Disconfirmation of Expectations and the Gap Model of Service Quality: An Integrated Paradigm
The disconfirmation of expectations paradigm has become the most widely accepted model used in examining the issue of consumer satisfaction/dissatisfaction (CS/D). However, the model has only infrequently been applied to services even though, at least in theory, it should be applicable to services as well as products. More recently a seemingly similar, yet conceptually different model to the disconfirmation paradigm has emerged in the services literature. This model, known as the gap model of service quality, suggests that service quality depends on the difference between expectations and perceived performance of the service. The same sort of difference appears in the disconfirmation model to explain CS/D. While some researchers have used the dependent variables in each model, CS/D and Service Quality (SQ), interchangeably, they are conceptually different. Indeed, there are both conceptual and operational differences between the models, but also several similarities. We endeavor to carefully outline these differences and similarities and proceed to develop a model which is essentially an integration of the two distinct paradigms.
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