||Comparing Internal Service Quality within the Different Chinese Subcultures of Taiwan, China and Singapore
||Institute of International Management (IIMBA--Master)(on the job class)
Internal customer service
Internal service quality
Overall importance of service
Importance level of attributes
The dimensions and characteristics of service quality for internal customers have been found to be different when compared those for external customers. However, these differences are not only limited to the contextual differences encountered when evaluating Internal Service Quality (ISQ). There are other contextual influences such as cultural, industry and departmental contexts. This study is conducted within the three national Chinese subcultures of Taiwan, China and Singapore.
Previous research has determined internal service quality characteristics in the East and the West, but no study has investigated the context within Chinese subcultures. The overall goal of this study is to determine whether the importance level of ISQ factors and attributes is similar within the different Chinese subcultures of Taiwan, China and Singapore.
This study will examine internal service quality attributes and applicability within different Chinese subcultures by measuring and comparing the perceived importance of ISQ factors and attributes within the different Chinese subcultures. Thereby, this study will introduce a framework and recommendation for managers to increase levels of ISQ in Chinese businesses.
This study focuses on the cultural impact on ISQ, making it necessary to hold industry and departmental influences to a minimum by limiting the research to focus only on the manufacturing industry and the service provider to those in the purchasing department. In addition, this study utilized a convenient sampling method to collect 603 respondents in total from the three countries.
This study’s findings show that there are significant differences in the factors and attributes of internal service quality within the different Chinese subcultures of Taiwan, China and Singapore. By recognizing the critical factors and attributes of internal service quality, internal service providers should be able to improve the service quality they direct towards their specific internal customers.
There is no research to date regarding the impact of different Chinese subcultures on the importance level of ISQ factors and attributes and no research has investigated the impact of different Chinese subcultures on purchasing departments’ and their internal customers’ ISQ importance levels. Therefore, this study develops an internal service quality factors structure in the Chinese cultural context so as to determine the differences across the different subcultures.
TABLE OF CONTENTS VI
LIST OF TABLES XI
LIST OF FIGURES XV
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Research Background and Motivation. 1
1.2 Research Objectives. 3
1.3 Research Process and Structure. 4
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 6
2.1 Internal Customer Service. 6
2.2 Contextual Factors Influencing Internal Service Quality. 7
2.3 Cultural Context: Chinese Subcultures within Taiwan, China and Singapore. 8
2.3.1 Chinese Cultural Context within Taiwan, China and Singapore. 9
2.3.2 Other Major Cultural Influences within Taiwan, China and Singapore. 10
2.3.3 Chinese versus Western Cultural Impact on Service Quality. 12
2.4 Determinants within Different Contexts of Internal Service Quality. 15
2.4.1 Western Internal Service Quality Determinants. 16
2.4.2 Chinese Internal Service Quality Determinants. 18
2.4.3 Purchasing Departments’ Internal Service Quality Determinants. 19
2.5 Perceived Importance of Determinants. 20
CHAPTER THREE PROCESS DEVELOPMENT 22
3.1 Research Design. 22
3.2 Questionnaire Design. 22
3.2.1 Preliminary Testing and Adjustment of Questionnaire. 23
3.2.2 Section One – Importance Evaluation for Internal Service Quality Factors and Attributes. 23
3.2.3 Section Two – Perception on Level of Importance of Factors and Attributes. 25
3.2.4 Section Three – Basic Information. 26
3.3 Research Subjects. 26
CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH ANALYSIS AND RESULTS 28
4.1 Sampling Procedure. 28
4.2 Descriptive Analysis. 29
4.3 Measurement Results for Relevant Research Variables. 31
4.4 Determining and Comparing ISQ structures within the Chinese Subcultures. 34
4.4.1 Exploratory Factor Analysis for China Respondents. 36
4.4.2 Exploratory Factor Analysis for Singapore Respondents. 37
4.4.3 Exploratory Factor Analysis for Taiwan Respondents. 38
4.4.4 Comparing Factor Structures between China, Singapore and Taiwan. 40
4.4.5 Overview of Convergent Validity for Overall Importance to Me, Overall Importance to Company and Willingness to Keep Services for China. 45
4.4.6 Overview of Convergent Validity for Overall Importance to Me, Overall Importance to Company and Willingness to Keep Services for Singapore. 46
