This is to certify that the work I am submitting is my own. All external references and sources are clearly acknowledged and identified within the contents. I am aware of the University of Warwick regulation concerning plagiarism and collusion. No substantial part(s) of the work submitted here has also been submitted by me in other assessments for accredited courses of study, and I acknowledge that if this has been done an appropriate reduction in the mark I might otherwise have received will be made.
Introduction The chosen organisation is Travelodge, the hotel chain. This organisation has been chosen due to the researcher’s prior experience of working for this company during holidays and prior to going to university. The researcher worked on the check in / customer service desk, and so has specific experience of the customer service process that occurs in the company. The specific service experience will be service failure and recovery, with the chosen tool being complaint handling. This tool has again been chosen due to the researcher’s prior experience of working on the customer service desk, where complaint handling was one of the main areas of focus for the company, and where the ability to handle complaints was a vital part of the researcher’s role.
Methodology Saunders et al discuss a number of possible research methodologies and research strategies1. Of these, the three which are most relevant in the case of this research are surveys, case studies and action research. Surveys are one of the most widely used research methods as they “allow the collection of a large amount of data from a sizeable population in a highly economical way”2. This helps researchers to collect large amounts of information in a relatively quick and cost effective way, covering the views of a large number of individuals and obtaining a good degree of coverage of a specific topic. Surveys are also valuable as they allow researchers to gain direct access to the views of disparate groups such as customers and other bodies of people who are often difficult to reach as a whole. At the same time, it is important to note that the collection survey data tends to involve data from lots of people, which makes it difficult to gain much insight on the views of individuals. 1 2
Saunders et al, 2007, p. 84 Saunders et al, 2003, p. 92
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In contrast, case studies can be seen as “a strategy for doing research which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence” 3. Case studies are hence “not a methodological choice but a choice of what is to be studied”4. Specifically, a case study methodology generally relies on and inductive approach to research, choosing a specific organisation that is held to be representative of the broader research context, and then investigating this organisation in significant depth in order to allow the researcher to obtain insight. At the same time, the choice of the case study can also allow the researcher to maintain some breadth, and thus help ensure high levels of external validity and reliability when it comes to the conclusions of the work. A case study strategy hence relies on the appropriate selection of a specific case in order to ensure that the study of the case itself helps develop useful theories or models as well as illuminating the overall phenomenon under research. Finally, action research involves exploring a specific case, similar to a case study, however rather than looking for a representative case action research is more focused on the very specific nature of the case being investigated. As such, the aim of action research is to investigate a specific issue in great depth and develop highly specific results. The aim is hence to focus more on finding solutions to a problem rather than developing academic...