.001 0.086 0.171 0.092 0.066 0.043 -0.024 0.065 -0.013 0.074 0.174 0.069 Service Factor 4 -0.104 0.132 0.098 0.011 -0.068 0.322 0.592 0.575 0.265 -0.064 -0.190 0.145 0.168 0.102 Level for Sample 1 Variable Factor 5 -0.035 -0.028 0.076 0.065 0.116 -0.040 0.081 0.038 0.137 -0.008 -0.007 0.070 0.095 -0.006 0.037 Communality 0.685 0.493 0.600 0.598 0.581 0.461 0.437 0.417 0.450 0.623 0.644 0.455 0.586 0.505 0.612 -P6-9^38-0-448-9t284-&_3_-9t098-0.346 -JP4Q-0,40$-9,373-0406-0r_49-0^076-9^388 -F4?-9^96-0?40-9r?2 P20 P21 0.034 0.423 0.045 -0.077 0.037 -9^?2-9^03-0.541 -0.064 0.078 -P43-0r?_4-9?9_-&44T-9454-0r3_4-0.360 P22_0.008_0.297 *Principal Components Selection Criteria: criteria were Analysis Oblique as 0.198 -0.068 -0.044 0.657 0.525 0.478 0.471 0.122_0.516_0.371 loadings, no single loading, items not meeting these rotation, factor loading > 0.5, no multiple indicated by the struck-out lines. dropped Table 2. CFA Test Results Fit Indices for IS ZOT SERVQUAL Perceived Measure Desired 1.337 0.973 0.828 0.076 0.943 0.972 on the Holdout Minimum < 3.0 1.521 0.965 0.817 0.107 <1.0 > 0.90 0.928 0.964 Sample Recommended Fit Criteria* > 0.90 > 0.80 Satorra-Bentler Scaled Chi-Square/d.f. 1.947 Bollen 0.932 (IFI) 0.796 LISREL AGFI Root Mean Squared Residual (RMSR) 0.120 Fit Index 0.918 Comparative Robust CFI 0.931 *Segars and Grover (1993) > 0.90 MS Quarterly Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 613 This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Kettinger & Lee/Alternative Scales for IS SERVQUAL lowed. Significant factor loading coefficients and the satisfactory fitsof the threeCFA models con firmthe convergent validityof the four IS service quality dimensions. Next, formal tests of discrim were performed (Bagozzi and Phillips inant validity 1982). The chi-square differences between theall possible constrained models (each correlation between four dimensions was with only two items. The authors recognize that such a two-item construct has potential validity Future researchers might consider the improving responsiveness measure around the concept of anticipated preparedness toperform a service, which can be inferred by the two retained problems. responsiveness and readiness items (i.e., willingness to help... to respond...). responsiveness items loaded more closely with the reliabilityfactor than the responsiveness dimen sion, leaving thederived responsiveness construct model was tested and strained to 1.0) and thefinal showed significant chi-square differences, indi cating discriminant validity for all three levels. Reliability tests for the final derived four dimen sions with 18 items were conducted with a Cronbach Alpha test, resulting in acceptable levels of reliability forall dimensions at three levels (refer toTable 3). Insum, a totalof 18 items loaded into four dimensions at all three IS ZOT levels, indi cating strong support forconstruct validity of the measures as well as subsequently con Research instrument and structure of four dimensions and items among three levels of IS service quality. These results provide the statistical legitimacyforuse of ISZOT inthe IS setting. The finalversion of SERVQUAL items retained is displayed in Table 4. demonstrating a common surprised satisfaction sometimes called customer stream delight (Oliveret al. 1997), while a different of literature reminds us that there is a cost of quality and one must be mindful tomake sure that IS service quality has a bottom line impacton the firm. Inthis regard, futureresearch should investi gate the relationships of IS ZOT service quality to performance. example, researchers might examine themeaning of exceeding desired service levels. Some litera ture suggests that thisoffers the service provider a levelof benefits by bringing theircustomers into should explore the application of this its diagnostic strength. For overall ISF performance and, ultimately,business Implications and Practice for Research_ This study introduced and validated the ZOT concept inthe IS setting using a dual measure of The findings IS service quality expectations. an toward addressing represent importantstep past concerns with the original IS SERVQUAL's expectation measure and gap-scoring. As will be discussed later in the section, the new IS ZOT has strongpractical poten SERVQUAL instrument which managers tial as a diagnostic tool through can quicklyvisualize their current IS service quality situation and design corrective actions. However, to further establish the instrument's external additional applications in validity and reliability, The survey length of the ISZOT SERVQUAL adds some complexitywhen compared toa single point (perception determine only) measure. the relative Researchers diagnostic value need of mea to suring IS customer expectations within a zones of tolerance scheme over the use of a perceived-only Incases where brevity, (SERVPERF) or cost, predictive validity