Browsing Theses by Subject "Quality"
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Consumer Reaction to Food and Health. A longitudinal study of U. K. consumer behaviour and attitudes towards health, with particular reference to food purchasing and consumption habits, product quality, nutritional composition, ingredients and production methods.Consumers have increasing choice in food products and within the social environment of today's consumer, the factors of demand are increasingly complex. Food is no longer simply a primary necessity for survival, it is a leisure and family activity, the participation in which, takes up a considerable amount of time. Today, food is a social and a political issue - something about which people have opinions, be it food quality, healthiness, or the food supply itself. It is also central to consumer's self-image. There is a large sector of the economy which supplies food demand, and this sector is itself now under considerable scrutiny from the consumer. This thesis examines consumer behaviour and attitudes towards food, with particular reference to the health aspects of food issues. It describes a programme of qualitative and quantitative research - group discussions, personal interviews and postal questionnaires. The programme examines milk (particularly low fat milk) as a diet and health case study; knowledge about food; attitudes towards food; the food industry and related issues; shopping behaviour and eating habits. It is important to both the consumer and the supplier of food, that consumer behaviour and attitudes are understood as fully as possible. This research highlights the misunderstandings between consumer and producer, emphasises the mistrust of the consumer for the producer and concludes with the need for communication between them. The thesis discusses the background to diet and health as an issue, describes the development of the current consumer environment and gives a profile of today's consumer. It then goes on to detail the research - two quantitative surveys, each undertaken over two years and a series of group discussions. The final section summarises the findings of each individual piece of the programme as a whole for various groups: food Oroducers; food manufacturers; food retailers; advertisers; the media; health professionals; the consumer; consumer organisations and government.
The role of customer service in a highly tangible business-to-business market.Defining and measuring the quality of customer service has been a major challenge for business-to-business marketers. This research addresses the question whether an established instrument for consumer markets (SERVQUAL) can be used for understanding the role of customer service in the European nylon intermediates industry. To accomplish this objective, an in-depth literature review is accomplished followed by several expert panels adopting the instrument slightly. Based on a survey sample of 110 industry members collected with the ¿drop and collect technique¿ the appropriateness of the tool to verify the anticipated structure is examined using reliability tests as well as exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The findings suggest that even though various criteria for reliability and validity are met, the five-dimensional structure of the instrument cannot be recovered. The research questions the usefulness of the instrument for the European nylon intermediates industry despite it being originally anticipated to be applicable. However, the research emphasises that the instrument is a useful indicator for understanding the role of customer service based on individual items rather than on the instrument¿s dimensionality. It is demonstrated how the implementation in the nylon intermediates industry enables an organization to develop a greater awareness of customer service quality and how an enterprise gains an initial instrument to comprehend and improve this element of the offering. The thesis concludes by linking the results of the research with the discussion on service-dominant logic.
Service quality in nursing homes. A construct, measurement and performance model to increase client focus.This thesis is concerned with the quality of care for the elderly in nursing homes, responding to a critical social and demographic imperative. The aim of this study is to provide a service quality construct for nursing homes to increase client focus and satisfaction. The research is underpinned by the service quality literature. It utilises the SERVQUAL construct to explore the nature of service quality in nursing homes through semi-structured interviews with nursing home residents and resident's families. A service quality scale was constructed comprising six dimensions and 27 scale items capturing service delivery in nursing homes. This scale was purified through a survey of residents and family members (n=263). Through exploratory factor analysis, six importance and four experience factors were identified. Regression analysis was used to identify relationships between the factors, service quality and satisfaction. The results indicate that importance does not predict perceived quality, though experience of responsiveness and hospitality and courtesy and personal approach are indicators of service quality. Furthermore, quality emerges as a predictor of satisfaction. From these outcomes, a service quality construct was developed which comprises of service marketing and service quality dimensions. This thesis contributes to the construction of the concept of service quality in nursing homes, its dimensionality and thus the precursors of satisfaction. These have considerable implications for the management of nursing home services.homes, its dimensionality and thus the precursors of satisfaction. These have considerable implications for the management of nursing home services.