Signaling intrinsic service quality and value via accreditation and certification

Rhett H. Walker, Lester W. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose-This paper sets out to consider the role that can be played by independent professional accreditation systems and processes in influencing and grounding the intrinsic quality of what is offered by a service provider who has secured this certification.Design/methodology/approach ' The approach takes the form of personal interviews conducted with senior management personnel within a range of accommodation providers who were responsible for preparing their accreditation submission.Findings ' More than 80 percent of respondents agreed that the process of applying for accreditation forced a critical review of all aspects of their operations, and heightened their awareness of things that could prove problematic and ways by which these problems could be effectively countered.Respondents also agreed that the process served to motivate the development and detailed documentation of policies, systems and procedures, which enabled greater consistency in the standard of what is provided.Practical implications ' The findings suggest that rigorous accreditation processes help service providers to review and confirm the appropriateness of what may already be in place, to ground the quality of what might need to be put in place, and to improve the standard of what is currently in place.Originality/value ' The paper augments what is posited by the service-profit chain framework, shows how a focus on intrinsic quality can help to close the service design and standards gap, and also shows how extrinsic and independent professional accreditation processes can ground and enable the intrinsic quality and standard of what is offered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-105
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Service Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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