concerns demand, the measure. PERF) seemingly less clinical perception-only (SERV measure might be a better option. Learning how and when managers use the ISZOT contexts need tobe undertaken. multiple industrial as a diagnostic tool to shape theirservice delivery strategies needs to be investigated both quali tatively and quantitatively in multiple industry measure contexts before the relativevalue of this is fully understood. In terms of practice, employing the IS ZOT ina periodic IS service qualityman agement program is important for two reasons. Future researchers also should attempt to further distinguish the responsiveness dimension of IS dimension. ZOT SERVQUAL from the "reliability" In this study, two of the original IS SERVQUAL SERVQUAL 614 Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 MIS Quarterly This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Scales forIS SERVQUAL & Lee/Alternative Kettinger Table Sample 3. Revised IS ZOT SERVQUAL Constructs and Reliabilities of the Holdout Reliabilities* Constructs Reliability Responsiveness Rapport Original Items Retained** 1,2,3,4,5,7 0.78 8,9 11,12,13,14,15,16,17 Perceived 084 086 088 0.74 0.73 0.81 Desired Minimum Tangibles | 20,21,22 | 0.86 0.84 0.92 | 0.81 | 0.85 *Cronbach Alpha values for Perceived, Desired, **Refer to Table 4 for retained item descriptions and Minimum service levels. Table 4. Operationalization Factor Analysis IS ZOT SERVQUAL's Service Service Level ? Level Anchor ? of the IS ZOT SERVQUAL Constructs Before and After Questions and Format for Item Descriptions (below): you consider adequate. of My Perception the [Organization's Service Computer Performance Minimum Desired the expected minimum level of service performance the level of service performance you desire._ Low When Service My Minimum Level is: My Desired Level Low of Service is: Unit's Name] High High Low is: High 23456789 Final Constructs 1. service as promised Providing Item Descriptions itcomes to... 123456789 123456789_1 Original Constructs 1...Providing 2...Dependability 3...Performing 4...Providing 5...Maintaining 6...Keeping 7...Prompt services service services as promised... in handling customer's service Reliability problems... Reliability Reliability Reliability Reliability Reliability Reliability Responsiveness Reliability Dropped Reliability Responsiveness Responsiveness Assurance Assurance Rapport Assurance Rapport Empathy Rapport Empathy Rapport Rapport Rapport Responsiveness Dropped Rapport Reliability the reliable customers right the first time... at the promised time... Reliability technology and system... informed about when service will be made... service to customers... requests... in customers... 8...Willingness 9...Readiness 10...IS 12...IS 13...IS who employees 11 ...Making customers employees employees who to help customers... to respond to customer's Responsiveness Responsiveness instill confidence who feel safer in computer transactions... are consistently courteous... Assurance to answer customers' have the knowledge questions... Empathy fashion... individual attention... customers 14...Giving 15...IS employees who deal with customers ina caring the customer's best interest at heart... 16...Having Empathy 17...IS employees who understand the needs of customers... 18...Convenient 20.. business hours... 19.. .Up-to-date Empathy Tangibles Tangibles Tangibles training, videos, are Dropped Dropped technology... facilities... .Visually appealing 21 ...IS employees who 22...Useful Tangibles Tangibles appear professional... support materials (such as documentation, after factor analyses etc.)..._Tangibles_Tangibles_ *ltems dropped are struck out; final constructs in bold. MIS Quarterly Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 615 This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Kettinger & Lee/Alternative Scales for IS SERVQUAL First, as a diagnostic tool, ithas the potential to measure changes in IS service quality relative to can customers'expectations over time. Second, it be a basis for corrective actions leading to strategies to manage minimum service level expectations, to improveperceived service levels, or to allocate IS resources to specific IS customer need. segments based on an identified ZOT customer service expectations are charac (2) What is the relative position of the perceived service pointers within each ZOT band? Are the perceived service pointers closer to the desired expectation level than theminimum level? (3) If all the perceived service pointers are within tive size and the relative positioning of ZOT bands? These criteria can be examined to determine whether possible expectation management could extend the band and possibly lower expectation levels. For example, inUniversity 2, the respon siveness dimensions should be picked as the second most troubled IS service qualitydimension, given the relativepositioning of the pointerswithin theZOT. Further