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NCJ Number: 65340 Find in a Library
Title: CITIZEN SATISFACTION WITH URBAN SERVICES - POTENTIAL MISUSE AS A PERFORMANCE INDICATOR (FROM EVALUATION STUDIES REVIEW ANNUAL, VOL 4, 1979, BY LEE SECHREST ET AL - SEE NCJ-65332)
Author(s): B STIPAK
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: POTENTIAL MISUSE BY LOCAL OFFICIALS OF SURVEY INFORMATION ON CITIZEN SATISFACTION WITH URBAN SERVICES IS EXAMINED AS SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AS A SERVICE PERFORMANCE INDICATOR.
Abstract: POTENTIAL MISUSE STEMS FROM TWO PROBLEMS. CITIZEN RESPONSES TO SATISFACTION AND EVALUATION QUESTIONS MAY NOT REFLECT ACTUAL SERVICE PERFORMANCE. IN ADDITION, STATISTICAL AND CONCEPTUAL PROBLEMS COMPLICATE THE USE OF SUBJECTIVE DATA TO EVALUATE SERVICE PERFORMANCE. TWO WAYS OFFICIALS MAY INAPPROPRIATELY USE CITIZEN SATISFACTION INFORMATION ARE COMPARING SATISFACTION LEVELS IN DIFFERENT GEOGRAPHIC AREAS TO CONCLUDE THAT AREAS WITH LOWER SATISAFACTION RECEIVE POORER SERVICE AND COMPARING SATISFACTION EXPRESSED BY DIFFERENT DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS TO DETERMINE IF ONE GROUP RECEIVES BETTER SERVICE THAN ANOTHER. SUBJECTIVE INDICATORS CAN BE USED AS INDICES OF SERVICE PERFORMANCE ONLY IF CITIZENS' RESPONSES ARE LINKED TO THE ACTUAL SERVICE PROVIDED. A LOS ANGELES SURVEY OF CITIZEN ATTITUDES TOWARD POLICE SERVICES SHOWED THAT LARGE IMPROVEMENTS IN OBJECTIVE PERFORMANCE GENERALLY APPEAR TO HAVE NEGLIGIBLE EFFECTS ON CITIZENS' SUBJECTIVE EVALUATIONS. SIMILARLY, THE KANSAS CITY PREVENTIVE PATROL EXPERIMENT SHOWED LITTLE EFFECT OF DIFFERENCES IN PATROLLING ON CITIZEN SATISFACTION WITH POLICE SERVICE OR CITIZEN FEAR OF CRIME. THESE STUDIES INDICATED THAT CITIZENS MAY PAY LITTLE ATTENTION TO SERVICES AS LONG AS QUALITY IS WITHIN SOME ADEQUATE RANGE. CONCEPTUAL COMPLICATIONS IN THESE SURVEYS ARISE FROM THE UNKNOWN FORM OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SUBJECT MEASURE AND DIMENSIONS OF SERVICE QUALITY UPON WHICH CITIZENS BASE THEIR EVALUATIONS. STRONG ASSUMPTIONS ARE NEEDED TO DEAL WITH THESE COMPLICATIONS. STATISTICAL COMPLICATIONS RESULT FROM THE RESEARCH'S NONEXPERIMENTAL NATURE. TO AVOID ARTIFACTUAL FINDINGS, ANALYSIS CAN USE MORE SOPHISTICATED MULTIVARIATE STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES, BUT EVEN THESE MAY FAIL TO MEASURE IMPORTANT VARIABLES. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT (1) GENERAL SUBJECTIVE INDICATORS SUCH AS SATISFACTION NOT BE USED AS PERFORMANCE INDICATORS; (2) LIMITS OF SUCH INDICATORS BE RECOGNIZED; (3) MORE SPECIFIC SUBJECTIVE INDICATORS BE USED; AND (4) GENERAL SATISFACTION DATA BE USED FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN PERFORMANCE EVALUATION. A FIGURE, TABLES, AND NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Citizen satisfaction; Evaluation; Evaluation utilization; Services effectiveness; Surveys
Note: REPRINTED FROM PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW, V 39, N 1 (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1979), P 46-52
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65340

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