Expectations, performance, and citizen satisfaction with urban services

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200 Scopus citations


The expectancy disconfirmation model has dominated private-sector research on customer satisfaction for several decades, yet it has not been applied to citizen satisfaction with urban services. The model views satisfaction judgments as determined-not just by product or service performance - but by a process in which consumers compare performance with their prior expectations. Using data from a New York City citizen survey, this study finds that citizen expectations, and especially the disconfirmation of expectations - factors that previously have not been considered in empirical studies of the determinants of citizen satisfaction - play a fundamental role in the formation of satisfaction judgments regarding the quality of urban services. Interestingly, the modeling results suggest that urban managers should seek to promote not only high-quality services, but also high expectations among citizens. Additional implications for research and public management practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-448
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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