Product Quality as a Formative Index: Evaluating an Alternative Measurement Approach


  • Francisco-Jose Molina-Castillo,

  • Roger J. Calantone,

  • Michael A. Stanko,

  • Jose-Luis Munuera-Aleman

  • We acknowledge funding received from the Education and Science Ministry (research project SEJ2006-08854/ECON), Fundacion Cajamurcia, and the Seneca Foundation—Science and Technology Agency from the Region of Murcia (research project 03119/PHCS/05) to undertake this research. The authors are grateful to the editor of JPIM and anonymous reviewers for their help in improving this article.

Address correspondence to: Dr. Francisco-Jose Molina-Castillo, Department of Marketing, University of Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain. E-mail: Tel: +34-868-88-78-26. Fax: +34-868-88-79-86.


Product quality is a critical competitive issue when launching new products. However, the product quality construct has been measured inconsistently in prior research, with researchers often not considering multiple components of quality. Thus, results may not be comparable across studies, and when dimensions of quality are excluded, relationships found between quality and other constructs may be spurious. As a response, we develop a formative measurement approach to product quality. The components of product quality are not interchangeable in measurement as typical reflective approaches assume. These dimensions make up the quality construct, necessitating a formative measurement approach. Here, this approach is developed and tested, compared with the traditional reflective approach, and its relationships with other constructs evaluated in a model of new product performance. Overall, this formative approach is shown both to be theoretically appropriate and to possess strong measurement properties. This approach has clear implications for research concerning product quality and improving its measurement in the future.