THE QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN SERVICE ORIENTED COMPANIES – THE TERM QUALITY AND ITS WORTH
AbstractService quality control has always been in the focus of attention of organizations in the market-oriented sector and it has also been attended to by the organizations in the public sector in the last 10 years. A lot of organizations are implementing quality control systems and they are looking for the optimum combination of tools and techniques to improve their services and to achieve complete satisfaction of their clients. However, the practical experience and empirical research carried out in the last 10 years prove that quality control is not only a matter of implementing procedures and techniques but also (and in the service sector above all) a matter of complex changes of culture within the organization. The meaning the people in the organization associate with the term 'quality' is a significant manifestation of the organization's culture. The way the organization's workers understand this term influences their attitudes and behaviour and in this way also the level and the way of achieving quality in the organization. The extent to which both the organization's workers and its clients agree in the understanding of this term affects the efficiency of achieving the clients' satisfaction and thus – in accordance with the current theoretical definition of the quality – also the achievement of quality. If the quality control is to be efficient, it is necessary that the organization's management knows and is aware of the meaning the organization's workers and clients associate with this term. Only on the basis of the knowledge what people understand under the term quality and what they associate it with in the specific field of services will the management be able to choose appropriate and efficient measures. The identification of the content and meaning of the term quality in connection with services, especially with the services provided by the public sector, is highly demanding as far as a usable method is concerned. The method that seems to be appropriate for the given purpose and that has been little used for the quality management so far is mental mapping. Therefore, the verification of this method for the above-mentioned purpose is highly welcome.
ORIGINAL SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE