liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
What is quality in a manufacturing firm?: Understanding the quality of products, services and solutions
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Quality Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Quality Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibilities and difficulties that manufacturing firms have regarding the quality of their offerings along the goods-to-services continuum. In particular, the paper identifies different quality dimensions for products, services and solutions.

Methodology/approach − Conceptual paper.

Findings − The paper presents a model on how a manufacturing firm can provide quality on offerings along the goods-to-services continuum. Furthermore, the paper identifies the quality dimensions that exist for products, services and solutions. For solutions, the paper identifies six quality dimensions and presents them through an empirical illustration. The six dimensions are (i) reliability, (ii) empathy, (iii) tangibility, (iv) approachability, (v) consistency and (vi) flexibility. A manufacturing firm must provide high-quality products, services and solutions, and the different types of quality might require different principles, practices and techniques.

Research limitations/implications − The model and the six developed quality dimensions are not tested empirically.

Originality/value − Few studies have addressed the quality of a solution provided by a manufacturing firm. The present research provides a framework for how solution quality is different from product and service quality. In addition, the paper provides an empirical illustration of how a firm can work with product, service and solution quality for the firm’s offerings.

Keyword [en]
Quality management, Quality principles, Quality profile, Service organisations
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88730OAI: diva2:605727
Available from: 2013-02-15 Created: 2013-02-15 Last updated: 2013-02-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Managing Quality in a Service Context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing Quality in a Service Context
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, service organizations have had to increase the number of offerings they provide. These organizations face difficulties in changing their internal processes to provide high-quality offerings. With the increase in demand for delivered services and competitive organizations from low-cost countries, service organizations currently face several issues. Today’s service organizations combine products and services into a solution to improve their competitiveness. These organizations experience changes in customer expectations depending on what they offer. That is, expectations, demands,  and wishes change depending on the offering that a customer uses. Thus,  service organizations need to know how expectations for quality change based on offerings and how they can work to change certain emphasized quality aspects. Hence, the aim of this licentiate thesis is to contribute to the knowledge of how to manage quality in a service context.

This licentiate thesis is based on three different studies. One study is based on a number of self-assessment studies conducted at 138 Swedish service organizations using a total of more than 5,000 respondents. In the second study, data was collected over a five-year period through a literature review, interviews, a document study, and observations to capture the quality profile and associated interventions. The second study was conducted in a service organization in the public transportation industry. In the third study, a literature review was performed to provide theoretical propositions for developing a conceptual model. The conceptual model was built on theories from product quality, service quality, service logic, and solutions.

The findings revealed that a service organization could change the performance level of a quality principle if the correct interventions are used. Furthermore, a service organization immature in quality management emphasizes one or two quality principles and, after the initial phase focuses on other principles as well. Therefore, if a service organization wants to change its quality profile pattern, it must change its emphasis on certain norms and principles. A further finding is the proposed solution’s quality concept and its six quality dimensions: (i) reliability, (ii) flexibility, (iii) consistency, (iv) empathy, (v) approachability, and (vi) tangibility. Furthermore, a model connecting the empirical findings in a quality concepts model is proposed. This model shows that the need exists to change work activities if the service  organization changes strategic direction, that is, changes the number of offerings offered.

Abstract [sv]

Under senare år har svenska tjänsteorganisationer ökat bredden av erbjudanden till sina kunder. En del av dessa organisationer har svårigheter med att ändra sina interna processer för att kunna leverera hög kvalitet på hela bredden av erbjudanden, som produkter, tjänst och helhetslösning. Med ökade krav på tjänster och konkurrens från lågkostnadsländer, står tjänsteorganisationer för närvarande inför flera utmaningar. Många av dagens tjänsteorganisationer, exempelvis tillverkningsföretag, kombinerar produkter och tjänster i så kallade lösningar för att förbättra sin konkurrenskraft. Dessa organisationer upplever förändringar i kundernas förväntningar beroende på vad de erbjuder. Det vill säga förväntningar, krav och önskemål förändras beroende på vilket erbjudande som kunden använder. Således behöver tjänsteorganisationerna veta hur förväntningar på kvalitet förändras utifrån erbjudande och hur de kan arbeta med att förbättra de dimensioner av kvalitet som är viktiga för kunden. Därmed är syftet med denna licentiatavhandling att bidra till kunskapen om hur organisationer kan styra sitt kvalitetsarbete på strategisk nivå i en tjänstekontext.

Denna licentiatavhandling bygger på tre olika studier. En av studierna är baserad på ett antal självutvärderingsstudier genomförda vid 138 svenska tjänsteorganisationer. Den andra studiens material samlades in under en femårsperiod genom en litteraturstudie, intervjuer, dokumentstudier och observationer för att fånga organisationens kvalitetsprofil. Denna studie genomfördes i en tjänsteorganisation inom kollektivtrafiken. Under den tredje studien genomfördes en litteraturstudie för att ta fram en konceptuell modell för vad kvalitet är på en lösning. Den konceptuella modellen byggdes på teorier från produktkvalitet, tjänstekvalitet, tjänstelogik och helhetslösningar.

Resultaten visar att en tjänsteorganisation kan ändra prestation på en kvalitetsprincip om rätt åtgärder används. En tjänsteorganisation som är omogen inom kvalitetsstyrning fokuserar på en eller två kvalitetsprinciper. Först efter den inledande fasen fokuserar organisationen på ytterligare principer. För att tjänsteorganisationen ska kunna ändra utseende på sin kvalitetsprofil måste den aktivt arbeta med att ändra kvalitetsprincip i fokus. Ett ytterligare resultat är den konceptuella modellen över helhetslösningskvalitet och dess sex dimensioner: (i) tillförlitlighet, (ii) flexibilitet, (iii) överensstämmande, (iv) empati (v) tillgänglighet, och (vi) påtaglighet. Dessutom presenteras en modell som visar att behovet finns att byta arbetsuppgifter och åtgärder om tjänsteorganisationen ändrar strategisk inriktning, det vill säga ändrar antalet erbjudanden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 58 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1579
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88731 (URN)LiU-TEK-Lic 2013:13 (Local ID)978-91-7519-686-2 (ISBN)LiU-TEK-Lic 2013:13 (Archive number)LiU-TEK-Lic 2013:13 (OAI)
2013-02-25, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-02-15 Created: 2013-02-15 Last updated: 2014-01-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Johansson, ElisabethWitell, Lars
By organisation
Quality Technology and ManagementThe Institute of Technology
Engineering and Technology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 117 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link