Six Sigma and Service Quality: Christian Grönroos Revisited
Grönroos' 1984 deconstruction of service quality led him to conclude that its principal components were technical quality, functional quality, and corporate image. A later model, developed by Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml (1985), is more widely known however, and represents the point of departure for much of marketing's extant research concerning the evaluation of services. Despite similarities between the two it is the latter which has captured both public and academic imagination and which, in the process, has determined our preconceptions regarding what service quality might be. Due in part to misinterpretation and misunderstanding, the PBZ model has helped shape a view of service quality that now over-emphasises the functional and under-represents the technical and, to a degree, has encouraged within the marketing fraternity a presumption that 'service quantity' stands proxy for 'service quality'. This paper suggests that perceptions and expectations have now taken over from reality and needs, and explains how Six Sigma service quality might be the spur that could cause us to re-address the structure and meaning of this crucial property.