You are on page 1of 2

In the empirical study conducted by Furrer, Shaw, Liu and Sudharshan (2000) discusses the relationships between cultural

dimensions and its interaction with each of five dimensions of service quality. Since the study is directed toward the analysis of interaction between two factors culture and service quality following framework is being utilized.

Cultural Diamensions

Service quality Perception

Service Quality

From the cross-cultural study of Hofstede (1980), four national culture dimensions have been established: power distance (PDI), individualism (IDV), masculinity (MAS) and uncertainty avoidance (UAV). Finally, from the study conducted later, Hofstede (1991) suggests long-term orientation (LTO) to be an integral dimension as well. It takes into the consideration the service quality dimensions developed Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1993) which are maninly, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles. It argues that, a quality service requires reliability (which is the ability to perform the promised service accurately), responsiveness (willingness to help the customers in a timely manner), assurance (ability of employee to convey trust and confidence to customers), empathy (caring and focused attentions on individual customers) and tangibles (physical service environment). Then the study compares the real life example of how consumers perceived service in Japan and United States. Japanese required more formality whereas congeniality was considered to be more important by the people. In other studies conducted, Asian and Western cultural differences seem to have a significant effect on explaining the level of service quality perceptions by the customers. Customers with

a western cultural background are more likely to rely on the tangible cues from the physical environment than the Asian counterparts would. In addition, western customers tend to prefer more sensual pleasure from the service encounter than the Asian counterparts. Across various studies, one of the most common limitations found is the lack of consideration for the contingency variables. Based on the reading of the literature, three contingency variables emerge, which are: powerful weak customers, male female service providers, and frequent infrequent service situations. By power difference, it considers the situation when there are differences in social class, education level, and occupation for example, in legal service; a service provider might be more powerful than the customer (considering they could have attended one of the most prestigious law schools). However, contrary might be true in the taxi service where the customers would be more powerful than the service provider. In this study the following findings have been made between the dimensions of the culture and the service quality perceptions. Power Distance: In cultures with a large power distance, weak customers are more likely to tolerate failure from more powerful service providers. Hence, we can infer somewhat an inverse relation, as increasing power distance means the customers would become more tolerant to any service provision. There also tends to be a high degree of correlation between power distance and assurance as people tend to trust those who are more knowledgeable in that particular field. Individualism: In cultures with a higher level of individualism, such as in the western societies, customers are relatively more independent and have the selfresponsibility ethic which is the reason they demand that others be efficient, hence demanding a high level of service quality. At the same time, interestingly, they do not expect to be assured by service providers due to their nature, as they think they are self confident and expect the service providers to do the same. Masculinity: In cultures with high degree of masculinity, customers expect a female service provider to be more feminine than professional. There also seems to be certain level of positive relationship between masculinity and empathy as well. Uncertainty avoidance: Higher the uncertainty avoidance feature, faster responsiveness should be demonstrated by the service provider to ensure a positive quality perception by the customers. Long-Term Orientation: In cultures with a long-term orientation, long-term relationships with service providers are expected. In these, reliability responsiveness, and empathy are extremely important.