The Impact of Service Quality of Public Sports Facilities on Citizens' Satisfaction, Image, and Word-of-Mouth Intention

By Eun, Hee-Kwan; Lee, Jong-Ho | The Sport Journal, Annual 2012 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Service Quality of Public Sports Facilities on Citizens' Satisfaction, Image, and Word-of-Mouth Intention


Eun, Hee-Kwan, Lee, Jong-Ho, The Sport Journal


Introduction

With the growing demand and the importance of healthy lifestyles, many public sports facilities have been constructed over the last two decades in an effort to improve residents' health and welfare and overall quality of life. Public sports facilities have played a very important role in promoting physical activity and participation in leisure sports activities. Therefore, there have been significant efforts to continue to improve the image of leisure sports and pursue the amelioration of service quality of public sports facilities.

However, it has been consistently found that the quality of service provided by many public leisure sports facilities still fail to meet citizens' needs (Kang, Kim, & Lee, 2002; Lee & Shin, 2004). Some studies reported that many public sports facilities operated by national or local government are mismanaged due to the lack of specialized user-centered operations management(Kim, 2003; Lee, 2000). Therefore, many public sports facilities have the low level of participation due to their failure to provide good quality service. The purpose of this study was to find the impact of the service quality of public sports facilities on citizens' satisfaction, image, and word-of-mouth intention. To accomplish the objective, this study conducted a survey with 354 citizens using the Seoul Square Skating Rink located in Seoul, South Korea.

The following are research hypotheses which were formulated as the basis for the purpose of this study.

Hypothesis 1. There will be significant difference in the perception of service quality of public sports facilities according to demographic factors as gender, marital status, educational level, age, occupation, and household income.

Hypothesis 2. The service quality of public sports facilities will have a significant effect on citizens' satisfaction.

Hypothesis 3. The service quality of public sports facilities will have a significant effect on image.

Hypothesis 4. The service quality of public sports facilities will have a significant effect on their word-of-mouth intention.

Background

Research on the service provision of public sports facilities (Song, Hur,& Ahn, 1998; Gronroos, 1978), the relationship between the service quality of public sports facilities and customer satisfaction (Kim, 2003; Jang & Bae, 2003), and the management plan according to the type of resident satisfaction (Kim & Yun, 2004) was conducted. These studies suggested the service quality of public sports facilities as a series of tangible as well as intangible service activities, which are provided by facility employees to customers, and emphasized the importance of satisfaction of customers, the citizens in this case, using the service quality of public sports facilities.

At length, the degree of satisfaction with the service quality of public sports facilities has the characteristic that the environment, processes, people, service and products are determined through their mutually combined dynamic state (Parasuman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1990). Therefore, the satisfaction level of customers with service quality has a significant meaning because it can effectively be used as judgmental data for strategic inroads into the target market (Choi K, 2002; Choi J, 2002; London & Bitta, 1984). In this context, a study conducted by Kang, et al., (2002) on the service quality and customer satisfaction of the Taereung International Skating Rink suggests that by improving differentiated service quality, it is possible to activate the Skating Rink that can be said to be the flower of winter leisure sports in a country with typically long winters.

Studies on the behavioral intentions of citizens using public facilities are extensive. Oh (2001) conducted the study on the effect of the service quality of public sports facilities on consumer satisfaction, intention to repurchase and word-of-mouth intention. …

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