Many organizations consider the implementation of total quality management a requirement to maintain a competitive advantage. In addition to the existing research that addresses general principles of total quality management, an emerging body of literature has attempted to define internal service quality. However, little research to date has empirically examined internal service quality among departments. The purpose of this study was to explore internal service quality from the purchasing department's point of view. The results indicated that (1) internal service quality initiatives could be adopted to a greater extent within U.S. organizations, (2) purchasing considered communication with their internal customers to be less effective with their internal customers than with their internal suppliers, (3) while supplier management activities are viewed as necessary for the overall improvement of service and product quality, relatively few of these activities have been actively implemented, and (4) although purchasing managers viewed themselves as providing good, to very good, service quality to their internal customers, they were critical of their internal suppliers.
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