Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

Measuring Is Service Quality in the Context of the Service Quality-User Satisfaction Relationship

Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

Measuring Is Service Quality in the Context of the Service Quality-User Satisfaction Relationship

Article excerpt


There is little research regarding the relationship between IS service quality and user satisfaction, the most frequently used surrogate for information systems success. The current study is designed to investigate three ways of measuring service quality (i.e., confirmation/disconfirmation, perception-only, and overall assessment) and shed light on the relationship between service quality and user satisfaction. The results imply that when managers try to measure service quality to improve their service, they have to be cautious in ruling out or selecting one way or another of measuring service quality. The current research also clearly shows that mangers have to take care of the service quality to enhance user satisfaction. The models and results are discussed.


Effective information systems (IS) service has been expanding to the areas that assist and train IS users in their use of information and technology in various aspects such as hardware and software selection, trouble-shooting, and analyzing data to produce information for decision makers (Jiang, Klein, and Carr 2002; Pitt, Watson, and Kavan 1995). Another factor that causes IS department to expand its role is the tremendous growth in electronic commerce where IS department need to manage and maintain information and technology in ways that an organization can meet fast-changing customer needs in a timely manner (El Sawy, Malhortra, Gosain, and Young 2000). As the role of IS department becomes important, the quality of IS service accordingly becomes very critical in enabling IS users to accomplish their work more efficiently to add value to their activities and organizational performance. Thus, IS service quality over the Internet as well as within the organization has been emerged as a key success factor for business (Kettinger and Lee 1994; Moad 1989; Pitt, Watson, and Kavan 1995; Rockart 1982), in particular for electronic commerce (Riel, Semeijn, and Janssen 2003; Santos 2003; Wang and Tang 2003). This reflects a paradigm shift toward service from goods (Rust and Kannan 2003) and requires researchers to retrace the concept of IS service quality and re-examine ways of measuring the concept.

There has been a debate in IS literature pertaining to the measures of IS service quality. Most of the debate has involved the conceptual and empirical relevance of the measures of service quality, SERVQUAL and SERVPERF. Some researchers (Cronin and Taylor 1992; Cronin and Taylor 1994; Teas 1993; Teas 1994; Van Dyke, Kappelman, and Prybutok 1997; Van Dyke, Prybutok, and Kappelman 1999) contend that perception-only measures are better than confirmation/disconfirmation measures in terms of convergent and predictive validities because the perception measures readily reflect users' complex cognitive evaluation processes. The dimensionality of service quality also varies from one to eight dimensions (Kettinger and Lee 1994). Kettinger and Lee (1997) call for research that empirically proves the strength and weakness of those two measures of IS service quality in terms of the dimensionality of service quality and the role of expectation in determining the gap score (i.e., service quality). Moreover, there is a claim that in evaluating users' perception of service or product, an aggregate level of measurement reflecting users' disproportionate weighting criteria on the attributes is more effective than an attribute level of measurement (Szymanski and Henard 2001).

There is another branch of IS service quality studies that investigates the consequence of IS service quality such as user satisfaction, attitude change, and behavioral intention to use a service (e.g., Devaraj, Fan, and Kohli 2002; Jiang, Klein, and Carr 2002; Jiang, Klein, and Crampton 2000; Kettinger and Lee 1994). These studies report that service quality is an important determinant of user satisfaction. Hence, regardless of the dispute over the dimensionality and psychometric property of the SERVQUAL measure, the study on the relationship between IS service quality and its consequences may provide an additional insight into the debate on how to measure IS service quality as well as its role or importance to reflect the variables such as user satisfaction, attitudinal changes, etc. …

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