The SAGE Encyclopedia of Quality and the Service Economy

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Quality and the Service Economy


Edited by: Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park


Society, globally, has entered into what might be called the “service economy.” Services now constitute the largest share of GDP in most countries and provide the major source of employment in both developed and developing countries. Services permeate all aspects of peoples’ lives and are becoming inseparable from most aspects of economic activity. “Quality management” has been a dominating managerial practice since World War II. With quality management initially associated with manufacturing industries, one might assume the relevance of quality management might decrease with the emergence of the service economy. To the contrary, the emergence of the service economy strengthened the importance of quality issues, which no longer are associated only with manufacturing industries but are increasingly applied in all service sectors, as well. Today, ...

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      Reader’s Guide

      The Reader’s Guide is provided to assist readers in locating articles on related topics. It classifies articles into 20 general topical categories: Awards Models for Quality and Service Excellence; Branding; Characteristics, Definitions, and the Nature of Quality and Services; Communication and Social Media; Consumption; Culture; Customer Management for Quality and Services; Design for Quality and Services; Operating and Managing Quality and Services; Organization and Leadership for Quality and Service; People Management (Human Resource Management) for Quality and Services; Performance Assessments and Measurements; Quality and Service Management Framework and Techniques; Quality and Service Society; Relationship Management and Marketing; Research Methodologies; Strategic Quality and Service Management; Technology, E-Services, and Quality; Tools and Methods for Improvement of Quality and Services; and Tourism. Entries may be listed under more than one topic.

      About the Editor

      Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park is currently a professor at the Institute of Service Management, Lund University, Sweden. She completed her undergraduate education in political science and diplomacy at Yonsei University in Korea, her masters in East Asia area studies at Århus University in Denmark, and her Doctoral degree in Management and Philosophy at Linköping University in Sweden. Before joining Lund University in 2005, she was affiliated at Linköping University (2000–2005). From 1987 to 2000 she worked at Århus University in Denmark. From 2007 to 2010, she was research director at Lund University for over 70 faculty members. In past years, she has been appointed as a distinguished visiting professor (DVP) at a large number of European and Asian universities, among them, Verona, Yuan Zhe, Tsukuba, Shandong, Yonsei, KAIST, Chung Hwa, and Kinmen universities. She is co-founder and has been co-chair of the international QMOD-ICQSS conferences since 1997. Dr. Dahlgaard-Park is one of the leading scholars within the research areas of quality and services management, knowledge management (KM), human resource management (HRM), and other related research areas, where she has published more than 150 scientific articles and books. Several of her papers are ranked as the top 10 most downloaded or most cited articles. Elected as academician of IAQ (International Academy for Quality) since 2004, she also serves as chief editor for International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences. In addition, she is co-editor of the journal Quality, Innovation and Prosperity and associate editor for Total Quality and Business Excellence and The Asian Journal of Quality. She also serves as a member of the editorial advisory boards of the International Journal of Cross Cultural Management (SSCI); Scandinavian Journal of Tourism and Hospitality (SSCI); Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology; International Journal of Management History; International Journal of Services, Economics and Management; Euro Asian Journal of Management; Journal of Dynamic Relationship Management; TQM Journal; and Chinese Management Studies. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Dahlgaard-Park has been serving as a member of the advisory boards for a large number of professional societies, including, among others, Lund University, Campus Helsingborg, the Dubai Government, the Asian Productivity Organization, and the Strategic Regional Development Committee for Skåne, and she sits on the expert panel for the Swedish research funding organization Vinnova. She was one of the international expert panelists for evaluating leadership, governance, and education at Vilnius University as well as Kaunas University of Technology in 2013. She is also active giving lectures and speeches for university-level executive programs, for in-house seminars at industrial and public organizations, and at international conferences. She is listed in major biographical works such as Who’s Who in the World and has received various recognitions from major biographical organizations.


