The Relationship Between Purchase Decisions and Quality Assessment of Office Furniture


  • Steven A. Sinclair
  • Bruce G. Hansen


Determinant attributes, service, purchasing executives


The use of multiple attributes to measure attitudes and predisposition to certain behavior in marketing was developed in the 1970s in studies aimed at identifying determinant attributes. Rising concerns over quality in the 1980s saw similar use of attributes to define quality. Some authors of these latter studies infer that quality and determinant attributes are one and the same; however, no studies were found that directly examined this relationship. This study was undertaken to examine the determinant attribute/quality attribute relationship in office furniture. More than 260 purchasing executives nationwide participated in rating 26 product and dealer/manufacturer attributes on the basis of their influence on purchase decisions and on the basis of their use in assessing quality. Respondents rated attributes on importance and on the degree of difference in a particular attribute among the products and services available to them.

The three most important attributes respondents used to rate quality were: (1) absence of defects, (2) delivery on schedule, and (3) structural integrity. The three most important attributes influencing purchase decisions were: (1) absence of defects, (2) structural integrity, and (3) reliability.

Results indicate a very high correlation between purchase decisions and quality assessment in the relative rankings of the 26 attributes. However, the results suggest that purchasing executives place more importance on attributes in the purchase decision but may perceive bigger differences in the attributes when assessing quality.


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Research Contributions