Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 24 Issue: 1S

Influence of Good Governance on Service Quality a Case Study of Phanatnikhom Town Municipality, Thailand

Pongsatean Luengalongkot, Burapha University

Abstract

  Thailand adopted the principles of good governance in order to accommodating public needs for better quality public services. Municipality has identified 10 good governance-based components for its administrative guidelines. These are: effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, accountability, and transparency, rule of law, equity, participation, decentralization, and morality/ethics. The influence of good governance on the quality services. It is hoped that the findings would shed light on ways to further improve the quality service provision of the Municipality. Therefore, this research aimed to analyse and verify the components of good governance and service quality and study the influence of good governance on service quality provided by Phanatnikhom Town Municipality in Chonburi Province. The sample, derived by Simple Random Sampling by drawing lots, consisted of 300 residents representing households in Phanatnikhom Town Municipality. Questionnaires were used to collect the data. Data were analysed by using Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Simple linear regression analysis. The results revealed that: The components of good government consisted of 10 factors. In order of factor loading they were: transparency, rule of law, accountability, effectiveness, responsiveness, efficiency, decentralization, morality/ethics, equity and participation respectively. The model in accordance was fit with the empirical data. The components of service quality consisted of 5 factors. In order of factor loading they were: ample service, continuous service, equitable service, timely service and progressive service respectively. The model in accordance was fit with the empirical data. The good governance had an influence on service quality provided by Phanatnikhom Town Municipality, with effect size 0.576 at the statistical significance of 0.01.

Keywords:

Administrative Influence, Good Governance, Quality Service, Phanatnikhom Town Municipality

Introduction

Rapid global changes in the digital age have made communications very convenient and borderless resulting in social, economic, political, administrative, cultural, technological and environmental changes, in countries around the world. These changes have compelled people in these countries to alter or adapt their ways of life (Wambulwa & Luengalongkot, 2020). Thailand, like other countries affected by these global changes, needs to improve public work behaviors and the quality of public services to meet the expectations of the public who are more and more aware of global changes (Kasritong & Luengalongkot, 2020). Thai government has set targets for improving the public sector management to provide quality services for the people by adopting the principles of good governance since the economic crisis in 1997. The principles were initiated by World Bank to solve the problems in public sector management for Sub-Sahara Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth, which in a short time were adopted by countries around the world. Since then Thailand has enthusiastically embraced the principles to prepare for the ongoing changes in the economics, social conditions, politics and government, culture, technology, and environment (Pakdijit, 2014).

Thailand adopted the principles of good governance (later changed to good administration) in 1997, during the economic crisis stemming from inefficient public sector management (Wongjampun & Luengalongkot, 2018). The principles were then adopted by local administrative organizations in accordance with the Acts regarding the establishment of 3 local administrative organizations, namely, the Provincial Administration Organizations Act (No. 3), B.E. 2546, Section 45/1; the Municipality Act (No. 12), B.E. 2646, Section 50, Paragraph 2, and the Subdistrict Administrative Organizations Act (No 5), B.E. 2546, Section 69/1. The Acts and the Royal Decree on Guidelines and Good Administration, B.E. 2546, Section 52 have required local administrations to prepare at least 2 sets of guidelines for good governance (Wambulwa & Luengalongkot, 2020). The first streamlining bureaucratic steps, and the second concerns accommodating public needs for better quality public services (Thepho & Luengalongkot, 2020). Good governance has been accepted as providing effective principles for solving problems in local administration (Puang-ngam, 2016) that would render quality public services, and the ability to respond to public needs and expectations. These guidelines were formulated to implement the aims of decentralized local administrations, whose focus is on providing improved service quality to the local populace through good administration in terms of quantity, time, and cost (Peterson & Plowman, 1953; Department of Local Administration, 2019).

Phanatnikhom Town Municipality, in Phanatnikhom district, Chonburi Province, has an aim to be a town of good governance characterized by efficiency, transparency, accountability, and capacity to provide quality services to the local population (Phanatnikhom Municipality, 2020). The Municipality has identified 10 good governance-based components for its administrative guidelines. These are: effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, accountability, transparency, rule of law, equity, participation, decentralization, and morality/ethics (Office of Public Sector Development Commission, 2012; Kledprathumkan & Leungalongkot, 2020). In line with these administrative guidelines, the Municipality has adopted 5 components for proving quality services. These are: equitable service, timely service, ample service, continuous service and progressive service (Millet, 1994).These components, adopted as quality service guidelines, can result in public satisfaction with the services provided by the Municipality and can prevent problems concerning the inability to provide equitable, timely, ample, continuous and progressive services to the public, whose rights to receive public services are guaranteed and protected by law (Moma & Leungalongkot, 2020). Keeping numerous changes Thailand faces in mind, the researcher has decided to conduct a study to validate the components of service quality, and components of good governance adopted by Phanatnikhom Municipality. The research objectives also include the influence of good governance on the quality services provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality. It is hoped that the findings would shed light on ways to further improve the administration and quality service provision of the Municipality. The 5 components of quality services, i.e., equitable, timely, ample, continuous and progressive services, and 10 components of good governance, i.e., effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, accountability, transparency, rule of law, equity, participation, decentralization, and morality/ethics will be verified.