      Wafa Abu Snaineh Dubai’ The Model Centre

      Mesut Akdere Purdue University

      Erlantz Allur University of the Basque Country

      Tekin Altuğ Turkish Accreditation Body

      Johan Alvehus Lund University

      Mats Alvesson Lund University

      Bjørn Andersen Norwegian University of Science and Technology

      Tor W. Andreassen NHH Norwegian School of Economics

      German Arana University of the Basque Country

      Huseyin Arasli Eastern Mediterranean University

      Albert Arbós Bertran Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

      Susan W. Arendt Iowa State University

      Maria P. Aristigueta University of Delaware

      Slavko Arsovski University of Kragujevac

      Gyula Bakacsi Semmelweis University

      Michael J Baker University of Strathclyde

      Godfrey Baldacchino University of Malta

      Stefano Barone University of Palermo

      Gilles Barouch Kedge Management School

      Richard Barrett Barrett Values Centre

      Mary Jo Bitner Arizona State University

      Toke Bjerregaard Aarhus University

      Gee-Woo Bock Sungkyunkwan University

      Olivier Boiral University of Laval

      Tadeusz Borys Wroclaw University of Economics

      Magnus Boström Örebro University

      Staffan Brege Linköping University

      Céleste M. Brotheridge ESG UQAM

      Alan Brown Edith Cowan University

      Per Nikolaj Bukh Aalborg University

      Armando Calabrese University of Rome Tor Vergata

      Ben Capell ESADE Business School

      J. Casa Novas University of Évora

      Martí Casadesús Universitat de Girona

      Cecilia Cassinger Lund University

      Erika Andersson Cederholm Lund University

      Elizabeth Chell Kingston University

      Chih-Chin Chen University of Maryland

      Chi-Kuang Chen Yuan Ze University

      Jeongil Choi Soongsil University

      Sunmee Choi Yonsei University

      Karina Skovvang Christensen Aarhus University

      Herve Corvellec Lund University

      Ewa Czyz-Gwiazda University of Economics in Katowice

      Hossein Dadfar Linköping University

      Jens J. Dahlgaard Linköping University

      Jesper Dahlgaard Aarhus University

      Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park Lund University

      Tugrul U Daim Portland State University

      Moshe Davidow Carmel Academic Center

      Frank G. A. de Bakker VU University Amsterdam

      Simon L. Dolan ESADE Business School

      Alexander Douglas The TQM Journal

      Jacqueline Ann Douglas Liverpool John Moores University

      Eleanor Doyle University College Cork

      Yogesh K. Dwivedi Swansea University

      Charles Edquist Lund University

      Bo Å. Edvardsson Karlstad University

      Richard Ek Lund University

      Christer Eldh Lund University

      Mattias Elg Linköping University

      Robert J. Emmerling ESADE Business School

      Julie Emontspool University of Southern Denmark

      Jon Engström Linköping University

      Lena Eskilsson Lund University

      Jesper Falkheimer Lund University

      Ramón Flecha University of Barcelona

      Pauline A. Found University of South Wales

      Cecilia Fredriksson Lund University

      Shih-Long Fu National Taiwan University of Science and Technology

      Rachel Gabel-Shemueli Universidad del Pacifico Lima-Perú

      TN Goh National University of Singapore

      Dwayne D. Gremler Bowling Green State University

      Abbie Griffin University of Utah

      Lars Grønholdt Copenhagen Business School

      Christian Grönroos Hanken School of Economics Finland

      Anders Gustafsson Karlstad University

      Adam Hamrol Poznan University of Technology

      Zhen He Tianjin University

      Mats Heide Lund University

      Iñaki Heras-Saizarbitoria University of the Basque Country

      Donald S. Holmes Stochos Inc.

      Robin Holt University of Liverpool Management School

      Mohammad Alamgir Hossain Jubail University College

      Mojtaba Hosseini Linköping University

      Daniel Hövermann Institut für Technologie und Arbeit e. V.

