Title: An empirical investigation of quality performance expectations in the software industry: a gap analysis approach

Authors: Ahmed Mehrez

Addresses: Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, 2713, Doha, Qatar

Abstract: The assessment of quality is pervasive but vital in organisations. It is particularly important in the design of an effective quality management system. The assessment is often considered from the perspective of fulfilling customers' requirements; however, the level of compatibility between a product or service providers' perceptions of what to deliver and the customers' desires or expectations is often uncertain. This paper describes an empirical study evaluating, within the software industry in Egypt, the extent to which differences, or 'gaps', may exist between software provider perceptions and customer expectations regarding the levels of ideal and actual degrees of performance within multiple dimensions of quality. The study involved a survey of 142 software developer and 111 software customers where gaps were found to exist across nine measured dimensions of quality. These gaps were found to be both statistically and practically significant. The existence of such quality performance gaps is often not measured. These gaps, however, must be firstly measured and recognised, then secondly addressed within an organisation otherwise there will exist 'flaws' within the design and implementation of the organisation's quality management programme.

Keywords: quality management systems; QMS; quality performance; performance gaps; quality perceptions; quality expectations; gap analysis; software industry; information technology; IT industry; quality assessment; customer expectations; service provider perceptions; Egypt; multiple quality dimensions; quality management programmes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2014.065487

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2014 Vol.8 No.6, pp.598 - 612

Published online: 31 Oct 2014 *

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