In service societies, the tertiary sector has long become the primary sector in terms of GDP and employment. Quality research and testing means better service, and success in the service industries demands quality. Nonetheless, complaints about insufficient, inconsistent or bad service abound. Quality decides on success and failure. Where so much is at stake, management decisions call for systematic research and consumers look for relevant results that provide guidance in complex markets. Research into quality and customer satisfaction gets to the core of a business. However, many so-called studies hardly meet essential criteria of empirical research and deliver artefacts rather than facts. This book puts an end to common misconceptions of quality studies. Measuring Service Performance is an appeal for an approach to quality research that meets quality criteria itself. It is a compelling argument against widespread but rather dubious dealings with measurement, data and statistics. Ralf Lisch calls for a reconsideration of the research process, focussing on content instead of method and adding meaning to results. Because service excellence deserves research excellence. Written in a practical, accessible style, the book offers practitioners as well as market researchers, MBA students and others involved in the service sector a critical analysis and discussion of the essentials of 'Practical Research for Better Quality'.
Dr Ralf Lisch is an independent consultant and writer based in Singapore. He studied sociology and social research at universities in Germany and the United States. The author knows the service industry from multiple perspectives - as academic researcher, director of a leading consumer organization and managing director of service companies. Several of his research projects and comparative tests of service quality were much acclaimed and gained high public attention. As a critical sociologist, his major focus is always on people - because in the service sector, people determine the business and decide on success and failure. Ralf Lisch has published numerous books and articles on management and empirical research topics. His most recent publication was an analysis of NiccolÃ² Machiavelli's ’The Prince’ from a management perspective under the title: ’Ancient Wisdom for Modern Management - Machiavelli at 500’, which is also published by Gower Publishing.
’This book is an eye-opener for everybody dealing with quality measurement. It looks at quality studies from an invigoratingly different perspective - focussing on meaning and drawing the fine line between facts and artifacts. Measuring Service Performance has the potential to become a standard work and is a must-read for everybody who deals - as researcher or as manager - with quality studies in the service industry.’ Dr Eberhard Sasse, Chairman of Dr Sasse AG, Munich-Berlin-London, and President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria