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Product Quality


The quality dimensions of a product are identified by Garvin (1984). He distinguishes the next eight dimensions.

  1. Performance of a product – The primary operating characteristics of a product.
  2. Features of a product – Secondary characteristics that supplement the product’s basic functioning.
  3. Reliability of a product– The probability of a product’s failing within a specific period of time.
  4. Conformance of a product – The degree to which a product’s design and operating characteristics match pre-established standards.
  5. Durability of a product – When repair is not possible: the amount of use one gets from a product before it physically deteriorates. When repair is possible: the amount of use one gets before it breaks down and replacement is regarded as preferable to continued repair.
  6. Serviceability of a product – The speed, courtesy, and competence of repair.
  7. Aesthetics of a product – The looks, feel, sound, taste and smell of a product.
  8. Perceived quality of a product – The reputation or image of a product.

Furthermore, Garvin categorizes these dimensions in three groups:

  1. Product-bases approach: performance, features and durability.
  2. Manufacturing-based approach: conformance, reliability.
  3. User-bases approach: aesthetics and perceived quality

There is – according to Garvin – a relationship between the quality of the product and

  1. The price of the product
  2. (Effectiveness of) advertising.
  3. Cost of the product
  4. Profitability of the company

I would like to add there is a strong relationship with customer satisfaction.


Garvin, David A. (1984). What Does “Product Quality” Really Mean? Sloan Management Review, Fall 1984.


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