Conceptual Framework of the Research

The framework for this research is derived from the research conducted by Kledprathum & Leungalongkot (2020), which revealed the influence of good governance on organizational effectiveness, and by Leungalongkot & Chaimadan (2018), which revealed the influence of good governance on quality services. The research then set up independent variables by adopting the Office of Public Sector Development Commission’s components of good governance, which are effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, accountability, transparency, rule of law, equity, participation, decentralization, and morality /ethics (Office of Public Sector Development Commission, 2012; Sarnthoy, 2019). The theoretical components of service quality provision formulated by John D. Millet were selected to complete the research framework. These components are equitable, timely, ample, continuous and progressive services (Millet, 1994; Saengchai & Jermsittiparsert, 2020). as shows in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework

Research Methodology

Population and sample group:

1. The population consisted of 4.948 people representing households residing in Phanatnikhom Municipality (Phanatnikhom Municipality, 2020).

2. Determine sample group and sample size The sample size was determined in line with Hair et al (2010, p. 102), which stipulated 20 times the number of observed variables, which in this research was 15. When the sample size of 300 was determined, the subjects were then selected by means of simple random sampling by drawing lots (Sihong, 2000).

Research Tools

The tool used to collect the data was a questionnaire divided into 3 sections concerning influence of good governance on service quality provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality. The questionnaires with content validity were then put through a trial with a group of 30 people having similar characteristics to those in the sample group to determine the tool’s reliability using Cronbach’s Alpha with alpha coefficient from 0.80. The questionnaires revealed ⍺=0.92, indicating their reliability.

Data Analysis

The data was analyzed, as follows:

General data regarding personal information of the sample was recorded using frequency and percent.

The data regarding components of good governance adopted by Phanatnikhom Municipality was analyzed by using Confirmatory Factor Analysis statistics using mathematical software.

The Data regarding components of service quality provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality was analyzed by using Confirmatory Factor Analysis statistics using mathematical software.

Data regarding the influence of good governance on service quality provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality was analyzed using Simple linear regression analysis at a statical significance of 0.01 levels.

Ethical Consideration

The researcher had access to the samples by inviting the participants and explaining the current research to the research participants, including objectives and procedures. Before collecting data, the researchers clarified the rights of that sample group. They had the right to participate in the research or refuse to participate in this research. If the participants felt uncomfortable with some questions, they had the right not to answer these questions. All data obtained would not have any impact on the respondents. The researchers had submitted the ethical request for human research and were granted the Human Research Ethics Certification No. 004/2021, and the date of certification was April 10, 2021. as shows in Table 1.

Research Results

Table 1
Confirmatory Factor Analysis of Good Governance of Phanatnikhom Municipality
Observed Variables Confirmatory Factor Analysis Of Good Governance of Phanatnikhom Municipality
b ß SE t
1. Effectiveness 0.808 0.701 0.037 18.938 ** 0.492
2. Efficiency 0.729 0.631 0.040 15.965 ** 0.398
3. Responsiveness 0.756 0.661 0.036 18.144 ** 0.437
4. Accountability 0.927 0.803 0.026 31.379 ** 0.644
5. Transparency 1.00 0.867 0.024 36.125 ** 0.752
6. Rule of Law 0.950 0.824 0.025 33.168 ** 0.680
7. Equity 0.520 0.451 0.051 8.786* * 0.203
8. Participation 0.423 0.367 0.054 6.822* ** 0.135
9. Decentralization 0.735 0.628 0.044 14.158 ** 0.395
10. Morality/Ethics 0.661 0.573 0.041 14.104 ** 0.329

The confirmatory factor analysis of the 10 components of good government revealed the weight of observed variables between 0.367- 0.867 with the significant level of 0.01, and R2 between 0.135 - 0.752, with the following component ranking respectively from highest to lowest: transparency (ß=0.867), rule of law (ß=0.824), accountability (ß=0.803), effectiveness (ß=0.701), responsiveness (ß=0.661), efficiency (ß=0.631), decentralization (ß=0.628), morality/ethics (ß= 0.573), equity (ß=0.451) and participation (ß=0.367). The analysis also revealed the model in accordance was fit with the empirical data with Chi-square x2=23.616, df=16 x2/ df=1.476, p-value =0.0982, TLI=0.988, RMSEA=0.040, SRMR=0.034, CFI=0.996. as shows in Table 2.