      Sheng-Hsun Hsu Chung Hua University

      Kawaljeet Kaur Kapoor Brunel University London

      Stephen Kemmis Charles Sturt University

      Zubair Anwar Khurshid Beaconhouse National University Pakistan

      Dannie Kjeldgaard University of Southern Denmark

      Bengt Klefsjö Luleå University of Technology

      Stéphane Kleinhans Kedge Business School

      Magnus Klofsten Linköping University

      Sandra Klute-Wenig RIF e.V. - Institut für Forschung und Transfer

      Ichiro Kotsuka Union of Japanese Scientists & Engineers (JUSE)

      Per Kristensson Karlstad University

      Uma Kumar Carleton University

      V. Kumar Georgia State University

      Vinod Kumar Carleton University

      F. Bahar Kurtulmuşoğlu Baskent University

      Antigone G. Kyrousi Athens University of Economics and Business

      Riadh Ladhari Laval University

      Stefan Lagrosen Linnaeus University

      Conrad Lashley Gastronomica (journal)

      Jakob Lauring Aarhus University

      Raymond T. Lee University of Manitoba

      Seonjeong (Ally) Lee University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Voon-Hsien Lee Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

      Ying Ying Liao Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

      Ying-Ting Liao Yuan Ze University

      Tony Lingham Case Western Reserve University

      Krystyna Lisiecka University of Economics in Katowice

      Yumin Liu Business School of Zhengzhou University

      Eva Lo Franco Consult Data Service srl

      Bernadette Loacker Lund University

      Nuno Lopes Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave

      Kenneth D. Mackenzie University of Kansas

      Robin Mann Massey University

      Maria Månsson Lund University

      Frederic Marimon Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

      Charles L. Martin Wichita State University

      Barbara Rebecca Matovu Lillehammer University College

      Janis Mazais Riga Technical University

      Glenn Mazur QFD Institute, ICQFD

      Rodney McAdam University of Ulster

      Robin McTaggart Griffith University

      Nuno Meläo Polytechnic Institute of Viseu

      A. Erhan Mergen Rochester Institute of Technology

      Patrícia Moura e Sá Universidade de Coimbra

      Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Calcutta University

      Shin’ya Nagasawa Waseda University

      John Nicholas Loyola University Chicago

      Rhonda Nixon Edmonton Catholic Schools District

      Lars Nordgren Lund University

      Maja O’Connor Aarhus University

      John Oakland Oakland Consulting LLP

      Haemoon Oh University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Greg R. Oldham Tulane University

      Can-Seng Ooi Copenhagen Business School

      Keng-Boon Ooi UCSI University

      Baruck Opiyo Eastern Mediterranean University

      F. Zehra Özkan Baskent University

      Fernando F. Padró University of Southern Queensland

      Fatma Pakdil Baskent University

      Angelos Pantouvakis University of Piraeus

      Jörg Pareigis Karlstad University

      Luc Honore Petnji Yaya Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

      Niall C. Piercy Swansea University

      Evangelos L. Psomas University of Patras

      Miguel Ángel Pulido-Rodríguez University Ramon Llull

      Lakshman Rajagopal Iowa State University

      A. Ramos Pires Politechnic Institute of Setúbal

      Nripendra P. Rana Swansea University

      Manuel Ferreira Rebelo CLEGI Lusiada University

      Robert Refflinghaus University of Kassel

      Maria Francesca Renzi University Roma Tre

      Nick L. Rich Swansea University

      Bonnie A. Richley Case Western Reserve University

      George Ritzer University of Maryland

      Francisco G. Rodríguez-González Tecnologico de Monterrey

      Piotr Rogala Wroclaw University of Economics

      Sanjit Kumar Roy University of Western Australia

      Ali Sajid CASE Islamabad

      Paulo Sampaio University of Minho

      Eduardo San Miguel University of the Basque Country

      Gilberto Santos Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave

      Ilias Santouridis Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly

      M. Saraiva University of Évora

      Pedro Saraiva University of Coimbra

      Nadine Schlüter University Wuppertal

      Richard J. Schonberger Schonberger & Associates

      Harjit Singh Sekhon Coventry University

      Jan Selmer Aarhus University

      Moshe Sharabi Yezreel Valley Academic College

      Mahmud Akhter Shareef North South University

      Tommy Shih Lund University

      Rui Silva CLEGI Lusiada University

      Antonis C. Simintiras Deputy Dean Internationalisation

      Alaide Sipahi ESADE, Ramon Llull University

      Terje Slåtten Lillehammer University College

      Klaus Solberg Søilen Halmstad University

      Sonia Lorelly Solano University of Delaware

      Ebrahim Soltani University of Kent

      Rui Soucasaux Sousa Catholic University of Portugal (Porto)

