Lessons from a Successful Service Quality Initiative: A Case Study in Organizational Change

Authors

  • Chris Flood
  • Ron McCarville

Keywords:

Change, service improvement, change facilitators, change inhibitors, case study

Abstract

Service quality initiatives offer many obvious benefits. The service literature provides several examples in which such initiatives reduce operating costs and/or improve services to users. Unfortunately, such initiatives rarely succeed over time (Goodman & Dean, 1994; Tabak, 1996), and "most well-intended quality programs die a quiet death" (Steininger, 1994, p. 605 ). Reasons for these failures are unclear (Dean & Bowen, 1994), but it seems likely that they may be linked to staff resistance to change. This paper contributes to our understanding of organizational dynamics by focusing on the evolution of a single successful service quality change initiative widlin a municipal leisure facility. Reasons for its near failure (change inhibitors) and subsequent success (change facilitators) are traced.

Published

1999-10-18

Issue

Section

Regular Papers