Table 2
Confirmatory Factor Analysis of Quality Services Provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality
Observed Variables Confirmatory Factor Analysis Of Quality Services Provided By Phanatnikhom Municipality
b ß SE t
1. Equitable Service 0.767 0.526 0.048 10.894** 0.276
2. Timely Service 0.734 0.503 0.057 8.833* 0.253
3. Ample Service 1.422 0.979 0.002 0.958
566.978**
4. Continuous Service 1.000 0.685 0.031 21.920** 0.469
5. Progressive Service 0.467 0.344 0.068 5.025** 0.118

The confirmatory factor analysis of 5 components of quality services provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality revealed the weight of observed variables between 0.344-0.979, with the significant level of 0.01, and R2 between 118 - 0.958, with the following component ranking respectively from highest to lowest: ample service (ß=0.979), continuous service (ß=0.685), equitable service=0.526), timely service (ß=0.503) and progressive service (ß=0.467). The analysis also revealed the model in accordance was fit with the empirical data with Chi-square x2=5.679, df=3 x2/ df =1.893, p-value=0.1283 TLI=0.983, RMSEA=0.055, SRMR=0.040, CF =0.995. as shows in Table 3.

Table 3
Analysis Of Influences of Good Governance on Service Quality Provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality
Variables b ß SE t Sig
Constant 1.783 0.208 8.573 0.000
Good Governance 0.571 0.576 0.047 12.170 0.000

The analysis revealed the good governance has an influence on service quality provided by Phanatnikhom Town Municipality, with effect size 0.576 at the statistical significance of 0.01.

Discussion and Conclusion

The confirmatory factor analysis of good governance of Phanatnikhom Municipality, Chonburi revealed the result to be congruent with the empirical data, which is presented by the fit index consisting of x2=23.616, df=16 x2/ df=1.476, p-value=0.0982, TLI =0.988, RMSEA =0.040, SRMR= 0.034, CFI= 0.996. The finding is in line with research on confirmatory factor analysis of good governance of Na Yai Am Subdistrict Administrative Organization in Na Yai Am District, Chantaburi Province (Noranitipadungkarn, 2016), and is also in line with research on the confirmatory factor analysis of good governance of local administrative organizations in Nakornsawan Province (Kledprathumkarn et al., 2020), which also shared the same 10 good governance components studied in this research on Phanatnikhom Municipality. These components are: effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, accountability, and transparency, rule of law, equity, participation, decentralization, and morality/ethics. The findings of this research also ranked the components regarding their perceived importance from high to low as follows:1. Transparency (ß=0.867): The Municipality has had clear and thorough public relations concerning procurements and financial budget and provided convenient access to information services by the public, which conforms to the Official Information Act, B.E. 2540; 2. Rule of law (ß= 0.824): The Municipality has made amendments on regulations and rules to make it easy for the public to correctly understand and follow; 3. Accountability (ß=0.803): The Municipality has set up strict supervision on the work of the municipal staff, and has made it possible for the public to check municipal performance in line with the municipal development plan (Santiso, 2001; Agere, 2002); 4. Effectiveness (ß=0.701): The Municipality has set up aims, directions, and concrete development plans appropriate to area needs with technology to facilitate public services (Panyasiri, 2017); 5. Responsiveness (ß=0.661): The Municipality has surveyed the problems and needs of the people to set up an appropriate development plan and provide quality services, and channels for complaints and requests so that public needs are truly responded to (Christina, 2001); 6. Efficiency (ß=0.631): The Municipality has implemented its municipal development plan and met the set aims in a manner that is cost and time efficient: 7. Decentralization (ß=0.628): The Municipality has embraced the practice of putting the right period into the right job; 8. Morality/ethics( ß=0.573): The municipal executives and staff have provide positive role models for the public and offer public services with ethics; 9. Equity (ß=0.451): The Municipality has adhered to the principles of equality and fairness in the performance of their duties;10. Participation (ß=0.367): The Municipality has encouraged the people to participate in all steps of municipal administration (Namkorn & Leungalongkot, 2019). Phanatnikhom Municipality has continuously based administrative performance on the 10 components of good governance, realizing their contribution to administrative achievement (Office of Administration Development Commission, 2012; World Bank, 1992). Confirmed components of good governance adopted by Phanatnikhom Municipality to be used as guidelines for good governance specific to the Municipality (Kalyanamitra, Tatiyalapa, Mala & Yaowanit, 2017).