4.4.7 Overview of Convergent Validity for Overall Importance to Me, Overall Importance to Company and Willingness to Keep Services for Taiwan. 47
4.5 Comparing ISQ Factors and Attributes for Internal Customers within the Chinese Subcultures. 48
4.5.1 Exploratory Factor Analysis for Internal Customers for All Countries. 48
4.5.2 Overview of Convergent Validity for Overall Importance to Me, Overall Importance to Company and Willingness to Keep Services for All Countries. 50
4.5.3 Comparing Means－ One Way ANOVA Analysis for ISQ Factors of Internal Customers between China, Singapore and Taiwan. 51
4.5.4 Comparing Means－ One Way ANOVA Analysis for ISQ Attributes of Internal Customers between China, Singapore and Taiwan. 53
4.6 Determining How Well Internal Service Providers Understand Their Internal Customers within Chinese Subcultures. 55
4.6.1 Comparing Means－ Independent t-test for ISQ Factors between Internal Service Providers and Internal Customers of China. 56
4.6.2 Comparing Means－ Independent t-test for ISQ Attributes between Internal Service Providers and Internal Customers of China. 57
4.6.3 Comparing Means－ Independent t-test for ISQ Factors between Internal Service Providers and Internal Customers of Singapore. 59
4.6.4 Comparing Means－ Independent t-test for ISQ Attributes between Internal Service Providers and Internal Customers of Singapore. 60
4.6.5 Comparing Means－ Independent t-test for ISQ Factors between Internal Service Providers and Internal Customers of Taiwan. 61
4.6.6 Comparing Means－ Independent t-test for ISQ Attributes between Internal Service Providers and Internal Customers of Taiwan. 62
4.6.7 Summary of ISPs Understanding of their ICs. 64
CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS 65
5.1 Research Conclusion and Discussion. 65
5.2 Research Contributions. 71
5.2.1 Academic Implication. 71
5.2.2 Managerial Implication. 72
5.2.3 Overall Contributions. 73
5.3 Research Limitation. 74
5.4 Suggestions for Future Research. 74
Appendix 1: Overview of Internal Service within Purchasing Department. 83
Appendix 2A: Overview of Convergent Validity for China, Singapore and Taiwan. 86
Appendix 2B: Overview of Convergent Validity for China. 94
Appendix 2C: Overview of Convergent Validity for Singapore. 101
Appendix 2D: Overview of Convergent Validity for Taiwan. 109
Appendix 3A: Company Proposal – English 117
Appendix 3B: Company Proposal – Chinese (Traditional) 122
Appendix 3C: Company Proposal – Chinese (Simplified) 127
Appendix 4A: Questionnaire – English. 132
Appendix 4B: Questionnaire – Chinese (Traditional) 139
Appendix 4C: Questionnaire – Chinese (Simplified) 144
Bitner, M. J. (1990). Evaluating service encounters: The effects of physical surroundings and employee responses. The Journal of Marketing, 54(2), 69-82.
Bolton, R. N., & Drew, J. H. (1991). A multistage model of customers' assessments of service quality and value. The Journal of Consumer Research, 17(4), 375-384.
Boshoff, C., & Mels, G. (1995). A causal model to evaluate the relationships among supervision, role stress, organizational commitment and internal service quality. European Journal of Marketing, 29(2), 23-42.
Brady, M. K., Cronin, J. J., & Brand, R. R. (2002). Performance-only measurement of service quality: A replication and extension. Journal of Business Research, 55(1), 17-31.
Bruhn, M. (2003). Internal service barometers: Conceptualization and empirical results of a pilot study in Switzerland. European Journal of Marketing, 37(9), 1187-1204.
Buckles, T. A. (1996). Examining an industrial buyer's purchasing linkages: A network model and analysis of organizational buying workflow. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 11(6), 74.
Buttle, F. (1996). SERVQUAL: Review, critique, research agenda. European Journal of Marketing, 30(1), 8-32.
Cavinato, J. L. (1987). Purchasing performance: What makes the magic? Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, 23(3), 10-16.
Chaston, I. (1994). Internal customer management and service gaps within the UK manufacturing sector. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 14(9), 45-56.
Cheng, C.-Y. (1991). New dimensions of Confucian and Neo-Confucian philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Cheung, G. W., & Chow, I. H.-S. (1999). Subcultures in Greater China: A comparison of managerial values in the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 16(3), 369-387.
Chow, I. H.-s. (2000). Managerial values and practices sharing common cultural heritage: A comparison of cultural values in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the People's Republic of China. Journal of Asia-Pacific Business, 2(4), 21 - 38.
Czepiel, J. A. (1990). Service encounters and service relationships: Implications for research. Journal of Business Research, 20(1), 13-21.
