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Implementing continuous improvement in hospitality sector

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Housing
Wordcount: 4121 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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1. Title:

The research title of this proposal is “Implementing Continuous Improvement In Hospitality Sector”.

2. Introduction

Organizations today operate in an extremely competitive environment where service quality and customer satisfaction are paramount. If organizations are to continually improve and meet higher standards in future they must be prepared for continuous and sustainable change. Organizations will need to continually identify where they are and where they need to be in terms of performance, if changing customer needs and requirements are to be successfully met.

When discussing the CI (continuous improvement) many writers seem to focus on quality. Although quality is an important aspect of CI, the topic is much more complex and interesting than merely developing quality within products and services.

The first theory to be considered as relevant to the development of CI was Scientific Management as introduced by American engineer and manager Frederick Winslow Taylor (1911). Taylor was the first person to actually measure work methods with the view to increasing productivity through finding his “one best way” to perform a given task. Appalled by what he regarded as the inefficiencies of industrial practice Taylor basically introduced what we know today as Performance Measurement and Performance Management to all tasks.

The idea of ‘quality’ was developed by two Americans associated with the post-war renaissance of Japanese industry, namely Dr. W. Edwards Deming and Dr. Joseph Juran.

According to Deming (1982)

“Quality should be aimed at the needs of the consumer, present and future”

“Quality is consistent conformance to customers’ expectations” (Slack et al., 2006)

Dr Joseph M Juran states

“Quality is Fitness for purpose” (Juran,1988)

Taguchi says

“Quality should primarily be customer- driven,” (Taguchi, What is Total Quality Management?, The Japanese Way. 1985) they confirm this approach.

3. Research Aims and Objectives

My aim in this project is to identify appropriate applications for and use of Continuous Improvement tools and techniques for quality improvement in providing the goods and services in the hospitality sector some tools, techniques, theories, and philosophies I will be using in future are benchmarking, check sheets, histograms, performance management planning (philosophy), Imai’s Kaizen/ CI umbrella, Taguchi’s (theory), FQM (excellence model), Carlisle’s CI framework etc….

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My aim in this research is to raise the awareness of CI within the hospitality sector and to start building the foundation for the organisation to design, implement and sustain a CI programme to create improved performance and help meet the requirements of competition, evaluate the type of products and services customer of the hospitality sector expects, assess whether the current product and service provided meets these expectations.

4. Research Methodology:

The research methodology used in my research is based on the conceptual model proposed by Howard and Sharp (1983) which offers seven steps as a guide to the research:

  1. Identify the broad area of case study
  2. Select the research topic
  3. Decide the approach
  4. Establish the plan
  5. Collect the data or information
  6. Analyse and interpret the data
  7. Present the findings

1. Identifying the broad area of case study:

There are four steps of methodology for defining case study. They are

  1. Designing case study.
  2. Conducting case study
  3. Analyzing case study with appropriate evidence
  4. Developing conclusions, recommendations and implications.

Case study is a methodology; we have to follow particular procedure to achieve the expected results. Yin (1993) identified different types of case studies like

  1. Exploratory
  2. Explanatory
  3. Descriptive

Later on it was extended by other three concepts like

  1. Intrinsic- it specifies that, when researcher interested in particular case.
  2. Instrumental – A specific Case is used to understand more than what is required for researcher.
  3. Collective: After a group of cases are studies, researchers have to identify the specific cases which are useful and which are not.

2. Select the research topic:

For selecting a particular topic we have identify which area we are interested at, and did that topic is useful for doing Research or not. After selecting we have to justify which topic is strong for doing Research. Finally have to fix to specific topic and proceed further.

3. Decide the approach :

This procedure of gaining knowledge and understanding the problem and growth of selected case of study can offer enough knowledge into managerial culture, current trend and future possibilities. The historical method of research applies to all fields of study because it encompasses their origins, growth, theories, presentation, concepts, crisis, etc.Both quantitative and qualitative variables can be used in the gathering of historical information.