      Jurgis Kazimieras Stanis̈kis Institute of Environmental Engineering

      Manuel F. Suárez-Barraza Universidad de las Americas Puebla

      Jon Sundbo Roskilde University

      Malin Sundström University of Borås

      Garry Tan Wei Han Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

      Steven ten Have VU University Amsterdam

      Wouter D. ten Have VU University Amsterdam

      Stefan Tengblad University of Skovde

      Åsa Thelander Lund University

      Prokopis K. Theodoridis University of Patras

      Mireia Tintoré Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

      Marja Toivonen VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

      Tetsuo Tomiyama Cranfield University

      Gerson Tontini Regional University of Blumenau—FURB

      Xavier Tort-Martorell Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

      Panagiotis Trivellas Technological Education Institute of Central Greece

      Ali Uyar Fatih University

      Niels van der Eng VU University Amsterdam

      Stephen L. Vargo University of Hawaii

      Dragan V. Vasiljevic University of Belgrade

      De-cheng Wen Shandong University

      Andreas Wessner Institut für Technologie und Arbeit e. V.

      Adrian Wilkinson Griffith University

      Sharon J. Williams Cardiff University

      Petra Winzer University Wuppertal

      Małgorzata Wisniewska The University of Gdansk

      Lars Witell Linköping University and Karlstad University

      Jens Wohland Institut für Technologie und Arbeit e. V.

      Jichao Xu The People’s Government of Henan Province

      Ching-Chow Yang Chung Yuan Christian University

      Hanjoo Yoo Soongsil University

      Hee-Sook Yoo National IT Industry Promodion Agency

      Hilmi Yüksel Dokuz Eylül University

      Robert Zachariae Aarhus University Hospital

      Valarie A. Zeithaml University of North Carolina

      Kristína Zgodavová Technical University of Kosice

      Xiaofeng Zhao University of Mary Washington

      Klaus J. Zink Institut für Technologie und Arbeit e. V.


      The global society has entered into what might be called the “service economy.” Services now constitute the largest share of the gross domestic product in most countries and provide the major source of employment in both developed and developing countries. Services permeate all aspects of peoples’ lives and are becoming more and more important, inseparable from most aspects of economic activity.

      Quality as a concept and a philosophy continuously attracts researchers, students, managers, and employees, as well as politicians and citizens, and is becoming increasingly more important in many ways. Some theoreticians have even pointed out that we now have entered into a “quality economy.” Seen from this perspective, it is not difficult to understand why quality management (and its related managerial approaches) has become a dominating managerial practice during the past three decades.

      With quality management initially tied to and associated with manufacturing industries, one might assume that the importance and relevance of quality management might decrease with the emergence of the service economy. However, it is quite the contrary! The emergence of the service economy has served to strengthen the importance of quality issues to be no longer associated only with manufacturing industries but increasingly also with all kind of services, including education, health care, elder care, and governmental or public services, which are increasingly applying the principles, tools, methods, and frameworks of quality management. Another interesting phenomenon is that manufacturing companies have also become more and more dependent on supplementary services developed to satisfy customers’ needs and expectations, a phenomenon that is called servitization. So we can observe that traditional manufacturing companies have become service companies as well, which means that manufacturing companies are continuously learning from service companies to build added value into tangible products (servitization), and service companies are also learning from manufacturing companies so that they can also add value into their services through productization.

      An additional phenomenon is that while researchers and quality experts have been engaged with, dependent on, and concerned with both product and service quality, the concept and frameworks of quality have increasingly expanded to include quality of experiences, quality of life, and quality of the environment.

      With all the above developments, quality management and services, together with the production and service infrastructures, now have become the backbone of the new service economy, which also may be called the experience economy.

      Historical Background

      The birth of modern quality control is recognized to have its origin in the time of mass production and, specifically during the 1930s, with the industrial application of statistical control charts suggested by Walter A. Shewhart (1891–1967), who worked at Bell Laboratories in the United States. Shewhart identified two aspects of quality—objective quality and subjective quality—and to control these aspects of quality in industrial contexts, he introduced the control chart methodology in his 1931 book Economic Control of Manufactured Product. Since then, his work has been recognized as marking the birth of modern quality control.

