Does ethnic/cultural dissimilarity affect perceptions of service quality?

Etgar Michael, Galia Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This article examined the issue of ethnic and cultural differences between service recipients and service providers and their impact on service quality perceptual evaluations (SQPs). The study ana lyzed responses of two samples of patients who consulted specialist physicians from a survey of 300 Israeli Jewish and 300 Israeli Arab respondents. For all respondents, the research constructed a mea sure of similarity between the service providers (the physicians) and the service receivers (the patients) based on whether the former belonged to the same ethnic or cultural communities as the service recipients. The results show that within the Israeli Jewish popu lation (the majority population), service providers similarity was positively correlated with higher SQP scores. Similar results were not found for the Arab Israeli respondents (the minority social group). The results indicate that service recipients may seek quality "markers" for the services received by transferring their objective or subjective quality perceptions of the service providers to the SQPs themselves. The article then draws implications for service man agers and for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalServices Marketing Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Ethnic and cultural differences
  • Ethnocentricity
  • Medical services
  • Servqual


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