The effect of documentation on customer perception of product quality

Karl L. Smart, J. L. Madrigal, Kristie K. Seawright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Documentation is generally viewed in a secondary or support role to the sale and function of primary products. This study discusses the relationship between secondary and primary product characteristics and provides the results of a customer survey of computer hardware end-users. Over 500 respondents (or customers) were surveyed regarding the impact of documentation on customers' perception of product quality. The results of a logistic regression showed that the level of satisfaction with documentation plays a critical role in explaining customer satisfaction with primary product quality. Consequently, before organizations make decisions regarding cuts in documentation, they should carefully evaluate documentation's effects on company performance. Implications for practice and research are also provided, with follow-up and complementary studies suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-162
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


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