diagnosis related to this targeted respon siveness dimension for university 2 might be obtained by comparing differentcustomer user segmentations (refer to Figure 3). In this illustra customer groups tion, responsiveness of different iscompared. The Grad Student Class 1 customer segment shows the most serious deficiency despite a relatively largeZOT band. It is possible that IS service delivery faults have occurred with this group, actual placing their current perceptions of responsiveness of the information system their respective zones, what is the compara terized by tolerance bands. These tolerance bands, representing the difference between desired service and the levelof service considered minimally adequate, can differ insize. Over time these bandwidths may either expand, contract, or move up or down based on expectation changes. Variations can also exist in differentcustomers' tolerance zones. Some customers small zone of tolerance, which may require a consistent level of service by an IS provider to hit within a small band, whereas other customers may have a tolerate a greater range of service quality. The and potential for IS managers to learn to identify to im tolerance bands manipulate expectation prove IS service strategies offers great promise over the single SERVPERF measure. To illustratethis potential,we examine the actual ZOT results fromour sample 1 (two universities). As Figure 2 demonstrates, if University 1 relied mistakenly identifythe rapport dimension as a more solely on the perceived service measure, the itmay area, may since the single perception-only indicatorshows a lower score of rapport than reliability. However, incorporating the ZOT band, one can visually pinpoint the area of deficiency; namely, the dimension, where the perceived perfor reliability mance pointer is furthest outside theZOT band. There are three criteria thathelp provide the basis for diagnosis and judgments concerning IS service quality deficiencies and service quality manage ment: problematic area than reliability function (ISF) far below minimum service quality levels. This group might be prime fora special service recovery activityby the IS provider towin back confidence that they are responsive to this group's IS needs. Looking at Grad Class 2, it is observed thatwhile the band is smaller and the single pointer higher, these graduate students are also unsatisfied with current the level of service given the distance between the perceived service pointer and theZOT. (1) Is the perceived service quality pointer If outside and below theZOT? so, how great is the distance from the ZOT (adequate service level) to the perceived service quality pointer? Since the perceived service level pointers forboth undergraduate student groups are within their might point the ISF to respective ZOT bands, this more specialized services targeted to grad offer uate students. Such tegy could be applied to departmental, divisional, or even company a segmentation services stra parisons with external companies would be pos segments. Benchmarking com 616 MIS Quarterly Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Kettinger & Lee/Alternative Scales for IS SERVQUAL University 1's IS Service Quality University 2's 91 81 5 | | j r~i |?| I 9f " IS Service Quality 8 , 6 5 x : 7 ;7 :.jf. rn L_J __ I 6 3 "? 2 ? s; 5 ? * 0 1 3 0) 5 3 "? (D 2 1 ?-?<_. ?- o o Q. 0 O (S (Q O w ro i w I Figure 3. Customer Illustration of Zone Service Segments of Tolerance Dimensional Assessment Comparing MIS Quarterly Vol. 29 No. 4/December 2005 617 This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Kettinger & Lee/Alternative Scales for IS SERVQUAL sible to provide relativeservice quality levels. For example, going back to Figure 2 and comparing these two universities, University 2 shows rela tivelybetter IS service quality than University 1, given its largerZOT bands and with three of the four perceived service pointers inside the ZOT dimensional bands. Longitudinal study should be carried out to better learn the efficacy of managerial interventions(as discussed above) tomanipulate ZOT's minimum we need to expectation levels. To gain this insight, better understand the antecedents of expectation levels and theirpossible managerial implications. A customer's level of minimum service is influenced by a least four factors (Berry and Parasuraman 1997; ZBP 1993). First, "transitory service intensifies" are customer loyalty based on may be more difficult distinguished service delivery that substantially exceeds minimum levels. This raises thequestion: Would superior IS service vendors be better off attempting to narrow IS customer's tolerance zones by strivingtomove minimum service levels up to reduce the competitive appeal of a mediocre IS providers? As thisquestion suggests, theappli cation of the IS ZOT SERVQUAL and itsasso ciated expectation management schemes are flexible to differentservice