The confirmatory factor analysis of service quality provided by Phananikhom Municipality, Chonburi revealed the result to be congruent with the empirical data, which is presented by the fit index consisting of x2=5.679, df=3 x2/ df =1.893, p-value=0.1283 TLI= 0.983, RMSEA=0.055, SRMR=0.040, CFI=0.995. The finding is in line with research on the confirmatory factor analysis of quality services provided by local administrative organizations in Thailand eastern region (Moma & Leungalongkot, 2020), which also shared the same 5 components of quality services with those studied in this research. These components are equitable service, timely service, ample service, continuous service and progressive service. The findings of this research also ranked the components regarding their perceived importance from high to low as follows: 1. Ample service (ß =0.979): The Municipality provides sufficient public services with an adequate number of service providers, such as collecting all the garbage each day, leaving no garbage leftover (Wongkumpun & Leungalongkot, 2018); 2. Continuous service (ß=0.685): The Municipality provides consistent and continuous public services, such as regular visits and assistance to elderly bed- ridden patients; 3. Equitable service (ß =0.526:The Municipality provides non-discriminatory services to the people, thus lessening disparities in service provision (Peterson, & Plowman,1953); 4. Timely service (ß=0.503): The Municipality responds to the needs and requests of the people with prompt services following a designated schedule and procedures; 5. Progressive service (ß=0.467): The Municipality has continually improved the quality of services provided and has continuously tried to provide alternative, sustainable services (Williams, 2005). These 5 components of service quality have been studied in an extensive body research and have proved to be positive factors in improving quality services, as in the study of Phanatnikhom Municipality (Millet, 1994). Confirmed components of service quality provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality to be used as guidelines for service quality provided by the Municipality (Pungpho & Wanarat, 2017).

The study revealed the influence of good governance on the quality services provided by Phanatnikhom Municipality, Chonburi Province with the statistical significance of 0.01. The finding is in line with research on influence of good governance on quality services provided by Na Yai Am Subdistrict Administrative Organization, Chantaburi Province. These studies revealed the contribution of the same components of good governance to improved quality services (Leungalongkot, Chaimadan & Thampitug, 2018). These components were transparency, rule of law, accountability, equity, effectiveness, efficiency, decentralization, participation, responsiveness and morality/ethics. When these components are incorporated or fostered in organizations, for example in municipalities, quality services, encompassing ample, continuous, equitable, timely, and progressive services, are more likely to be produced (Chetthamrongchai, Jermsittiparsert & Saengchai, 2019). Phanatnikhom Municipality should continue in this direction by integrating components of good governance into its strategic development plan, and standard work performance, with continuous follow up, and evaluation of the components and quality service provision for its continuous and systematic development (Kledprathumkarn & Leungalongkot, 2020). Confirmed influence of administration on the principles of good governance adopted by Phanatnikhom Municipality to be further used as municipal administrative guidelines. For knowledge from the research good governance comprising transparency, rule of law, accountability, effectiveness, responsiveness, efficiency, decentralization, morality/ethics, equity, and participation contributes to quality service provision, which is reflected through ample, continuous, equitable, timely and progressive services. Organizations which strive for service quality in all 5 components should place importance on these 10 components of good governance to foster service quality and public satisfaction. There are three recommendations are as follow;

Policy Recommendations, Phanatnikhom Municipality executives should base work performance policy on principles of good governance covering all 10 components and should base work performance policy on service quality provision covering all 5 service components.

Practical Recommendations, Following the highest ranked component of good governance, transparency, Phanatnikhom Municipality should give priority to administrative transparency, and all information should be thoroughly communicated to the public and Following the second ranked component of good governance, rule of law, Phanatnikhom Municipal executives should make amendments of regulations and rules to make it easier for people to correctly understand and follow, and should exercise their authority under the rule of law Furthermore, Following the highest ranked component of service quality, ample service, Phanatnikhom Municipal executives should give priority to providing sufficient public services and ensuring sufficient staff to facilitate service provision.

Academic Recommendations, Further research should be conducted on guidelines for the supervision of administration under the principles of good governance in local administrative organizations.

Acknowledgement

The researchers would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Faculty of Political Science and Law, Burapha University, for supporting this research. This paper is part of a research project on Influence of Good Governance on Service Quality: A Case Study of Phanatnikhom Town Municipality.

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