Value as an aid for understanding perceived service quality of digital services : the JYU faculty of information technology as a case study
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Perceived service quality is a widely discussed and debated theme in service marketing literature, with various overlapping definitions and terminologies that have accumulated over time. The idea of perceived service quality for digital services borrows heavily from the existing service marketing research from the 80s and tries to modify and adapt these existing models for conceptualising and measuring. This represents a significant research gap since services without a digital interface are much more variable in nature than digital services and assume the service provider as the sole owner and influencer of the perceived quality. The bias originating from this research gap leads to a neglect of the possibility that the perception of quality in digital services could be determined primarily by the customer themselves, based on certain aspects that drive value creation and assessment during the service usage lifecycle. Service-Dominant Logic, which is one of the paradigms that effectively explains value creation in practice considers service as the integration of resources for personal and collective benefit and achievement of objectives wherein the user is considered as a value co-creator. Building on the tenets of Service-Dominant Logic, Service Logic considers the user as the primary value creator while giving the role of co-creator to the service provider, who has the onus of co-creating value by integrating with the user’s processes. This research is conducted by the means of a review of literature for forming a theoretical framework for understanding perceived service quality of digital services using value as an aid where the socio-cultural context of use, objectives and digital competencies are considered as the broad-based value drivers. The proposed framework is then tested using empirical data collected as part of interviews for an interpretivist case study via the inductive approach. Findings of this research indicate that value can indeed be used as a theoretical concept for understanding the phenomenon of perceived service quality for digital services where the interface between the provider and the consumer happens, primarily in the user’s value creation space which may be facilitated by the means of resources by a pro-active service provider. ...
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