      The Second World War (1939–1945) provided rich opportunities for the application of control charts in various military industries. By application of the control charts, the United States was able to produce large quantities of military supplies at a relatively low cost. During the war, thousands of quality specialists were trained in modern quality control, and in 1946, these specialists established the American Society for Quality Control.

      Although quality control methods were intensively applied in the U.S. military industries during wartime, and quality control was established as a recognized discipline by the late 1940s, there were only a few efforts to apply those methods outside military industries. The U.S. managers generally ignored quality control methods for several decades until Japanese products gained a reputation for high quality in the world market and gradually became dominant also in the U.S. market.

      The circumstances in Japan, however, were quite different, because its industries had been destroyed during the Second World War and its people lacked almost everything. The most important and urgent task for Japan was to determine “how to survive.” In this critical situation, Japanese leaders understood that the best way to survive was to produce superior industrial products that could be accepted by and exported to foreign countries. For this purpose, the Japanese Standard Association (JSA) was founded in 1945, and the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) was founded in the following year (1946). Since then, these two organizations—JSA and JUSE—have played central roles in the training and promotion of modern quality control.

      The Japanese people confronted quality issues as a national challenge, and in the two to three decades following the Second World War, they revolutionized the quality of their products and services and thereby became recognized as the world leader in quality. Some major contributors in this revolutionizing process were U.S. quality experts William Edwards Deming (1900–1993) and Joseph M. Juran (1904–2008).

      In 1950, at JUSE’s invitation, Deming addressed the subject of modern quality control methods to Japanese scientists, engineers, and corporate executives. In addition to lecturing on statistical quality control (SQC) methods, Deming encouraged the Japanese leaders by saying that SQC methods were necessary resources for a poor nation without natural resources, and quality was the road that postwar Japan should take.

      Compared with Shewhart, Deming did not come up with a clear definition of quality; instead, he focused on the dynamic and changing nature of quality, meaning that what is good quality today will, in many cases, not be good quality tomorrow. This view is in line with his understanding of quality, which is related to customers’ and consumers’ needs and experiences. Deming said that quality can only be defined in terms of the agent, and based on this view, he noted that the consumer is the most important part of the production line. In other words, without understanding customers’ and consumers’ needs, expectations, requirements, and experiences, it is impossible to design, produce, and deliver quality products and services. Deming emphasized that continuous product and service improvements to ensure high quality is the most critical success factor for gaining and maintaining customer satisfaction and increased competitiveness.

      Deming’s courses provided the Japanese leaders with a sense of direction and purpose. By following his approach, they understood for the first time the essence of modern quality control.

      In 1951, in recognition of Deming’s contribution to and encouragement of quality development in Japanese industries, JUSE established the Deming Prize, which became not only the first quality prize in Japan but also a role model for numerous other quality awards and prizes in the world several decades later. Since 1951, the Deming Prize has been the most prestigious quality award in Japan, and the prize itself has provided a strong motivation to promote quality control activities in Japanese companies.

      Juran was another important person from the United States who made a great impact in Japan during the early period of the quality movement. Juran, who was invited by JUSE to give lectures in 1954, influenced Japanese companies to change the quality direction from an emphasis on mainly technique-oriented SQC to an emphasis on more general managerial aspects and a broader approach to quality control. As a result of this new trend, internal quality control audits by top management were introduced, and internal quality control audits became one of the major driving forces in promoting and improving company wide quality control (CWQC) in Japan.

      Juran is also well-known for his short definition of quality—fitness for use—which has been broadly accepted as a comprehensive definition of quality. The definition includes two important aspects of quality: (1) the product features that meet customer needs and (2) freedom from deficiencies. An essential implication of this quality definition is that higher quality includes less defective elements or attributes while having more elements or attributes that satisfy customer needs.

      The Japanese model of involving everybody in quality control activities—the so-called quality control circle (QCC)—was born in 1962 on the initiative of Professor Kaoru Ishikawa (1915–1989). QCCs are small groups or teams established in companies to take over the responsibility for quality control activities. Based on voluntarism, the purpose of self-development, mutual development, and total participation, these teams study, discuss, and identify quality problems during and after work hours with the aim to solve such problems.

