The Identification of Critical Success Factors for Quality Internal IT Services in Public Sector Organisations in Hong Kong

271 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2014 Last revised: 22 Nov 2014

See all articles by Henry Chang

Henry Chang

The University of Hong Kong - Law and Technology Centre

Date Written: June 1, 2012


Customer satisfaction and cost saving are the benefits of quality service, whether in private sector firms or public sector organisations. Since customer-facing employees are supported by a chain of internal work units, quality improvement in internal services has a positive influence on external customers. Better management of critical success factors is believed to yield direct improvements in service quality. The identification of critical success factors for quality internal IT services would, therefore, be an important step towards public sector improvements in Hong Kong.

The methodology used in this research was an exploratory case study with three Delphi cycles. A list of 13 critical success factors identified in prior private sector research was presented to participants to rank according to these factors’ criticality and relevance in the public sector. Participants were interviewed to ensure that their views were understood. The results were then presented to a smaller group of participants in the first Delphi cycle to explore the meaning of the displayed patterns and for possible classification according to criticality. The proposed criticality was presented in the second Delphi cycle to form coherent views.

The results suggest that some of the 13 critical success factors are transferable from private sector firms to public sector organisations, namely Management Commitment, Customer Management and Corporate Culture. The results also reveal that the two factors of Organisational Structure and Employee Empowerment are incompatible with public sector culture and therefore non-critical. The criticality of the other eight factors was found to be inconclusive as participants generally agreed that the number of critical success factors should be kept low to be manageable. In addition, participants agreed that whether internal quality service was required by the management of public sector organisations should also be considered as a critical success factor. This is in contrast with the private sector where quality would normally be considered as a key objective by default. The question of finding an alternative to the traditional cost model of internal service, where those who receive the services are not those who pay for them, was debated extensively between participants. This controversial issue was found to warrant further study. Finally a model for how to apply critical success factors is proposed for further investigation. The results of this research are significant because there was no prior research into the identification of critical success factors in internal services of the public sector. The results provide first-time insights and will help administrators to better understand critical success factors and quality internal services for improving and delivering public services.

Keywords: quality service, critical success factor, internal IT service, Delphi, public sector

Suggested Citation

Chang, Henry, The Identification of Critical Success Factors for Quality Internal IT Services in Public Sector Organisations in Hong Kong (June 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Henry Chang (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - Law and Technology Centre ( email )

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