From Customer Satisfaction to Citizen Satisfaction: Rethinking Local Government Service Delivery in Malaysia

  •  Hazman Shah Abdullah    
  •  Maniam Kalianan    


The Producer-Customer Paradigm within which much of the service improvement efforts have been undertaken is a highly circumscribed and problematic paradigm for local government services. It views citizens as customers of local government services and seeks to be more efficient in its delivery through process improvements. While the Producer-Customer Paradigm has spotlighted the service delivery side of the local government, it leaves the policy making and political side of local government, so central to the nature and role of government largely beyond its scope. This artificial but politically convenient truncation or limitation has been soundly criticized in the west for distorting the role of the local citizen and the local government. Citizen satisfaction and not merely customer satisfaction is the key indicator of local government quality. An expanded service quality paradigm i.e. Government-Citizen Model is needed to place service quality within a framework of political and social values. The ultimate test of local government quality is a population which is satisfied as a user (personal satisfaction) and citizen (social satisfaction).

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