Conceptualizing Service Quality in Multichannel Fashion Retailing

Patten, Elena (2017) Conceptualizing Service Quality in Multichannel Fashion Retailing. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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The evaluation and understanding of customers’ service quality perception has been a topic of major interest for academics and practitioners since the 1980s. Despite this intense research focus, there is a gap in understanding service quality in multichannel settings. This is surprising, since multichannel service systems have become increasingly important with the rise of E-commerce. The overall aim of this study, therefore, is to contribute to the interpretation of multichannel service quality by explaining it from the perspective of so-called ‘multichannel customers’. The study looks at interactions when purchasing a fashion product at a multichannel retailer with the aim of conceptualising service quality in a multichannel fashion retail context. Therefore, the study considers extant service quality research from traditional, electronic, and multichannel settings. The perspective of the current study is different from mainstream positivist service quality research, which sees service quality as static, objectively measurable and dualistic. This study, however, acknowledges service quality as a dynamic, subjective and pluralistic phenomenon. Following this line of argument, the study postulates the existence of multiple realities as consistent with social constructivism. Therefore, the current study investigates the service quality perceptions of experienced multichannel customers. Perceptions are considered to be the meaning that these customers give to their service experiences. The current study indicates that the customers’ perceptions of service quality in multichannel settings imply some fundamental uniqueness. This study proposes a holistic conceptualisation of multichannel customers’ service quality perception by considering (1) the heterogeneity of multichannel customers and (2) all moments of contact between customer and retailer. The proposed framework contributes to research about service quality with a theoretical interpretation of the phenomenon.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Multichannel service systems; Service quality; Multichannel customers; E-commerce
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5428 Retail Trade
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2017 14:22
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 11:17

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