Bamford, David and Dehe, Benjamin (2016) Service quality at the London 2012 Games – a Paralympics Athletes Survey. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 33 (2). pp. 142-159. ISSN 0265-671X

Purpose – This paper reports on aspects of service quality at the London 2012 Paralympic Games,from a rather unusual perspective, the athletes. To date there has been little evidence captured about athlete’s satisfaction at sporting events, and specifically about their perceptions of the service quality provided.

Design/methodology/approach – Unique ‘full’ access to the London 2012 Paralympics allowed to the collection of data directly from the athletes. The study reports the questionnaire findings from a sample of 250 respondents.

Findings – From this study an operational assessment and performance framework has been
generated composed of 10 criteria and 73 items or sub-criteria, which can be used as a benchmarking
tool to plan, design and compare future sport mega-event. Moreover, the study evidence based the
high quality of the 2012 Paralympics Games, as he athletes rated, on a 5 point Likert scale, 64 items in the ‘very satisfied’ category, a very positive set of feedback for the Games organisers.

Research limitations/implications – The methodology applied was appropriate, generating data to facilitate discussion and draw specific conclusions from. A perceived limitation is the single case approach; however, this can be enough to add to the body of knowledge where very little evidence has been captured so far and where the objectives were to explore the Paralympics games service quality and performance.

Practical implications – This research provides a tangible evidence base to support future sport event decision-makers, planners and designers in this highly complex ‘arena’. In any system, there are always areas for improvement (AFIs), these are highlighted within the paper for further

Originality/value – This is the first paper to identify and synthesize aspects of sport mega event service quality from the athletes viewpoint and informs how well designed, organised and managed the London 2012 Games were from a primary user perspective. The paper makes a defined
contribution by developing evidence based recommendations for this important yet under researched area.

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