Issues inherent in measuring and monitoring quality in contracted services
journal contributionposted on 06.06.2017 by Dean, Alison M.
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Once the decision to contract a service has been made, and a contract agreed, an important question is how to ensure that service quality levels are maintained. By considering literature from a variety of disciplines, this paper considers issues inherent in the measurement and monitoring of quality in the context of contracted services. Key findings include the complexity introduced by the separation of purchaser and provider, the need to consider both business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships, the lack of consensus about quality definitions and measures, the lack of guidance from the literature in terms of performance monitoring, and the need to ensure that the costs of quality measurement activities do not exceed the benefits of contracting. The analysis is used to develop a model that incorporates operations, strategy and marketing perspectives, and illustrates six key processes that need to be integrated to ensure a comprehensive approach to quality evaluation. This model provides managers with a framework for improving their quality monitoring practices with contractors and customers, and highlights areas for future research.