Measuring Triangulation in Measuring Public Transportation Service Quality By: Peter Mubi Alfred Table of Contents • Background • Service Quality Measurements • Triangulation • Study 1: Surveys • Study 2: Critical Analysis and Focus Group Interview • Conclusion Background • Focus – Public Transportation Service • Aim: – To develop valid and accurate measure sin order to understand how consumers evaluate the quality of their services. Service Quality Measurements • Quantitative Approach • Qualitative Approach Service Quality Measurements • Quantitative Approach – SERVQUAL model • Uses 22 attitude questions to measure perception. • Determine how service providers are evaluated by customers. • Limitations: – Generic – Focus on process than outcome – Do not include service cost – Built on assumption of multi-attribute evaluations Service Quality Measurements • Qualitative Approach – Critical Incident Technique (CIT) • Focus on critical incidents • Categorize events and behaviors of contact employees to distinguish the service satisfaction Service Quality Measurements – Focus Group Interview (FGI) • Brings together small group of individuals in informal setting to discuss a specific set of issues • Talk openly • Aims to generate spontaneous comments • Limitations: – Data is hard to analyze – Analysis is susceptible to subjective interpretation – Study results are different to compare Triangulation • Provides different observations on phenomena depending on how it is employed and implemented. • Types – Methodological – Data Methodological Triangulation • Use dissimilar methods in measuring same unit so weakness of one method can be overcome by the strength of another. – E.g. Use of survey gathers broad surface data but when complemented by focus group interview, the results could be access to an in-depth discussion on facts. • Every methodology / approach to a research phenomenon is potentially biased and susceptible to validity threats. Data Triangulation • To reduce weakness in methodology • To reduce the outcome bias. • Consistency between the 2 groups of respondents is expected to enhance the generalisability of study results. Study 1: Surveys • Questionnaire – Literature search – Contacting other state DOT – 2 focus group and 24 personal interviews – Series of pilot tests and refined for 10 minute telephone survey. • Sampling – Public (total of 2,020 households) – Transportation Officials (135) • Includes several variables Study 1: Surveys Study 1: Surveys • Results – Data analyzed based on: • Weighted means – Mean and Standard Deviation – T-value – Significance test for difference in mean Study 1: Surveys • Unweighted means – Perception – Attitude – Opinion – Evaluation: • Public were evaluated on their opinions. • Officials were asked for evaluation of public’s opinion and perception. • Perceptual gaps were found between public and transportation policy makers on specific service aspects and issues. Study 2: Critical Analysis and Focus Group Interviews • Aim: – Meet with participants of survey and explore significant findings in greater detail. – Asked for critical incidents that derived satisfaction or dissatisfaction. • Procedure: – Sample: Public and elected transportation officials. – Participants presented with survey results. – Public: • Discussed in respect of response from survey. Study 2: Critical Analysis and Focus Group Interviews – Transportation Officials • Participants asked to explain responses to check if its significantly different from their expectation. • Determine: – If survey responses were valid. – Why residents from different regions placed more emphasis on one issue over another. Study 2: Critical Analysis and Focus Group Interviews • Data Analysis – Evaluate and summarize each meeting’s results by different individuals (Reliability). – Results viewed by 3 members of research team. – Develop and summarize a list of key issues. – Summary report is reviewed by each evaluator. – Meet again to review findings and reconcile discrepancies. Conclusion • Study 1: • Results from telephone survey and qualitative survey provided significant insights. • Survey is a good form of communication tool between planners and public. – Perceptual gaps would be narrowed if public’s needs are communicated • To be conducted periodically – Keep track of trends and changes in needs and perceptions • Study 2: • Survey results provided basis for discussion. • In-depth probing observed substantial lack of understanding by public. • Public opinion is crucial in planning process but education is paramount. • Triangulation should be employed for more accurate picture of perceptions and evaluation.
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