Build the management-research question hierarchy, through the investigative questions stage. Then compare your list with the measurement questions asked. To Build the management-research question hierarchy we will first start with the management dilemma. In this situation I see the management dilemma being, the need to attract more membership to support the new renovated facility and to account for the growing age of their current membership. Apparently AT&T purchased NCR Corporation and provided them a 4 million dollar loan to complete their renovations. Their immediate goal is to bring golf memberships to 680 and to increase social memberships as much as possible. The management question fairly simple, operating off the understanding that a management question is a question designed to ask how a problem can be solved or how an opportunity can be seized (Schmidt, n.d.) In this situation the former is the aim of this management Question and thus the question is what can we do to increase membership.
From here we move on to the research questions. The research questions should seek to discover what plausible courses of action are avaible for management to correct the problem at hand. Coming up with research questions can be challenging. Some of the problems with developing research questions is determing what area to focus on (Kinmond, K. (2012). Obviously the focus is on how to increase membership, but in this focus there could be a multitude of options to consider. Here are some research questions I would pose. 1) What are the factors contributing to a lack of membership growth? (2) Which are the factors to be focused on to increase membership? (3) How does membership growth in this golf club community compare to others in the industry. These questions should uncover some of the possible courses of action.
Through research it was discovered that NCRCC has a 7 percent penetration rate among NCR employees and that the number of NCR employees is declining. This means that the number of NCR employees that were becoming members of the country club was only at 7% and to further exasberate the pool of NCR employees that contribute to that 7% is getting smaller. One apparent solution is that the NCRCC can not rely on NCR membership to sustain itself, it must become a stand alone club with open membership. Further research showed that NCR employees had a desire for more of a full service club that offered more than just golf. For example fitness centers, spas, and tennis courts were among the additional facilities requested. The fourth step of the hierarchy is to ask investigative questions. The purpose of the investigative question is to solicit information that would help determine how to properly choose from the available courses of action.
This was achieved through a focus group that was conducted. McMahon Group conducted six focus groups at NCRCC, involving 43 members, seven nonmembers, and 12 employees. A consistent theme was that members did not feel they received the overall level of service at NCRCC that they expected from a fine private country club. This led to the survey which incorporated the measurement questions needed. Through the investigative questions they were able to get a better understanding as to why members joined the country club, what they were and weren’t satisfied with and what they wanted to see in the future.
The survey was very thorough and was ideal to help management come up with the management decision. From looking at the results of the survey, it appears the most important to the majority of the people are a larger bar/lounge area and to improve the driving range. What was interesting is that with interviewees 65 and over, nothing was really important. This tells me that the over 65 membership base is content and doesn’t desire change but to recruit new and younger members, which is the goal, they must make changes.
Given the research question, how appropriate were the measurement questions? Based on the results I would focus the resources on improving the golf course and the bar/lounge. Being that these two items were the most desired also indicates that members ultimately want a great golf course and not so much an all inclusive resort with swimming pools, fitness centers, etc. With this understanding, in addition to increasing the size of the golf course and improving the bar I would research other ways to improve the golfing, and social experience.
Some ideas could be better landscapes on the course such as waterfalls and lakes. They could also expound upon the bar/lounge by offering social games such as shuffle board or bridge. These ideas would need to be researched further, but the intent now is to focus future surveys on ways to increase the golfing experience as opposed to additional facilities. The measurement question were appropriate, however I don’t think they lead to the final answer. I think they have narrowed down the focus and now, as I said, they must focus on golfing and social environment. The management questions must now change, to how can we improve the golfing experience and the hierarchy must follow suit.
Kinmond, K. (2012). Coming Up With A Research Question. Retrieved April 21, 2015, from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/47619_Sullivan.pdf
Schmidt, P. (n.d.). Quantitative Research Methods, 4-4. Retrieved April 21, 2015, from http://schmidt-bremen.de/Material/resmeth/Example-for-questions-QM-Answers.pdf