Third Gaps of SERVQUAL in Indonesia

  • Ilham Rifai HasanEmail author
Living reference work entry



“Third Gaps of SERVQUAL” is a theoretical terminology referring to the conception of gaps analysis-based service quality. The gaps profile in the conception consists of five categories; one of them is third gaps identified as “service delivery.” In this context, service delivery gaps are interpreted as any gaps occurring in the phase of service delivery. Any aspects which potentially influence service delivery quality in this phase are identified as third gaps of SERVQUAL or service delivery gaps.


In public service provision, “service delivery” is a phase in which service performance and customers’ perceptions meet. In this phase, the personnel in charge apply the SOP (standard operational procedure) which has been constructed based on the management perception of customers’ expectation. The significance of service delivery gaps in influencing service quality theoretically occurs through three factors: structural, human, and facility-infrastructure factor (Parasuraman et al. 1985).

Anything leading to an obstacle in the service delivery process is supposed to be one aspect of any of the three factors. It may be one aspect of structural factor such as role conflict or role ambiguity; it can be that of human factor such as a teamwork weakness, supervisory weakness, or employee job fit; and it can also be that of facility-infrastructure factor such as technology job fit.

If the three theoretical factors are outlined into service delivery practice performed by one of the government networks managing the citizenship administration and civil registration in Indonesia, then the six imperative aspects in the service delivery concept should be examined. This may happen because of theoretical category of the service delivery concept, which is accurate enough to read realities (isomorphis), and the realities of service delivery in Indonesia, particularly in provision of citizenship administration service and civil registration, which still seems to be a general or even universal phenomenon through researchers’ investigations. Yet, employing the same theoretical “glasses,” this entry reveals the typical phenomena of service delivery gaps in Indonesia.

Factual Realities of Service Delivery

Office Supplies Job Fit Phenomenon

The factual condition of service delivery in the government networks managing the citizenship administration and civil registration throughout Indonesia has revealed some typical phenomena that can bar and even stop the service process. The reality that there are no more citizenship administration documents available, such as Citizen Identity Card and birth certificate, because the central office has not sent the stocks is a phenomenon which can be verified through the six imperative aspects of the service delivery concept.

The phenomenon is due to implementation of Peraturan Menteri Dalam Negeri Republik Indonesia (Regulation of Home Affairs Minister of Republic of Indonesia) Number 9/2016. The minister regulation itself is implementation of the Constitution Number 23/2006 regarding citizenship administration in Indonesia. The regulation (Article 18, Verse 1) rules the special machine used to print the documents, the types of paper used for the documents, and the security design used on the paper. Accordingly, all the government organizational networks that organize the services of citizenship administration and civil registration experience this as an implication of the regulation implementation.

Empirically, the central government has the authority to produce the forms of Citizen Identity Card, birth certificate, and other documents of citizenship and civil registration. Consequently, it is so possible that the documents availability is not in line with the needs. When this is what really happens, the service delivery process gets stagnant without certainty when the central government will send the needed documents.

Authorized Official Legalization Phenomenon

The above argument is also relevant to the second phenomenon, which is the reality that the citizenship and civil registration documents, such as Citizen Identity Card and birth certificate, cannot be given to the customers in the service delivery process since the authorized official, who has to sign the documents, is on an official trip. Here, “official trip” is such a common term referring to any official activities conducted by an official outside the office or even in another city or district; when on the trip, usually the officer cannot come back to the office at the same day. Practically, this situation can delay distribution of the documents to the customers since the documents have not had the official’s “wet John Hancock” on them.

In Indonesia, the right and obligation to have an official trip essentially refer to authorization stuck on a civil servant’s position in Indonesia as stated in UU No. 5 Tahun 2014 tentang Aparatur Sipil Negara dan Permendagri (Constitution No.5/2014 regarding the State Civil Servants) No. 29/2016 regarding official trips regulation. Implementation of the constitution is then ruled through the minister regulation for civil servants in the ministry sphere and the district regulation for those in districts.

The number one person in a government office can independently determine this task; he or she does not need special permission from the regent, mayor or governor as long as the official trip is still in the province area. Thus, this phenomenon is reconnected to the regulation, although it is not a regulation that specially rules the implementation of tasks and functions of public services.

Policy Incoherence in Service Delivery Gaps In Indonesia

Regulation as the root of public service problems has considerably been identified in various scientific studies. Ashworth, Boyne, and Walker (2002) and Hood et al. (1998) mentioned that political authority determines scopes of policies which restrict bureaucracy acts despite the ability to overcome the problem through audit and inspection. This political control can increase accountability, integrity, and loyalty; yet, it can also harm bureaucracy creativity and impede innovative performance. According to the scholars, there have been some overlaps and “gray areas” roused by the regulation conception in this case. Implications of the overlaps and “gray areas” are what the researcher views as the phenomena which precede empirical facts of the regulations barring the delivery service process.

In the context of public administration provision in Indonesia, the situation remains an unavoidable determinant. A number of regulations obviously state the main tasks, functions and structural duties in Indonesia, therefore, such a task is an obligation. It is undoubtedly a description of contradiction between the regulation of citizenship and civil registration documents legalization through the official’s signature as stated in UU No. 23 Tahun 2006 (Constitution No.23/2006) regarding citizenship administration and that of structural officials’ tasks which has determined that the in-charge officials have the authority to leave the offices, where the services are provided. Accordingly, again, the analytical argument using the terminology “policy incoherence” (Wild et al. 2012) becomes relevant.

Although Lewis, Mcculloch and Sacks (2016) mentioned that Indonesia has switched to the use of various incentives to boost performance of district governments in service delivery, there are still some regulations that can directly trouble the delivery service process.

It has, however, been proved through many opinions that the feature of public management is the level of regulation by external bodies (Boyne 2002). Public service providers are not free to determine their own process and strategy; they have to work based on the policies issued by the highest political authority (Hood et al. 1998). On the other hand, it is so common that political interests defeat public interests. Actually, regulations can elucidate how to create quality public service prosess since the regulator apprehends how to increase services better than do local bodies as argued by Boyne (2002), yet, this seems “too good to be true” in Indonesia since the home affairs minister regulation, on the contrary, has the potential to create service barriers or even stop the services in a period of time that cannot be determined by the district office.

As mentioned by Boyne (2002), such a relationship can be mediated by regulator’s proficiency. If the regulator understands how to improve the service better than do local bodies, then the regulation impact tends to be positive. Nonetheless, the regulation substance indicates that the regulator just lets the technical gaps open wide, hence, the services cannot be provided when there are no more citizenship administration and civil registration documents available. At the same time, this kind of service is organized by government agencies throughout the country. Thus, it can be inferred that the regulator’s knowledge of quality public services is not better than the local bodies’, or it is merely a political matter.

In the phenomenon of office supplies job fit, the factual problem due to this situation is the halt of service process lasting until the central government distributes the needed documents to the citizenship administration and civil registration offices. In Indonesia, this is such a common phenomenon. Firstly, this can be due to the geographical condition of the archipelago country; many districts in its administrative territory are situated far from the central government, and this can lead to the problem of distribution. Secondly, this may be due to the central government bureaucracy’s late response towards districts’ needs; this can be caused by the big volume of districts’ logistic needs that must be distributed. The condition of supporting transportation infrastructure, either for sea or air transportation, also has given some influence. Up to now, the two kinds of transportation system still have the potential to contribute towards the delay. Unfortunately, instead of restructuring the regulation substances, which technically can lead to the service gaps, the current government is trying to overcome this problem only by planning the sea toll infrastructure development, which is projected to cover big logistic services.

The phenomenon of authorized official’s legalization leads to the same factual problem, which is the civil and citizenship documents delivery delay. The delay continues until the official comes back from the official trip and puts his or her “wet John Hancock” on the documents. Absolutely, this situation impacts on customers’ daily needs. The factual problem abstraction can be categorized as an aspect which emphasizes “service product legalization by authorized official”.

Overall, the two situations become very crucial since they impact on citizens’ daily needs. Such a delay or halt of service delivery process leads to customers’ loss. In administrative framework, such a phenomenon is essentially a conflict of obligations in public service (Zeithaml et al. 1996; Bitner et al. 1997). In concrete, this finding is a matter of administration, yet, it occurs through level of policy incoherence (Wild et al. 2012), which is an aspect that emphasizes office supplies job fit due to the limitations created by policies.

