In this paper, we develop a model of information technology (IT) service provider capabilities termed the quality distinction (QD) model that is theoretically rooted in the resource-based view and quality management literatures, and operationalized using the widely used capability maturity model (CMM) framework. The QD model is theorized to consist of one dynamic capability (i.e., process adaptation capability) and three operational capabilities (i.e., life cycle, prevention quality, and appraisal quality capabilities). These four capabilities are initially operationalized using definitions of the 22 processes in the CMM integration framework. A panel of experts is used to assign the 22 processes to the four capabilities in the QD model. Rigorous scale-refinement procedures are used and 15 CMM processes are retained as a result. Survey data collected from IT service providers are, then, used to compare the theorized QD model with the staged and continuous models in the CMM framework. Results from a covariance-based structural equation modeling analysis provide good support to the hypothesis that the QD model is superior to the two CMM models (the staged and continuous representations), with the theorized model showing high fit indices and high psychometric properties. Results also provide support for the hypothesis that processes should be operationalized as routines with a combination of both ostensive and performative aspects.