      Through the birth of QCC and its widespread activities, the foundation for CWQC was established along with the culture of continuous absorbing and practicing new theories and ideas developed by scholars and other specialists in the quality field. During the 1960s, the CWQC approach spread to all major Japanese companies, and in 1969, it was decided officially to use the term company wide quality control.

      The spirit of CWQC is also well reflected in the definition of quality presented by Ishikawa, who was the leading quality expert and pioneer in Japan. According to Ishikawa, an interpretation of the term quality is important, because when defining quality narrowly, quality means quality of products. However, when defining quality broadly, quality means quality of work; quality of services; quality of information; quality of processes; quality of divisions; quality of people, including workers, engineers, managers, and executives; quality of a company; quality of objectives; and so on. Ishikawa’s broad definition of quality corresponds well with the idea and philosophy of CWQC.

      As a consequence of Japan’s committed implementation of CWQC, the market share of Japanese products increased rapidly in many industrial sectors during the 1960s and 1970s. The United States and other relatively rich European countries did not pay serious attention to the gradual dominance of Japanese products despite the many “warning signals.”

      While the quality movement was rooted and originated from a manufacturing and, thereby, production perspective, awareness of service was initiated from a marketing perspective. The article “Marketing Myopia: What Business Are You In?”—authored by Theodore Levitt and published in the Harvard Business Review in 1960—is considered to be the classic within the service area. In the article, Levitt provides examples of companies that became “obsolete” because they were lacking knowledge and insights on their business as well as understanding of their customers’ needs. His focus was how business leaders can shift their attention to customer needs to become successful.

      During the following years, several literatures on services attempted to differentiate between goods and services mostly from a marketing perspective. Conceptually, differentiating and separating services from goods were important for marketing researchers for positioning the services field as a distinctive and independent research area. One of the early attempts on quality control in services was presented by G. M. Hostage in 1975 in a Harvard Business Review article “Quality Control in a Service Business.”

      During the 1980s, many U.S. companies experienced loss of jobs and loss of market share to Japanese competitors, even in the important home market of automobiles. In winning through quality, the Japanese had become able to achieve massive market shares, which gradually became a serious threat to many Western countries, including the United States.

      A remarkable turning point was provided in the United States in June 1980 when Deming, three decades after his invitation to Japan, was “rediscovered” through the NBC television documentary If Japan Can . . . Why Can’t We? This documentary has since been widely cited as a wake-up call to U.S. managers for first focusing on quality and customer needs.

      As a result of this wake-up call, the 1980s became a revolutionary era for both quality and service management in the United States as well as in other Western countries. An increasing number of companies adopted quality management principles, tools, and methods, and parallel with that, numerous publications concerning quality management were published. Many theoreticians attempted to develop a holistic or synthetic theory of quality management inspired by the theories and practical experiences from the Japanese case. The term total quality control, and later total quality management (TQM), was often applied to these synthesizing theoretical attempts.

      In line with the TQM movement, in 1983, Richard Normann published his remarkable book Service Management: Strategy and Leadership in Service Businesses, which is considered to be the first book on service management. In the book, Normann introduced the concept of a service management system and the value creation process of customers. It was also Normann who, in 1987, introduced the concept of moment of truth, referring to the interaction point between the service provider and the customer, where quality of service is defined in the mind of the customer. During the 1980s, quality issues were fully integrated with services, and several now well-known service quality models such as SERVQUAL (by A. Parasuraman, Valarie A. Zeithaml, and Leonard L. Berry) and the Service Quality Model (by Christian Grönroos) were introduced.

      Another accelerating push toward the quality movement during this period was the establishment of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1987 in the United States, the Australian Quality Award in 1988, the birth of EFQM in 1988, and the establishment of the European Quality Award in 1991. In the following years, most European countries, as well as countries outside Europe such as Korea and China, established similar national quality awards.

      During the period 1980–1995, Western interests in general Japanese managerial approaches shifted to the core areas of quality management, and practitioners as well as theoreticians focused their energy on building new knowledge in the quality management area. The concept of TQM, a holistic quality management concept to integrate various quality subareas, emerged as a consequence of these intensified efforts and searching activities within the area of quality.