  1. The collection of most relevant information about the topic.
  1. The appropriate information forming and case studies.
  1. Specific and relevant collection and organization of evidences, and the identification of the authenticity of information and its sources.
  1. Selecting, organizing, and analyzing the most relevant collected evidence, and the representation of solutions and
  1. Recording of perfect and accurate conclusions in a meaningful sequence of events.

4. Establish the plan:

Research plan helps to develop particular plan to improve the topic.

We have to create and answer some questions to improve the research, like

  1. Who can help me for to learn more about this particular topic?
  2. What type of question should I ask people in survey according to the check list?
  3. What modifications should I made to learn more about the topic?
  4. What are the resources I can refer to, how should I browse to learn more about the particular topic?
  5. How can I organize the information, what I have collected?

5. Collect the data or information :

We have to look after many technical surveys, researches and journals to collect the required data or information. Collecting data and organizing the data is very important than other things.

6. Analyse and interpret the data :

Have to analyze and interpret the data which we have collected from surveys, Researches etc.. for a successful research outputs.

7. Present the findings:

The most important thing is, presenting the ideas and thoughts which we collected from many surveys, researches.

The way of presenting the report plans a major role, which decides whether the research is successful or failure.

5. Research Approach:

The term ‘paradigm’ has become popularized over the last decade, and it therefore tends to be used in many different ways. Mintzberg (1978) described the term as convenient ‘buzzword’ for social scientists. In response Morgan (1979) proposed a way of tidying up its usage. He distinguished between three levels of use:

* The philosophical level – basic about the world.

* The social level – guidelines about how the researcher should conduct their endeavor.

* The technical level – methods and techniques that should ideally be adopted in conducting research.

There are two paradigms or approaches to research Positivism and Phenomenology.

5.1 Positivism:

Easterby-Smith et al. (1991:22) define the positivism paradigm as

“that the social world exists externally, and that its properties should be measured through objective methods, rather than being inferred subjectively through sensation, reflection, or intuition”

This is involved using a quantitative/deductive research approach involving measurement using hard data, and both statistical and logical information. Research methods for this type of paradigm include surveys, experimentation and observation (audits). The method adopted in this research was a survey, which produced hard statistical data. As with most methods of data collection, the positivist paradigm has its’ strengths and weakness. These attributes are outlined in table below.



* Provide a wide coverage of range of situations.

* Can be fast and economical.

* May be of Considerable relevance to policy decisions, particularly when statistics are aggregated.

* Methods tend to be inflexible and artificial.

* Ineffective for understanding process or significance that people attach to actions.

* Due to focus on recent or current events it can be difficult for policy makers to infer what actions to take.

5.2 Phenomenology:

Saunders et al. (1997:72) define the phenomenology paradigm in the following way:

“Characterized by a focus on the meanings that research subjects attach to social phenomena; an attempt by the researcher to understand what is happening and why it is happening”

This approach will allow me to gather data providing information as to how subjects perceived management development in greater depth. This involved using a qualitative/inductive research approach involving measurement using soft, meaningful and naturalistic data.

Research methods for this type of paradigm include personal interviews, group interviews and observation of group or individual behavior. I will adopt the personal interview approach as it is most suited to the research topic. The phenomenological paradigm also has its strengths and weaknesses. These are shown below in the table.



* Ability to look as change process over time.

* To understand peoples meanings.

* To adjust to new issues and ideas as they emerge.

* Provide a way of gathering data that is seen as natural.

* Data collection can be time and resource consuming.

* Analysis and interpretation of data can be difficult.

* Qualitative studies may appear disorganized because it is harder to control their pace, process and end-points.

* Policy makers may give less credibility to studies rooted in a phenomenological approach.

Source: Easterby – Smith et.al(1991)

The theoretical approach to the research determines what methods will gain required information for the study.

Positivist Paradigm

Phenomenological Paradigm



– The world is external and objective.

