Nonlinear Effects on Citizen Satisfaction and Different Levels of Governments in Japan

Yu Noda


This study investigates the nonlinear effects of local governments’ performance of public services on citizen satisfaction in Japan. Citizen satisfaction data has been collected by many municipalities because it is regarded as a quantitative measure of citizen needs. Citizen satisfaction with services is generally assessed on a scale ranging from dissatisfaction to satisfaction, and there can be some variation between the effects of the quality of services in comparison with citizens’ expectations based on their understanding of what the government should provide. In line with Kano’s theory, we can say that with respect to the must-be quality of service, when the quality decreases in the low-quality condition, citizen dissatisfaction decreases at an accelerated pace. Regarding the attractive quality of service, citizen satisfaction rises significantly as the performance increases in the high-quality condition. On the basis of data gathered through an Internet survey in Japan, we explore the nonlinear effects of service performance on citizen satisfaction through a comparison of citizens’ expectations on different levels of governments. This study found that clarity of service in areas under the authority of a broad regional government has more impact in terms of increasing satisfaction and decreasing dissatisfaction and that its nonlinear effects are more significant than for municipal services.


citizen satisfaction, service delivery

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