      The period from the mid-1990s to the present can be characterized as a time when widespread interest in quality management has been shown by researchers, business educators, and practitioners—in teaching, practicing, and implementing quality management principles and methods. Parallel with that, an increasing number of companies have implemented TQM; hence, the general understanding and knowledge of TQM has accumulated. Several articles discuss about the advantages of TQM, but gradually, criticism and limitations of this new management philosophy have been published.

      A consequence of the criticism of TQM may be seen in the change of the wording related to some of the leading national quality awards. This change in wording can, for example, be seen when comparing the following names of the European Quality Award Model:

      • 1992–1997: The model was called “the European Model for TQM” or just “the European Quality Award Model”
      • 1997–1999: The wording changed significantly to “the European Model for Business Excellence”

      The change was a systematic one that comprised not only the name of the model but also the text describing how to use the model for assessing a company’s level of excellence or for award application purposes. The change of wording to the European Excellence Award followed a similar change in the U.S. quality award model (the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award) a year before.

      This change of wording in the leading quality award models is evidence that people’s understanding or paradigms in relation to the theoretical scope and application of TQM changed significantly during the 1990s. The historical evolution of quality control to TQM and business excellence combined with the changes in the names and wording of the leading quality award models shows that quality management has moved from being regarded as a relatively narrow engineering discipline, which top management often did not bother much about, to a holistic management philosophy that has to be integrated in the daily management of all areas of any business—manufacturing as well as service businesses, private as well as public organizations, and nongovernmental organizations.

      The Need for This Encyclopedia

      Today, there is no comprehensive encyclopedia on the subjects of quality management and services in the existing service/experience economy. The aim of this encyclopedia is to close this gap by presenting contributions from more than 200 of the world’s leading experts within the research areas of quality and service sciences.

      The need for this encyclopedia is very high not only from the education and research point of view but also from the millions of private and public organizations all over the world that are challenged every day with new problems and lack of up-to-date knowledge about how to improve products, services, and experiences in the service economy, which many countries in the world are dependent on and are trying to understand.

      The world has experienced a number of so-called industrial revolutions, and many developing countries are now experiencing the first service revolution, where the focus is on understanding and satisfying people’s latent needs in relation to both existing and newly developed products and services. The challenge now is to understand that to attain and sustain excellence in the new service economy, a paradigm shift is needed for many companies and organizations to practice the concepts of new experience development in parallel or integrated with new product and service development.

      This comprehensive encyclopedia on quality and the service economy has been designed and developed with the aim to help researchers, educators, companies, and organizations all over the world to attain the knowledge and competencies needed for being successful in the new service economy.

      Scope and Focus of the Encyclopedia

      As stated previously, the global society of today can be called a service economy because services permeate all aspects of peoples’ lives inseparable from most aspects of economic activity. In this service economy, quality management has become more important than ever because people’s experiences of services can be directly related to the concept of quality. If people are not satisfied with the products and services they consume or experience, it is simply because the quality does not satisfy their needs and expectations. To assure high quality of products and services, private as well as public companies and their employees must have a profound understanding of the basic principles, tools, and methods of quality management.

      As quality of services also depends on consumers’ and citizens’ understanding and involvement in designing and delivering various products and services, these stakeholders also need to have at least a basic knowledge of why quality can be satisfactory on one day and unsatisfactory on another day or satisfactory for some consumers and unsatisfactory for others.

      It is the aim, scope, and focus of this encyclopedia to cover major questions within the area of quality and service sciences under the following overall themes comprising the Reader’s Guide:

      • Award Models for Quality and Service Excellence
      • Branding
      • Characteristics, Definitions, and the Nature of Quality and Services
      • Communication and Social Media
      • Consumption
      • Culture
      • Customer Management for Quality and Services
      • Design for Quality and Services
      • Operating and Managing Quality and Services
      • Organization and Leadership for Quality and Services
      • People Management (Human Resource Management) for Quality and Services
      • Performance Assessments and Measurements
      • Quality and Service Management Framework and Techniques
      • Quality and Service Society
      • Relationship Management and Marketing
      • Research Methodologies
      • Strategic Quality and Service Management
      • Technology, E-Services and Quality
      • Tools and Methods for Improvement of Quality and Services
      • Tourism

