M-Government Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction: A Study in United Arab Emirates
Hamad Al Hubaishi, Hajar Saeed
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Tremendous usability of mobile devices, coupled with their increasingly lower rates, has brought about huge increases in the appeal of public mobile service (m-service). This, in turn, encouraged governments worldwide to deploy community services through this channel. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government provides m-services to improve delivery of services to citizens. The initiative is called mobile government (m-government). From a research viewpoint, there is need to identify various factors that constitute mobile service quality in UAE, and assess the service regarding customer satisfaction and quality perceptions. This study is backed by a comprehensive review of literature concerning m-government and m-service quality. Service quality models were reviewed, including SERVQUAL and SERVPERF, with a focus on the multi-dimensional and hierarchical model of service quality. Extant literature contains few studies that assess service quality of mobile services in the context of m-government, and no study has been conducted in UAE. This study highlights these gaps in the field, and hence this study was conducted in the context of UAE. The first purpose of this study is to identify and understand factors that influence mobile service quality in the context of m-government from customers' perspectives, including primary and sub-dimensions. Second, it examines factors of interaction, environment, information, system, network, and outcome quality that influence m-government service quality in UAE. Third, it determines the relationship between quality of m-government service and customer satisfaction. Finally, it investigates the role of perceived switching costs as an integral part of the m-government service quality and customer satisfaction relationship. Understanding the time, cost, and effort of switching from traditional ways of getting services to mobile services was necessary to assess the relationship. The result is a multi-dimensional, hierarchical model of m-government service quality. This study used a quantitative design, incorporating a mix of measurement scales for dimensions adapted from various studies. An online questionnaire was developed to collect data from a random sample of 437 m-government services users. Analyses, including reliability, validity, and structural equation modeling (SEM), were conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18 and LISREL version 8. Findings suggest that interaction quality, environment, information, system, network, and outcome quality correlate positively with m-government service quality. M-government service quality also had a strong, positive correlation with customer satisfaction. Results failed to suggest a direct relationship between perceived switching costs and m-government service quality, but perceived switching costs correlated negatively with customer satisfaction. Thus, the hypothesis that perceived switching costs moderate the relationship between mobile government service quality and customer satisfaction was supported partially. Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research are included. This study is first in the UAE to define m-government service quality factors (both primary and sub-dimensions) and examine the relationship between m-government service quality and customer satisfaction using SEM, and to explore the role of perceived switching cost in this relationship.