Theoretical Implication

If the finding is outlined into the conceptual formula of service delivery gaps (Parasuraman et al. 1985), then it can relevantly get into facilities and infrastructure factors as an additional aspect. Originally, this factor contains one aspect only, which is technology job fit, with an argument that technology incompatibility with job can bar service process; this is in line with the fact that quality service needs to be supported by the right technology. Conclusively, the finding is to reinforce the factor through its aspect enrichment.

If the second finding is outlined into service delivery gaps (Parasuraman et al. 1985), then it can relevantly get into structural factors as an additional aspect. Originally, this factor consists of two aspects: (1) role conflict, with an argument that role conflict can occur when employees think that they are unable to satisfy their boss or customers and (2) role ambiguity, which deals with employees’ doubts in playing their roles. Conclusively, the finding is to reinforce the structural factor through its factors enrichment.

Contributions and positions of the two findings in the concept of service delivery gaps are elucidated in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1

Empirical findings and contributions in the original formulation of the service delivery gap concept of SERVQUAL

In the context of public administration provision in Indonesia, the two findings are still considered as ideal conditions. This is reinforced by a number of facts, such as the fact that the Home Affairs Minister Regulation No.9/2016 Article 18 Verse 1, which has determined the use of special machine to print the needed documents, is still considered necessary to be in the central government authority. So far, there have been no signs or situations, either political or technical, projecting delegation of the authority to the districts for effectiveness and efficiency.

In common, the two regulations, which determine the main tasks, functions and duties of structural officials in Indonesia, emphasize the “tour of duty” as a must-do task for structural officials despite the fact that administrative process design referred in Indonesia highly requires the presence of authorized officials in the service spots. Obviously, this is such a description of factual realities of public administration services in a developing country.


The empirical evidence reveal that there are two specific phenomena which potentially lead to service delivery gaps in a “unique” way; the office supplies job fit and authorized official’s legalization. Technically, the phenomenon of office supplies job fit occurs as an impact of the implementation of the Home Affairs Minister Regulation No.9/2016 Article 18 Verse 1 regarding the use of special machine to print the documents of citizenship certificates and civil registration. This regulation potentially leaves a time gap between the documents availability and the documents supply from the central government. The phenomenon of authorized official’s legalization occurs as an impact of the implementation of a number of regulations based on the Constitution No.5/2014 regarding the state civil servants and the Home Affairs Minister Regulation No. 29/2016 regarding official trip regulations. The regulation implementation creates service delivery gap, which is an implication of policy incoherence. Accordingly, it can be claimed that the two phenomena are service delivery gaps which are due to policy incoherence.



  1. Ashworth R, Boyne GA, Walker RM (2002) Regulatory problems in the public sector: theories and cases. Policy Polit 30(2):195–211. Scholar
  2. Bitner MJ, Hubbert AR, Zeithaml VA (1997) Customer contributions and roles in service delivery. Int J Serv Ind Manag 8(3):193–205. Scholar
  3. Boyne GA (2002) Public and private management: what’s the difference? J Manag Stud 39(1):97–122. Scholar
  4. Hood C, Scott C, James O, Jones G, Travers T (1998) Regulation inside government: waste-watchers, quality police, and sleaze-busters. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Lewis DB, Mcculloch N, Sacks A (2016) Measuring local government service delivery performance: challanges and (partial) solutions in Indonesia. J Int Dev. Published online 27 May 2015 in Wiley Online Library, 28, 808–817. Scholar
  6. Parasuraman A, Zeithaml VA, Berry LL (1985) A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. J Mark 49. Scholar
  7. Wild L, Chambers V, King M, Harris D (2012) Common constraints and incentive problems in service delivery, working paper (Print) ISSN 1759 2909, ODI working papers (Online) ISSN 1759 2917, Overseas Development Institute 111 Westminster Bridge Road London SE1 7JDGoogle Scholar
  8. Zeithaml VA, Berry LL, Parasuraman AV (1996) The behavioral consequences of service quality. J Mark 60(2). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public AdministrationState University of MakassarMakassarIndonesia