– Observer is independent

– Science and value free

– The world is socially constructed and subjective.

– Observer is part of what is observed.

– Science is driven by human interests.



– Focus on facts

– Look at causality and fundamental laws.

– Reduce phenomena to simplest elements.

– Formulate hypothesis and then test them.

– Focus on meanings.

– Try to understand what is happening.

– Look at the totality of each situation.

– Develop ideas through induction from data.

Preferred methods


– Operationalising concepts so that they can be measured.

– Taking large samples.

– Using multiple methods to establish different views of the phenomena.

– Small samples investigated in depth or over time.

Source: Easterby – Smith et.al(1991)

5.3 Research Overview:

Primary data collection for this research involved both quantitative and qualitative information. These two types of information has to be noted down very carefully. If the information contains any calculated measurement of any type, it is considered as quantitative information. There are particular rules for maintaining right track of this information, but the main thing to remember is that any value recorded directly from the tool is considered quantitative data. Always it should be recorded immediately as soon as possible, along with its explanation and the units of measure, and have to be careful to maintain the perfect accuracy.

Sometimes we can observe something happening using senses, as a replacement for a tool like a measuring stick. This qualitative information is repeatedly just as useful as numerical data. It includes such explanation as colour as well as observations about consistency changes and anything else that is actually an opinion

In other words Quantitative information refers to:

“The application of a measurement of numerical approach to the nature of the issue under scrutiny as well as the gathering and analysis of data. It is the concepts and categories, not their incidence and frequency that are said to matter.” (Brannan, 1992:5)

Qualitative methods are concerned with acquiring data through investigative means of a descriptive nature. However, Burgess (1982) suggests that researchers ought to be flexible and select a range of methods that are appropriate to the research problem under investigation.

The characteristics of both quantitative and qualitative methods are illustrated in the table below.



* Based on meanings derived from numbers.

* Collection results in numerical and standardized data.

* Analysis conducted through the use of diagrams and statistics.

* Based on meanings expressed through words.

* Collection of results in non-standardized data requiring classification into categories.

* Analysis constructed through the use of conceptualization.

Source: Adapted from Saunders et al 1997

6. Research Design:

Easterby – Smith et al. (1991) advocate that to reduce the possibility of questionable reliability of the data and results being produced by the research a sound research design should be adopted.

6.1 Secondary Data:

Data that has already been collected for some other purpose, perhaps processed and subsequently stored, are termed secondary data. There are three main types of secondary data:


The nature and ways of classifying document varies conceptually and practically. Documentary research has many ways of analysing documents.

Documentary research method had more importance compared to other methods of research, because of the influence of positivism and empiricism so that information and quantification are most popular forms of collecting data and analyzing data. Documentary research is connected with historical research, and history feels anxious in conjunction with social science disciplines. Documentary research method is stated as unclear, it doesn’t have a particular method and there is no strong evidence to how a researcher uses it. However these criticisms are nowhere to be found. History as a restraint provides us with a sense of our ancient times and with that the ways in which our present came about, and employing a range of documentary sources. It enables researchers to reflect on current issues.

Documentary research methods are classified into three different types. They are

  1. Primary, secondary and tertiary documents: Primary documents refer to the resources which are used or collected by those who really witnessed the events which were described. This type of sources is considered to be reliable and accurate, and for this reason the researcher may make use of secondary sources. These are printed after an event that the author has not perfectly or face-to-face witnessed, and the researcher must be conscious of the troubles in production of this data. Tertiary sources allow researchers to establish other references like index, abstract and bibliography.
  2. Public and private documents: Here documents can be divided into four categories according to convenience, restricted, open-archival.
  3. Solicited and unsolicited documents: some of the documents like government surveys and research projects would have produced with the aim of research in mind, whereas others like diaries would have been produced for personal use.


  1. Survey is a technique used for getting accurate and perfect results.
  2. A detailed and elaborated inspection.

Multiple source:

There are several other sources for conducting a successful survey.