      Under these themes, some of the following subjects and issues are explained in the various entries throughout the encyclopedia:

      • How to understand consumers’ or citizens’ needs and expectations
      • How to understand, measure, and improve quality and services, including waste and the costs of poor quality
      • How to understand, develop, measure, and improve experiences
      • How to understand, develop, measure, and improve e-services
      • How to understand, measure, and balance the satisfaction of customers, employees, and other stakeholders
      • How to control, assure, and improve the quality of products, services, and experiences
      • How to understand and create attractive products and services
      • How to understand and balance quality and productivity
      • How to understand and practice leadership for quality and service improvements
      • How to understand and practice personal leadership
      • How to understand and practice transformational leadership
      • How to understand and practice strategic quality management (policy deployment)
      • How to understand and practice educational leadership
      • How to understand and implement TQM
      • How to understand and adapt to the principles and methods of the Toyota Production System
      • How to understand and implement Zero Defect programs
      • How to understand and attain excellence
      • How to understand and improve business ethics and corporate social responsibility
      • How to create customer focus
      • How to build a quality culture
      • How to build an innovative culture
      • How to involve and motivate employees to release their knowledge and competencies for quality and service improvements
      • How to understand and practice “mindfulness”
      • How to establish and involve external partnerships in the continuous improvement processes
      • How to map product and service processes and how to identify critical areas for improvement
      • How to understand and improve quality of work life
      • How to understand and improve quality of life
      • How to understand and improve relations through relationship management
      • How to use quality management within the food industry
      • How to use quality management within health care services
      • How to use quality management within education
      • How to understand and practice green growth
      • How to understand and practice the job design and job characteristics theory
      • How to understand the trends in the new economy, which have been given various names such as the information society, the knowledge society, the service and experience economy, or shortly, the experience economy

      More than 230 entries have been included in this encyclopedia to help readers understand the aforementioned subjects. For the first time, a comprehensive encyclopedia, covering many of the central concerns within the area of quality and service sciences related to the service economy, has been published.

      How the Encyclopedia Was Created

      The time period for creating this encyclopedia has been more than 5 years. After ideation, a draft project proposal was written together with a comprehensive list of suggested subject entries to be included in the encyclopedia. This list of entries was based on a comprehensive literature research and communication feedback from several world-known experts within quality and service sciences.

      After the acceptance from Sage to run this project, we started our search for potential authors from all over the world who were able and willing to contribute by writing one or more entries to be included in the encyclopedia. During this process, many suggestions for new subject entries to be included were received and several of those suggestions were reviewed and accepted.

      The writing and review process took, for many reasons, more time than we had expected, but gradually, we could see the finalization of the project coming closer and closer and the final publication date for the encyclopedia could be determined. The whole process has been inspiring for me, and through this learning process, several ideas for new entries came up. However, those ideas have to wait until the second edition of the encyclopedia, which may be published some years later.


      This encyclopedia, and its high level of quality, is a testament to the efforts of many excellent people. First of all, I would like to acknowledge and thank all the members of the advisory board, with a special recognition to my husband, Professor Jens J. Dahlgaard, who gave me invaluable advice and support during the process of finalizing the encyclopedia. I would also like to acknowledge and thank all the members of the Sage publishing team, especially Carole Maurer, senior developmental editor; Kate Peterson, freelance developmental editor; Anna Villasenor, reference systems coordinator; and Leticia Gutierrez, reference systems supervisor, who supported me continuously during the whole process. This team was really professional. I am grateful to Dr. Loukas N. Anninos for his assistance with the project.

      I also thank my many colleagues at the Department of Service Studies and Management at Lund University who participated and contributed in this project. Special thanks to the vice chancellor of Lund University’s Campus Helsingborg, Professor Jesper Falkheimer; dean of the faculty of social science, Professor Ann-Katrin Bäcklund; and head of the department, Assistant Professor Christer Eldh, who recognized and supported my involvement with this project during the past 5 years and also contributed entries on their specific fields of knowledge.

      Last but not the least, I acknowledge and thank the many authors from all over the world who accepted to contribute the 232 entries to this encyclopedia. Without their positive will to participate, this encyclopedia could not have been finalized.

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