In order to build the management-research question hierarchy, one must ask what the management’s problem is that is requiring research. After reading the National Cash Register Country Club case, it is apparent that the management’s problem is that the National Cash Register Country Club’s membership is low and management is looking for ways to increase membership. AT;T purchased National Cash Register Corporation and provided NCR with a 4 million dollar interest free loan in order to tear down the original clubhouse and replace it with a brick colonial-style clubhouse (Cooper, 2014). NCRCC’s management would like to bring golf memberships up to 680 and bring social memberships up as much as possible. However, management has been having trouble doing this. The management’s problem has been defined. Now, the management question can be defined as: how can membership be increased?
Now that the management’s problem and management’s question have been laid out, the next step is to define the research questions. What is the best option for management to remedy the problem of declining membership? “The first steps of any study are developing the research question, aim and objective. Subsequent steps develop from these and they govern the researchers’ choice of population, setting, data to be collected and time period for the study. Clear, succinctly posed research questions, aims and objectives are essential if studies are to be successful. Discussion Researchers developing their research questions, aims and objectives generally experience difficulties. They are often overwhelmed trying to convert what they see as a relevant issue from practice into research” (Doody, 2016). Management’s objective is to
CASE ASSIGNMENT 1
remedy the declining membership and increase membership. In order to increase membership, management needs to consider several things. What factors are causing a lack of interest in membership? What would bring an increased interest in the public in joining the NCRCC, thus creating an increase in membership? What does the membership numbers look like at other similar country clubs? What are other similar country clubs doing in order to increase their membership? Obtaining answers to these questions would give management a good idea on where to focus on making improvements.
The McMahon Group was hired to assist NCRCC’s strategic planning committee with strategic planning. The McMahon Group found that: “‘Historically, NCRCC has a 7 percent penetration rate among NCR employees. NCR’s employee pool was trending smaller, providing continuing downward pressure on NCRCC membership,’ explained Vain. ‘With membership segments of NCR retirees (1/3 of members) and current NCR employees (another 1/3 of members) getting less numerous each year, only the segment comprised of non-NCR affiliates provides an opportunity for growth. NCRCC needs to become a stand-alone club to survive'” (Cooper, 2014). NCR’s employee numbers are decreasing. This is causing the 7% membership rate among employees to decline as well. This poses a problem for NCRCC to only rely on NCR membership to expand. NCR needs to look into opening up the country club membership pool to include non-NCR employees. The McMahon Group also found that the possibility of expanding the country club’s offerings to include services for children, a swimming pool, fitness area, tennis courts, and other similar amenities would help attract new membership. The
CASE ASSIGNMENT 1
McMahon Group needed to conduct a survey of a focus group in order to collect information to investigate the best course of action for increasing membership.
The McMahon Group conducted a survey of a focus group. This focus group consisted of 43 members, seven nonmembers, and 12 employees. The survey found that overall, members’ felt that they were not receiving the benefits and service that other similar country clubs offered. This survey helped the McMahon Group narrow their focus in order to find ways to improve the country club and the overall experience of members by asking members several different questions. These questions included members overall satisfaction with the country club, what the focus of the country club should be, why each member joined the country club, and members’ satisfaction with country club employees and management.