Noel Mark Noël

Researchers and business practitioners have made much progress in the last several decades towards both the measurement and management of the many aspects of quality. However, a standardised and comprehensive methodology for the measurement of consumer perceptions of total quality has remained elusive for a variety of reasons. This article proposes an illustrative pilot study that applies magnitude estimation (psychophysics) as a valid and convenient method to benchmark consumer perceptions of the various marketing dimensions that come to define total quality. The magnitude estimation approach allows specific quality-related information to be generalised and extended to other similar studies using small-size samples of targeted respondents. The ability to validate and generalise these findings across studies allows researchers and managers to observe functional relationships between existing and new marketing stimuli for related patterns and potential innovations. The observation and analysis of treatment effects over time allows management to implement a consumer-driven quality improvement programme. An empirical pilot study is presented for illustration of the methodology.

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