Qualitative data from a sample of urban UK councils is used to present a longitudinal analysis of the problems of maintaining service quality in local government parks and open spaces. Service quality has evolved through several distinct reform eras in parks management: traditional management (pre‐1988), compulsory competitive tendering (1988‐1997), and best value (post‐1997). The characteristics of these stages and the implications for service quality are explored in the paper. These stages have built upon each other in a processual manner of conditions, causes, consequences, strategies, and behavioural actions and reactions. Thus, service quality is a dynamic concept impacted by both the outer (legislative and sectoral) and inner (organisational) contexts of evolving reform scenarios. As such, the paper stresses that service quality cannot be divorced from the contextual, historical and political realities and legacies bound up in unfolding organisational change programmes, and these issues are analysed in the paper.
Managing Service Quality – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 2000
Keywords: Service quality; Local government; Leisure; Organizational change; Amenities; United Kingdom
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