Market orientation and service quality of public sector sport and recreation providers: a case study approach.
This study examines market orientation and service quality constructs within the public sector sport and recreation providers in the U.K. A preliminary review of the literature\ud regarding marketing as a concept, its implementation and the constructs of service quality concludes that two models measure the constructs of market orientation and service quality adequately. These are the Kohli and Jaworski (1990) market orientation model and the Cronin and Taylor (1992; 1994) service quality measure. The market orientation model has been effectively linked to performance in other studies. Related studies concerning marketing in this sector have either concentrated upon generic issues, or attempts to measure service quality, but not the implementation of the marketing concept i.e. market orientation, simultaneously combined with the measurement of service quality.\ud This research thus attempts to ful a void in knowledge by examining the market orientation and service quality constructs, and the link to organisational performance measured directly by income, expenditure and attendance for this service sector. This is in order to make a contribution to the more effective marketing and service quality management practice for this service industry. Employing a combined research design this study investigates the dimensional structures of the two constructs and the link to performance vía quantitative\ud means. This approach also determines the existence of other related dimensions via the qualitative research methods adopted. Finally, evaluating the results against performance\ud criteria to determine, where appropriate statistical significance. The nature of this service provisión enabled staff to be used for the quantitative study to measure the market orientation and service quality constructs to gain a surrogate "customer perspective".\ud The two construct models proved to be reasonably robust, with many of the elements being retaíned in both after the iterative removal of elements via Cronbach alpha reliability tests.\ud After principal component analysis, the dimensional constructs of both models were confirmed with the retained elements, although some dimensions subdivided due to\ud questionnaire content (negatively worded items) and contextually specific items discovered in the service quality constructs (staff and physical facilities being considered as tangibles, but in two dimensional constructs). Múltiple analysis of variance identifíed some significant differences between the four cases, identifying a statistically significant link with performance for market orientation and service quality against the more extreme measurements of income, and attendance. This was only for two of the dimensional constructs of "Reliability" and "Tangibles" for the service quality dimensions however but still providing a useful method to determine a "non management" perspective for these two elements. The qualitative phase identifíed the possibility of other important dimensions whích included elements of the Narver and Slater (1990) market orientation dimensional construct, "competitor orientation" and "interfunctional coordination", and a further dimensión of "resources", which is probably unique to this service sector.\ud lt was concluded that use could be made of the statistically significant elements that were found from this study of the dimensions of market orientation and service quality as a single measurement instrument. They could provide an indicative means of identifying important\ud measures linked to functional issues underlying the marketing processes i.e. intelligence gathering, intelligence dissemination and responsiveness, as well as effective perceptual measurements of the "reliability" and "tangibles" which make up this service provisión.
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