The significance of cognitive dissonance for the “hard and soft FM” paradigm and quality assessment practices: a whole new can of worms?

Robert Spencer, John Hinks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this paper is to report on a study based around a commercial facilities management (FM) service provider's creation of an internal benchmark of how services for an acute hospital perform in terms of service quality. Principally, the paper discusses the emergence and significance of the psychological phenomenon of cognitive dissonance within the datasets for the private finance initiative hospital case study. The paper also briefly discusses the scope for using the service consumers' zone of tolerance as a management datum. The paper challenges the conventions and major assumptions of the FM service quality assessment paradigm. It suggests cross disciplinary implications for the FM research field, and is relevant to suppliers, clients, facilities managers, service consumers, and customers, including procurement manager. Overall, the paper raises a lot of questions about the FM service quality management paradigm(s) and assumption(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Facilities Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007



  • quality assessment
  • service quality
  • facilities management

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