Data envelopment analysis in service quality evaluation: an empirical study


1 Department of Industrial Engineering South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Mathematics Tehran-North Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Business Systems and Analytics Department, Lindback Distinguished Chair of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA, 19141, USA


Service quality is often conceptualized as the comparison between service expectations and the actual performance perceptions. It enhances customer satisfaction, decreases customer defection, and promotes customer loyalty. Substantial literature has examined the concept of service quality, its dimensions, and measurement methods. We introduce the perceived service quality index (PSQI) as a single measure for evaluating the multiple-item service quality construct based on the SERVQUAL model. A slack-based measure (SBM) of efficiency with constant inputs is used to calculate the PSQI. In addition, a non-linear programming model based on the SBM is proposed to delineate an improvement guideline and improve service quality. An empirical study is conducted to assess the applicability of the method proposed in this study. A large number of studies have used DEA as a benchmarking tool to measure service quality. These models do not propose a coherent performance evaluation construct and consequently fail to deliver improvement guidelines for improving service quality. The DEA models proposed in this study are designed to evaluate and improve service quality within a comprehensive framework and without any dependency on external data.