Balance Theory Applied to Service Quality: A Focus on the Organization, Provider, and Consumer Triad
- Cite this article as:
- Carson, P.P., Carson, K.D., Knouse, S.B. et al. Journal of Business and Psychology (1997) 12: 99. doi:10.1023/A:1025061816323
As quality experts have focused primarily on manufacturing, theoretical frameworks for examining quality in the service sector are lacking. In order to fill this gap, Heider's (1958) balance theory is applied to explain how service organization, service provider, and consumer interrelationships influence service quality. Propositions are offered pertaining to: (a) how and why positive or negative relationships among the parties in this triad are developed, and (b) the consequences of these relationships on service quality, affective outcomes, and withdrawal behaviors. Examination of the “service triangle” within this framework can enhance understanding of quality service delivery and guide future research efforts in the continuous improvement domain.