Davis, T. R. V. (1991). Internal service operations: Strategies for increasing their effectiveness and controlling their cost. Organizational Dynamics, 20(2), 4-22.
Deng, W., Chiang, S., Tsai, C., & Tsai, S. (2007). The relationship of internal service quality, external service quality and overall customer satisfaction. Quality Monthly (in Chinese), 43(10), 52-58.
Deng, W., Lin, M., & Tsai, C. (2005). Employee satisfaction as the foundation for assessing internal service quality: An international hotel example. Quality Monthly (in Chinese), 41(11), 79-83.
Donthu, N., & Yoo, B. (1998). Cultural influences on service quality expectations. Journal of Service Research, 1(2), 178-186.
Englehart, N. A. (2000). Rights and culture in the Asian values argument: The rise and fall of Confucian ethics in Singapore. Human Rights Quarterly, 22(2), 548-568.
Finn, D. W., Baker, J., Marshall, G. W., & Anderson, R. (1996). Total quality management and internal customers: Measuring internal service quality. Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice, 4(3), 36-51.
Fleming, J. E. (1969). A systems approach to purchasing. Journal of Purchasing, 15(1), 45-55.
Furrer, O., Liu, B. S.-C., & Sudharshan, D. (2000). The relationships between culture and service quality perceptions: Basis for cross-cultural market segmentation and resource allocation. Journal of Service Research, 2(4), 355-371.
Gebauer, J., Beam, C., & Segev, A. (1998). Impact of the internet on procurement. Acquisition Review Quarterly, 5(2), 167-184.
Gold, T. B. (1985). After comradeship: Personal relations in China since the Cultural Revolution. The China Quarterly,(104), 657-675.
Gremler, D. D., Bitner, M. J., & Evans, K. R. (1994). The internal service encounter. International Journal of Service Industry Managemen, 5(2), 34-56.
Hair, J. S., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2006). Multivariate data analysis. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Hall, E. (1983). The dance of life: The other dimension of time. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press.
Hallowell, R., Schlesinger, L. A., & Zornitsky, J. (1996). Internal service quality, customer and job satisfaction: Linkages and implications for management. Human Resource Planning, 19(2), 20-31.
Hart, C. W. L. (1995). The power of internal guarantees. Harvard Business Review, 73(1), 64-73.
Heskett, J., Jones, T. O., Loveman, G. W., Sasser, W. E., & Schlesinger, L. A. (1994). Putting the service profit chain to work. Harvard Business Review(March April), 164 - 174.
Hofstede, G. (1984). Cultural dimensions in management and planning. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 1(2), 81-99.
Hofstede, G., & Bond, M. H. (1988). The Confucius connection: From cultural roots to economic growth. Organizational Dynamics, 16(4), 4-21.
Humphreys, P., McLvor, R., & McAleer, E. (1998). The purchasing function as a professional service firm: Implications for training and development. Journal of European Industrial Training, 22(1), 3-11.
Hwang, K.-K. (1987). Face and favor: The Chinese power game. The American Journal of Sociology, 92, 944-974.
Imrie, B. C., Cadogan, J. W., & McNaughton, R. (2002). The service quality construct on a global stage. Managing Service Quality, 12(1), 10-18.
Johnston, R. (1995). The determinants of service quality: Satisfiers and dissatisfiers. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 6(5), 53-71.
Kahn, H. (1979). World economic development: 1979 and beyond (1 ed.). United States of America: Westview Press, Inc.
Kang, G.-D., James, J., & Alexandris, K. (2002). Measurement of internal service quality: Application of the SERVQUAL battery to internal service quality. Managing Service Quality, 12(5), 278-291.
Lassk, F. G., Kennedy, K. N., & Goolsby, J. R. (2004). Exploring the internal customer mind-set of marketing personnel. Journal of Relationship Marketing, 3(2/3), 89-106.
Lewis, B. R., & Entwistle, T. W. (1990). Managing the service encounter: A focus on the employee. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 1(3), 41-52.
Liao, J. F., Wu, C. H. J., Jou, Y. H., & Huang, Y. Y. (2004). A study of the relationship between of internal marketing, job satisfaction and customer-oriented behaviors. Sun Yat-Sen Management Review (in Chinese), 12(S2), 181-201.
Lin, L.-H., & Ho, Y.-L. (2009). Confucian dynamism, culture and ethical changes in Chinese societies - a comparative study of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(11), 2402 - 2417.
