Lesson 2 The Dimensions of Quality

Reading Assignment:

Download and read Chapter 2 in Essentials of Quality With Cases and Experiential Exercises.  Review the Discussion Questions at the end of the chapter to be sure that you understand

Supplementary Readings:

Sower, V., J. Duffy, W. Kilbourne, G. Kohers, & P. Jones.  "The Dimensions of Service Quality for Hospitals:  Development of the KQCAH Scale."  Health Care Management Review, vol. 26, no. 2, Spring 2001, 47-59.
Discussion -- Operationalizing the Dimensions of Quality:
Garvin's 8 dimensions of product quality provide a good conceptual framework for understanding the multidimensional nature of product quality. But to actually use the dimensions to measure the quality of a particular product, the dimensions must be operationalized -- that is measureable characteristics (metrics) must be defined which enable an assessment of the dimension they represent.  For example, you cannot measure the performance of an automobile directly.  You have to develop metrics for performance.  For an automobile, one possible metric might be the time it takes to go from 0 to 60 mph.  This can be measured.  Another metric might be fuel efficiency.  By combining the metrics for a given dimension, a dimension score can be obtained.  Two products can be compared by comparing their dimension scores.

A number of researchers have shown that service quality is also multidimensional. It is harder to find one set of quality dimensions which apply equally well to many types of services. It is often necessary to develop appropriate service quality dimensions on an industry by industry basis.  Operationalizing the dimensions of service quality is frequently more challenging than operationalizing the dimensions of product quality.  Operationalizing the KQCAH service dimension of respect and caring could result in metrics such as degree of personal interaction with staff, orientation to surroundings, degree of two-way understanding between patient and caregiver, level of patient participation in decision making.  As you can see, these metrics are still more qualitative than quantitative.  Other service quality dimensions are more easily operationalized.  Timeliness could be operationalized as the hours of operation.  Time could be operationalized as the total time for a transaction to be completed.  These metrics can be objectively measured.

Writing Assignment:
Do problems 1-6 at the end of the chapter.
Experiential Exercise:
Do Experiential Exercise 1 at the end of the chapter.  Present your findings in a 2-3 page report.
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