Effect Of Service Quality Management Practices On Operational Performance Of Petroleum Distributing Firms In Kenya
The desire of any service organization is deliver quality service that meets their customer expectations so as to remain profitable and in business. The service market has now become more competitive than ever before and meeting customer needs is a necessity. Petroleum distributing firms in Kenya are at a great task of perfecting their service delivery systems to ensure that their customers get quality product at the right time, right quantity and above all safely. Well managed service quality practices have the potential of transforming the operational performance of an organization. The objectives of the study were to determine the extent of adoption of service quality management practices by petroleum distributing firms in Kenya, the challenges they face in the implementation of these practices and the effect of these practices on the firms’ operational performance. The study was carried out through a descriptive survey of 32 petroleum distributing firms in Kenya. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data. The collected data was analysed descriptive statistics while regression analysis technique was used to establish the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The research findings were presented in tables. The findings indicated that petroleum distributing firms adopted various service quality management practices to a large extent. The findings also indicated that lack of visionary leadership and top management support were the biggest challenges the firms faced in their endeavour to implement service quality management practices. Further, the relationship between the explored seven aspects of SQMP and operational performance was found to be weak due to the fact that some control variables like size of the firm and number of years in operation were not considered .The main conclusion was that the adoption of service quality management practices by petroleum distributing firms was inevitable. The researcher recommends that policy makers should ensure organizations embrace service quality management practices for improved productivity and better returns from their investments. The researcher concludes by suggesting that similar research be carried out in other sectors of the economy and a further study in the petroleum distributing firms that incorporate the control variables left out in this study.