Stakeholder Expectations of Service Quality in a University Web Portal

  • Mary Tate
  • Joerg Evermann
  • Beverley Hope
  • Stuart Barnes
Part of the Computer Supported Cooperative Work book series (CSCW)


Online service quality is a much-studied concept. There is considerable evidence that user expectations and perceptions of self-service and online service quality differ in different business domains. In addition, the nature of online services is continually changing and universities have been at the forefront of this change, with university websites increasingly acting as a portal for a wide range of online transactions for a wide range of stakeholders . In this qualitative study, we conduct focus groups with a range of stakeholders in a university web portal . Our study offers a number of insights into the changing nature of the relationship between organisations and customers. New technologies are influencing customer expectations. Customers increasingly expect organisations to have integrated information systems, and to utilise new technologies such as SMS and web portals. Organisations can be slow to adopt a customer-centric viewpoint, and persist in providing interfaces that are inconsistent or require inside knowledge of organisational structures and processes. This has a negative effect on customer perceptions


Service Quality International Student Stakeholder Group Online Service Prospective Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Chicky Pang for her contributions to the literature review.


  1. Alzola LM, Robaina VC (2005) SERVQUAL: Its applicability in electronic commerce B2C. The Quality Management Journal 12:46Google Scholar
  2. Aneja A, Brooksby B, Rowan C (2001) Corporate portal framework for transforming content chaos on intranets. Intel Technology Journal 11:21–28Google Scholar
  3. Barnes S (2001) An evaluation of cyber-bookshops: The webqual method. International Journal of Electronic Commerce 6:11–30Google Scholar
  4. Barnes S, Vigden R (2000) Assessing the quality of auction web sites. In: Hawaii Conference on System Sciences, HawaiiGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnes S, Vidgen R (2002) An integrative approach to the assessment of e-commerce quality. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research 3:114–127Google Scholar
  6. Bitner MJ, Ostrom AL, Meuter ML (2002) Implementing successful self-service technologies. Academy of Management Executive 16:96–109Google Scholar
  7. Brabston ME, McNamara G (1998) The Internet as a competitive knowledge tool for top managers. Industrial Management and Data Systems 98:158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Churchill Jr. GA (1979) A paradigm for developing better measures of marketing constructs. Journal of Marketing Research 16:64–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cresswell J (1994) Research Design: Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  10. Dabholkar P (1996) Consumer evaluations of new technology-based self-service options: an investigation of alternative models of service quality. International Journal of research in Marketing 13:29–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dias C (2001) Corporate portals: A literature review of a new concept in Information Manage-ment. International Journal of Information Management 21:269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doll W, Hendrickson A, Deng X (1998) Using Davis's Perceived Usefulness and Ease-of-Use Instruments for Decision Making: A Confirmatory and Multigroup Invariance Analysis. Decision Sciences 29:839–869Google Scholar
  13. Freeman RE (1984) Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. Pitman, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
  14. Gilbert D, Balestrini P, Littleboy D (2004) Barriers and benefits in the adoption of e-government. The International Journal of Public Sector Management 17:286–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gounaris S, Dimitiadis S (2003) Assessing service quality on the web: Evidence from business to consumer portals. The Journal of Services Marketing 17:529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gronroos C (1978) A service-orientated approach to marketing of services. European Journal of Marketing 12:588–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hind P (2005) New Zealand Directions 2005 for Victoria University of Wellington. IDC Re-search, Sydney, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  18. Huberman AM, Miles MB (1998) Data Management and Analysis Methods. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (eds) Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  19. Kuo T, Lu I, Huang C et al. (2005) Measuring user's perceived portal service quality: An empirical study. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence 16:309zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lagrosen S, Seyyed-Hashemi R, Leitner M (2004) Examination of the dimensions of quality in higher education. Quality Assurance in Education 12:61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McKay J, Pranato A, Marshall P (2000) E-business maturity and the SOGe model. In: Austral-asian Conference in Information Systems (ACIS), Brisbane, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  22. Morgan D, Stinson L (1997) What are Focus Groups? A report by the American Statistical Association, Alexandra, VAGoogle Scholar
  23. Owlia MS, Aspinwall EM (1996) A Framework for the Dimensions of Quality in Higher Educa-tion. Quality Assurance in Education 4:12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Palmer J (2002) Website usability, design and performance metrics. Information Systems research 13:151–167MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Parasuraman V, Zeithaml V, Berry L (1985) A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. Journal of Marketing 49:41–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parasuraman V, Berry L, Zeithaml V (1991) Understanding customer expectations of service. Sloan Management Review 32(3):39–48Google Scholar
  27. Pare G (2004) Investigating Information Systems with Positivist Case Study Research. Communications of the AIS 13:233–264MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  28. Pitt L, Watson R, Kavan B (1995) Service Quality: A Measure of Information Systems Effec-tiveness. MIS Quarterly 19Google Scholar
  29. Pitt L, Watson R, Kavan B (1997) Measuring Information Systems Service Quality: Concerns for a Complete Canvas. MIS Quarterly 21Google Scholar
  30. Sahney S, Banwet DK, Karunes S (2004) Conceptualising total quality management in higher education. The TQM Magazine 16:145–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sandhu K, Corbitt BJ (2003) Web-based Electronic Service Adoption Model (E-SAM). In Pa-cific-Asian Conference in Information Systems (PACIS), Adelaide, South AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  32. Straub D, Boudreau M-C, Gefen D (2004) Validation guidelines for IS positivist research. Communications of the ACM 13, article 24:1–79Google Scholar
  33. Tate M, Hope B (2004) The Importance of Service Branding in Multi-Channel E-Commerce Success: Towards a Research Framework. In: Australasian Conference in Information Sys-tems (ACIS), Hobart, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  34. Tate M, Hope B, Johnstone D (2006) ICT, Multi-channels and the Changing Line of Visibility: an Empirical Study. In: HICSS 39, Kauai, HawaiiGoogle Scholar
  35. Tiecher J, Hughes O, Dow N (2002) E-government: A new route to public sector quality. Managing Service Quality 12:384–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Winkler RE (2001) Portals – The All-In-One Web Supersites: Features, Functions, Definitions, Taxonomy, in SAP Design Guild Publications Series.Google Scholar
  37. Yin RK (1993) Applications of case study research. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  38. Zeithaml V, Parusaman A, Berry L (1990) Delivering Quality Service: balancing customer per-ceptions and expectations. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  39. Zeithaml V, Parasuraman A, Malhorta Y (2002) Service quality delivery through websites: A critical review of extant knowledge. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 30:262–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zumpe S, Madberger M (2007) A transaction-based Framework for Business Models in Electronic Commerce. In: Pacific-Asia Conference in Information Systems (PACIS), Auckland, New ZealandGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Tate
    • 1
  • Joerg Evermann
  • Beverley Hope
  • Stuart Barnes
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations