Dimensions of Quality
Important Dimensions of Quality formulated by David A. Garvin
David A. Garvin, a specialist in the area of quality control, argues that quality can be used in a strategic way to compete effectively and an appropriate quality strategy would take into consideration various important dimensions of quality
Eight dimensions of product quality management can be used at a strategic level to analyze quality characteristics. The concept was defined by David A. Garvin, formerly C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (died 30 April 2017). Some of the dimensions are mutually reinforcing, whereas others are not—improvement in one may be at the expense of others. Understanding the trade-offs desired by customers among these dimensions can help build a competitive advantage.
Garvin’s eight dimensions can be summarized as follows:
It involves the various operating characteristics of the product. For a television set, for example, these characteristics will be the quality of the picture, sound and longevity of the picture tube.
These are characteristics that are supplemental to the basic operating characteristics. In an automobile, for example, a stereo CD player would be an additional feature.
Reliability of a product is the degree of dependability and trustworthiness of the benefit of the product for a long period of time.
It addresses the probability that the product will work without interruption or breaking down.
It is the degree to which the product conforms to pre- established specifications. All quality products are expected to precisely meet the set standards.
It measures the length of time that a product performs before a replacement becomes necessary. The durability of home appliances such as a washing machine can range from 10 to 15 years.
Serviceability refers to the promptness, courtesy, proficiency and ease in repair when the product breaks down and is sent for repairs.
Aesthetic aspect of a product is comparatively subjective in nature and refers to its impact on the human senses such as how it looks, feels, sounds, tastes and so on, depending upon the type of product. Automobile companies make sure that in addition to functional quality, the automobiles are also artistically attractive.
- Perceived quality
An equally important dimension of quality is the perception of the quality of the product in the mind of the consumer. Honda cars, Sony Walkman and Rolex watches are perceived to be high quality items by the consumers.