chapter  6
Experience-Based Category Expectations in Service Quality Research and Management
Pages 24

Based on the premise that consumers buy products whose benefits conform best to their specific needs, product attributes play a pivotal role in purchase decision making as they may offer the benefits valued and searched for by the consumer. Many studies have focused on determining these attributes (Olson and Jacoby, 1972; Jun and Jolibert, 1983; Steenkamp, 1989), especially in services and on service quality (Parasuraman et al., 1985, 1988; Carman, 1990; Lapierre et al., 1996). Within this area, service quality has been defined as the difference between the perceived performances on a set of salient quality attributes and the consumer’s expectations on these attributes. Originally, Parasuraman and colleagues (1988) advocated the use of ideal expectations; later they proposed the use of desired and adequate expectations in service-quality research since they were more achievable than the ideal service (Zeithaml et al., 1991).