Title: Do socio-economic contextual factors influence SMEs' service quality? A cross-sector and cross-city SERVPERF analysis

Authors: Pedro Nascimento De Lima; Aline Dresch; Daniel Pacheco Lacerda

Addresses: Research Group on Modeling for Learning (GMAP), Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), Av. Unisinos, 950, Bairro Cristo Rei, São Leopoldo/RS, 93.022-750, Brazil ' Production Engineering Department, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil; Research Group on Modeling for Learning (GMAP), Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), Av. Unisinos, 950, Bairro Cristo Rei, São Leopoldo/RS, 93.022-750, Brazil ' Research Group on Modeling for Learning (GMAP), Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), Av. Unisinos, 950, Bairro Cristo Rei, São Leopoldo/RS, 93.022-750, Brazil

Abstract: There is an increasing body of knowledge on service quality relationship with many contextual factors including culture, firm size and public vs. private settings. However, local socio-economic factors influence towards SMEs service quality is still unknown. We conducted statistical analyses to observe the relationship between contextual socio-economic factors of an SME's city and its service's quality performance using a SERVPERF survey database of more than 3,000 Brazilian SMEs. While service performance did not linearly correlate with the analysed socio-economic factors, a closer look at the data shows significant differences in service performance among groups of SMEs on highly developed and underdeveloped cities from the other cities. The paper discusses theoretical and managerial implications derived from these findings and proposes new research questions to generate data-backed knowledge to support SMEs service quality improvement.

Keywords: SERVPERF; service quality; SMEs; socio-economic factors; Brazil.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2019.101998

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2019 Vol.20 No.3, pp.195 - 211

Received: 31 Aug 2017
Accepted: 05 Jul 2018

Published online: 29 Aug 2019 *

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