Methodological issues in importance - Performance analysis: Resolving the ambiguity
European Journal of Social Sciences
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
As a tool for assessing perceptions of service quality and for developing marketing strategies to enhance customer satisfaction, importance - performance (IP) analysis has been found to be easily understood and effective for managerial action. However, there continues to be debate as to whether decisions regarding methodological procedures and interpretations from the analysis can affect the conclusions drawn and whether this is desirable or not. The issues so debated and reviewed in this paper, include the determination of what attributes to measure, how to obtain unbiased measures of importance and performance, what measure of central tendency to adopt, the construction of the IP grid crosshairs (or line of distinction), and interpretation of IP analysis outcome. Through application of service quality data collected from consumers at a teaching hospital in Nigeria, a case is made in this paper for the use of attribute data means for plotting the data in the conventional 4-Quadrant IP analysis, while overall attribute median values is recommended for the line of distinction. Also, an approach to the interpretation of the IP outcome, called "difference-based IP analysis", is outlined, and is recommended for the unbiased information that it provides.