Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Measuring Service Quality Expectations in Public Recreational Sport Programs. (Leisure and Recreation)

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Measuring Service Quality Expectations in Public Recreational Sport Programs. (Leisure and Recreation)

Article excerpt

Reports indicate that about half of the individuals who begin participating in sport activities drop out within a short period (Dishman, 2001), suggesting that retaining participants is a critical challenge facing sport and recreation providers. One approach to participant retention is fostering customer loyalty, which is expected to produce persistent, consistent behavior (Backman & Crompton, 1991). Research has shown that the quality of the programs provided and the derived customer satisfaction are strongly related to customer loyalty (Tian-Cole, Crompton, Wilson, 2002). To enhance customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, a primary goal of recreation agencies should be to meet participants' expectations relative to the sport programs provided. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the service quality and intrapersonal need expectations of participants in a selected sport program, and to identify possible differences in expectations. based on demographic characteristics. The sample included 124 volleyball players in leagues organized by the Champaign Park District. Fifty-one percent were women, and ages ranged from 20 to 57 (M = 32); the majority were college graduates (57%), and 64% reported an annual income of less than $50,000. The SERVQUAL scale (Parasuraman et al., 1988) was adapted to operationalize service quality expectations. The six dimensions measured were Tangibles, Responsiveness, Reliability, Personnel, and Context. …

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