Five principal secondary data were utilized provide background information surrounding the area of research.

* Staff surveys.

* Organizational reports on subject matter.

* Organizational assessment and evaluation of subject matter in operation.

* Findings of previous studies into subject.

* Literature including books, academic reports, and journals from several authors.

As with all data collection, secondary data has its own advantages and disadvantages and shown in the table below.



* May have fewer resource implications.

* Unobtrusive.

* Longitudinal studies may be feasible.

* Can provide comparative and contextual data.

* Can result in unforeseen discoveries.

* May have been collected for a purpose that does not match your need.

* Access may be difficult or costly.

* Aggregations and definitions may be unsuitable.

Source Adopted from Kidder & Judd (1986)

6.2 Primary Research:

The aim of the primary research is to obtain information that is not provided in the secondary data and investigate its validity by comparing and contrasting the findings. The following research methods will examine to validate the research aim.

  1. Postal survey
  2. Personal survey
  3. Focus Group interview / Discussion
  4. In depth interviews

Smith, Thorpe and Lowe, (1991) define these methods as an array of interpretative techniques which seek to describe, decode, translate and otherwise come to terms with meaning, not the frequency, of certain more or less naturally occurring phenomenon in the social world. The choice of method for collecting the data depends on the information needs and values, as well as, particularly in this study, the budget and resources available.

8. Questionnaires:

“survey research can be obtained from a relatively small sample of people and can be generated to large numbers of the population”

(Alreck & Settle, 1995:6)

Self-administered questionnaires will be used in this research so that responses could be obtained from a sample of potential respondents and generalized for large numbers of managers.

Kidder and Judd (1986:222) summarized the advantages and disadvantages of using questionnaires illustrated in the table below.



* Low Cost

* Ease of completion

* Immediate response

* Feeling of anonymity

* Accuracy of completeness of responses.

* Context of question answering

* Misunderstanding of questions

* Response rate

Source: Kidder & Judd (1986:222)

The questionnaire will be constructed using a combination of multiple choice closed questions; open questions and scaling questions.

8.Work Plan :

Time frame


ResearchTime Frame

Month 1

To meet Requirements

Get the Initial Plans for the research approved.

To start work on research topic area, research questions and literature review

Complete writings on literature review

Month 2

To submit a draft of literature review details and to start on research design

Complete writings on methods of research and gatherings of data collected

Month 3

To submit a draft of research design and methods of research and data collected

To met supervisor, agree and move to next steps

Month 4

To work on research implementation methods

To submit research implementation methods

Month 5

To work on data analysis and conclusion

To submit draft of data analysis and conclusion

Month 6

To complete draft on complete Research

To submit draft of complete Research to supervisor and work on final conclusions

Submission of research


To Research on “Implementing Continuous Improvement In Hospitality Sector” We have used lot of methods, implementations, surveys, questionnaires etc. Each and every concept of research is useful and also very important for the research to become a successful research.

Another main thing for research is “Work Plan”. The way we plan our work in a perfect and right manner will make our research successful. Planning according to the situation and implementing particular plans, even though it is complicated and time consuming. We have to organize our plan perfectly and step by step, also have to finish the tasks in specific time periods to achieve real time success.

Surveys has to be done very carefully, because there will be more complications to finish them. Like we have to justify which type of survey we want to go for and how to implement that.

There are many categories in surveys, which should be done in our chosen topic .We have to be very careful not to deviate from our primary research. Some of the surveys are

  1. Surveying certain age group.
  2. Surveying by gender.
  3. Surveying by profession.
  4. Surveying by mental condition
  5. Postal survey
  6. Personal survey
  7. Focus Group interview / Discussion
  8. In depth interviews and so on.

Another important aspect in research is Questionnaires. We have to use this type of survey very cautiously, because there are many ways we can use questionnaires. We have to use each and every possibility of questionnaires to get best results.Using all these methods and concepts we can succeed in obtaining a successful Research Results.


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