Lu, I. Y., & Cheng, Y. H. (2007). The study on the relationships among the factors of internal service quality, service ability, job satisfaction and external service quality: The case of nurse. Journal of Quality (in Chinese), 14(2), 161-179.
Marshall, G. W., Baker, J., & Finn, D. W. (1998). Exploring internal customer service quality. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 13(4/5), 381-392.
Mattila, A. S. (1999). The role of culture and purchase motivation in service encounter evaluations. Journal of Service Marketing, 13(4/5), 376-389.
Owen, J. (2009). Managing internal service quality in Taiwan: Accounting departments as service providers. National Cheng Kung University, Tainan.
Paraskevas, A. (2001a). Exploring hotel internal service chains: A theoretical approach. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 13(5), 251-258.
Paraskevas, A. (2001b). Internal service encounters in hotels: An empirical study. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 13(6), 285-292.
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. Journal of Marketing, 49(Fall), 41-50.
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1988). SERVQUAL: A multiple-item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality. Journal of Retailing, 64(1), 5-6.
Paravantis, J., Bouranta, N., & Chitiris, L. (2009). The relationship between internal and external service quality. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 21(3), 275-293.
Raajpoot, N. (2004). Reconceptualizing service encounter quality in a non-Western context. Journal of Service Research, 7(2), 181-201.
Rarick, C. A. (2007). Confucious on management: understanding Chinese cultural values and managerial practises. Journal of International Management Studies, 2(2), 1-7.
Reynoso, J., & Moores, B. (1995). Towards the measurement of internal service quality. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 6(3), 64-83.
Riddle, D. (1992). Leveraging cultural factors in international service delivery. Advances in Services Marketing and Management, 1, 297-322.
Sánchez-Rodríguez, C., Hemsworth, D., & Martinez-Lorente, Á. R. (2004). Quality management practices in purchasing and its effect on purchasing's operational performance and internal customer satisfaction. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, 7(4), 325-344.
Schneider, B., White, S. S., & Paul, M. C. (1998). Linking service climate and customer perceptions of service quality: Test of a causal model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(2), 150-163.
Smith, A. M., & Reynolds, N. L. (2001). Measuring cross cultural service quality: A framework for assessment. International Marketing Review, 19(5), 450-481.
Solomon, M. R., Surprenant, C., Czepiel, J. A., & Gutman, E. G. (1985). A role theory perspective on dyadic interactions: The service encounter. The Journal of Marketing, 49(1), 99-111.
Stanley, L. L. (1993). Linking purchasing department structure and performance-toward a contingency model. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 1(3), 211-219.
Stanley, L. L., & Wisner, J. D. (1998). Internal service quality in purchasing: An empirical study. International Journal of Purchasing & Materials Management, 34(3), 50-60.
Stanley, L. L., & Wisner, J. D. (2001). Service quality along the supply chain: Implications for purchasing. Journal of Operations Management, 19(3), 287-306.
Stanley, L. L., & Wisner, J. D. (2002). The determinants of service quality: Issues for purchasing. European Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, 8(2), 97-109.
Stanworth, J., Chen, S., & Hsu, R. (2009). Understanding Chinese employees’ (dis)satisfaction in the internal service encounter. Unpublished Research Article. National Changhua University of Education.
Stauss, B. (1995). Internal services: Classification and quality management. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 6(2), 62-78.
Ting, S.-C., & Chen, C.-N. (2002). The asymmetrical and non-linear effects of store quality attributes on customer satisfaction. Total Quality Management, 13(4), 547-569.
Trompenaars, F., & Hampden-Turner, C. (1993). Riding the waves of culture: Understanding cultural diversity in business. London: The Economist Books.
Trompenaars, F., & Hampden-Turner, C. (1994). The seven cultures of capitalism. New York: Doubleday.
Vandermerwe, S., & Gilbert, D. (1989). Making internal services market driven. Business Horizons, 32(6), 83-89.
Webster, F. E. J., & Wind, Y. (1972). Organizational Buying Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Winsted, K. F. (1997). The service experience in two cultures: A behavioral perspective. Journal of Retailing, 73(3), 337-360.
Wisner, J. D., & Stanley, L. L. (1999). Internal relationships and activities associated with high levels of purchasing service quality. Journal of Supply Chain Management: A Global Review of Purchasing & Supply, 35(3), 25-32.
Yau, O. H. M. (1988). Chinese cultural values: Their dimensions and marketing implications. European Journal of Marketing, 22(5), 44-57.