contexts and begin to offer ISF providers a more exact tool to shape service quality strategies. Acknowledgments The authors would like to acknowledge the excel lent direction of the senior editor and the important insightsand contributions of the reviewers. term, individual factors that lead customers to a heightened sensitivity to service. Second, per ceived service alternatives are customers' temporary, usually short tionsof the degree towhich theycan obtain better service through providers other than the focal IS service provider. A thirdfactor is the customer's self-perceived service role. This can be defined as the customer's perceptions of the degree to which themselves influence the level of service they they receive. Fourth, levels of minimum service adequacy are influenced by situational factors, defined service percep References Andersen, J. C, and Gerbing, D. W. 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"An Empirical "Re-examining Per Examination of a Model of Perceived Service Quality and Satisfaction," Journal of Retailing (72:2), 1996, pp. 201-214. Swan J., and Trawick, F. "SatisfactionRelated to Predictive vs. Desired Expectation," inRefining Concepts and Measures of Consumer Satis faction and Complaining Behavior, H. K. Hunt and R. L. Day (Eds.), Indiana UniversityPress, Bloomington, IN, 1980, pp. 7-12. Teas, R. K. Spreng, domestically and abroad on these topics and has published numerous books and research articles MIS Quarterly. includingfive previous articles in Choong C. Lee isAssociate Dean of ate School of Informationat Yonsei Seoul, Korea. He has a Ph.D. degree the University of South Carolina and served as an associate professor theGradu University, in MIS from previously at Perdue Standard Assessment inMeasuring Service Quality: of a Reassessment," Performance Journal "Expectations as a Comparison An of School of Business, Salisbury University. Actively involvedwith research and consulting projects in Senior Researcher/Consultant forenterpriselQ in Lausanne, Switzerland. His past research results MIS Quarterly, Decision have been published in Sciences, Journal ofMIS, Communications of the ACM, and Information and Management. IS performance measurement, he also works as a Marketing (58), January 1994, pp. 132-139. Teas, R. K. "Expectations, Evalua tion and Consumers' Perception of Quality," Journal ofMarketing (57:4), 1993, pp. 18-34. 620 Vol. 29 No. 4/December2005 MIS Quarterly This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions "" I P1 I P2 P3 I P4 I P5 P7 I P8 P9 I P13 P11 P12 I P14 I P15 I P16 I P17 I P20 I P21 I P22 -0.3016 -0.5330 -0.320 -0.1441 952 1.027 0.833 Covariance Matrix, Univariate, Multivariate Statistics the and Holdout Sample of 1.066 ^ Item 5.5699 5.6183 5.6398 5.7634 5.7849 5.4462 4.8280 5.2742 5.5645 5.7312 4.9570 5.8656 5.4409 5.3656 5.2258 5.1237 5.1613 ?' ^ P22 0.778 1.035 0.950 0.979 0.808 1.036 1.417 0.950 1.233 1.206 1.049 1.245 1.096 1.168 1.265 1.353 1.693 2.590 ? 0.2247 -0.1559-0.3734 -0.0344 0 | Kurtosis -0.2422 -0.1167 -0.140 0.1727 -0.6730 -0.3227 -0.3919 -0.2505 -0.2413 0.0107 -0.0679 -0.3093 -0.2482 -0.2052 0. ?8 1.3831 1.2553 1.3653 1.6137 1.3969 1.6741 1.4369 1.3782 1.4734 1.4529 1.4725 1.4316 1.4101 1.5416 1.3708 1.5149 1.6094 1.4485 Standard g P21 0.735 0.815 0.845 0.965 0.756 1.009 1.454 1.078 1.212 1.335 1.173 1.313 1015 1.106 1.187 1.448 2.098_| -0.5108 -0.2403 0.0879 1.509 1.180 1.133 1.261 ^0.623 0.859 P17 0.889 0.914 0.814 1.047 1.024 1.496 1.503 1.405 1.228 1.418 1.344 1.497 2.168_? 1.149 | P16 0.585 0.746 0.949 0.968 0.798 1.009 1.490 0.953 1.484 1.385 1.239 1.400 1.422 2.049_?> gP15 0.699 0.877 0.668 0.818 0.852 1.988_ 1.513_ 0.901 0.742 _D3_ ^ JD2_ 1.534_ ^ | D1 1.359_ 0.895 Means 0/5 I-1 ? 0.656 M17 0.665 0.819 0.882 0.867 1.231 1.054 2.314_f 1.081 1.187 1.500 1.516 1.455 1.473 1.339 ? M16 0.601 0.754 0.788 0.830 0.739 0.966 1.148 0.962 1.171 1.198 1.076 1.078 1.119 1.816_J M15 0.550 0.848 0.787 0.830 0.930 0.664 0.934 1.041 1.151 1.138 1.271 1.325 1.851_ M14 0.442 0.563 0.929 0.566 0.802 1.378 0.865 1.101 1.186 1.016 1.136 2.176_ 0.674 0.673 M13 0.849 1.015 0.885 0.919 1.058 1.043 1.318 1.134 1.725_ Multivariate for items: Coefficient Normalized index 22 122.03; Mardia's Estimate o all normality 31.18 = ^ M12 0.680 0.738 0.740 0.794 0.902 0.884 0.993 0.863 1.397 1.905_ 0.602 0.638 M11 0.956 0.846 0.793 1.013 1.128 1.997_ 1.051 M9 0.545 0.667 0.947 0.887 0.946 1.044 1.105 1.718_ 0.535 M8 0.709 0.921 0.926 2.202_ 1.118 0.821 M7 0.643 0.822 0.936 1.023 0.801 2.074_ (n [Table Minimum A3. Service Level 188) = 0.708 M5 0.890 0.913 0.980 1.850_ M4 1.046 0.770 1.099 1.896_ M3 0.866 1.781_ 0.875 0.789 M2 1.616_ M1 1.372_ CD __^___ _?_^__^B_^__i_W_M_M__ta_?_M_? _M__?_ Jg Means_ | ^ ness cd 2 Deviation ~> ? -i 10 > This content downloaded from on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:58:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions