Evaluation of How Service Quality Influnces Staff Retention and Performance in UK Market: Radisson Blu UK

 

1.0 Introduction:

The quality of services provided by business organisations in the modern era is considered to be pivotal in dictating business success. Considering the words of McDougall and Levesque (2004), service quality reflects organisational brand values that can influence the perception of the customers. Several past researches also promote the fact that service quality can influence the perception of the workforce as well. As per Karatepe et al. (2005), improved service quality would mean improved business prospect and the process could be utilised to motivate the workforce. In the context of this particular scenario, the current study has been developed considering the current situation of Radission Blu, UK.

Radission Blu is a renowned brand across the UK for its luxury hotels and resorts. Over the years, the brand has managed to maintain goodwill in the industry for the hospitality services it provides to the customers. However, the hospitality sector in the UK is becoming increasingly competitive and service quality is supposed to be a core competency for the organisations in the sector. Paauwe and Richardson (2007) supported the fact by citing that retaining staff in the UK’s hospitality sector is turning out to be a challenge as potential candidates prefer jobs in reputed organisations. In this context, the current research is trying to investigate whether service quality is helping Radission Blu retaining staffs and improving workforce performance.   

1.1 Rationale of the study:

The current study is attempting to investigate the fact whether service quality provided at Radission Blu is assisting the organisation in retaining staffs and improving. Thus, the findings from the study could help Radission Blu assessing the current service quality and analyse whether it is a reason behind the current staff retention scenario. Staff retention remains a concern particularly for the organisations in the UK’s hospitality sector as it ultimately influences workforce performance. The increasing competition in the industry has even made the situation more critical for hospitality organisations in the industry. On top of that, there is lack of researches regarding the relationship between service quality and staff retention. Therefore, the research findings could help other hospitality organisations analysing the fact that service quality could help improving customer retention scenario and improve business performance.   

1.2 Research aim:

The aim of the research study is to investigate the fact whether service quality influences staff retention and employee performance and the process associating it.

1.3 Research objectives:

Following objectives would be addressed throughout the research study:

  • To investigate whether service quality influences staff retention and employee performance
  • To assess the process how service quality influence staff retention and workforce performance
  • To derive strategies to improve service quality so that Radission Blu can experience improved staff retention scenario and workforce performance

1.4 Research questions:

Following research questions are likely to be addressed in the due course of the study:

  • Does service quality influence staff retention and employee performance?
  • How does service quality influence staff retention and workforce performance?
  • What can Radission Blu do to in terms of service quality improvements so that the staff retention scenario and workforce performance could be improved?

1.5 Research hypothesis:

H0: Service quality influences staff retention and workforce performance in hospitality sector.

H1: Service quality does not influence staff retention and workforce performance in hospitality sector.

2.0 Literature review:

Since the current study is dealing with the relationship between service quality and staff retention, a range of literature can be considered relating to the context. Therefore, literature regarding significance of quality services, factors influencing service quality, its relation with staff retention and workforce performance could be focused.

2.1 Significance of quality services in Hospitality sector:

It is a proven fact that organisational brand images are significantly enhanced with superior service delivery (Athanassopoulos et al. 2011). The scenario is similar in the hospitality sector of the UK as well. With increasing competition in the industry, the significance of quality services is even greater. According to Caruana (2002), the quality of services can be considered as a core competency factor in the UK hospitality sector and it can provide competitive edge. However, Bojanic (2011) argued that business profitability is still the major focus as far as the hospitality organisations are concerned. As a consequence, business sustainability is highly unlikely for majority of the hospitality firms across the region.

2.2 Factors influencing service quality:

There can be a considerable number of factors influencing service quality. However, the findings from the study of Parasuraman et al. (2008) suggest that the process of delivery and the presentation of the service by the line staffs play significant role in driving the perception of the customers. It is up to the employees to deliver the services to the end users following effective presentation skills. Any alterations in the service delivery process or delivery process contradicting the perception the customs could dictate overall service quality. As a result, Robertson (2006) highlighted the importance of proper training of the staffs so that optimum service quality can be ensured.

2.3 Service quality and staff retention:

Although there is no direct linkage between service quality and staff retention, Beatson et al. (2008) acknowledged that service quality can indirectly influence the staff retention scenario. It can be assumed that service quality could help enhancing the organisational brand image and help attracting and retaining employees. As cited by Kontoghiorghes (2003), employees, particularly in the hospitality industry are motivated to work for renowned brands. Since service quality helps enhancing the organisational brand image, it can be assumed that an improvement in service quality can help hospitality brands improving staff retention scenario.

2.4 Staff retention and workforce performance:

Considering a range of past literature, there is supposed to be a proportionate relationship between staff retention and workforce performance. In the words of Clow (2003), high employee turnover is likely to affect the morale of the workforce. Inclusion of new employees is a costly affair for business organisations as the recruitment and training cost would likely to get higher. Adding to that, new employees would require more time to settle in and perform as per desired extent. Therefore, the performance of the workforce would likely to hinder with increasing turnover. Finally, high turnover would affect the organisational brand image (Reichheld, 2006). As a result, brands might face difficulties in attracting potential candidates.

 

3.0 Research design and methodology:

3.1 Type of investigation:

A primary research approach would be initiated during investigating the research context. Creswell (2003) mentioned that primary research approach can help assessing the research scenario evaluating a range of real life situations and facts. Therefore, it is believed that evaluating primary data could help judging the fact whether service quality at Radission Blu is influencing the staff retention scenario. In order to ensure an effective investigation procedure, specific set of research philosophy, research design and research approach has been chosen. The research philosophy is positivism, the research approach is deductive and the research design is descriptive in nature.

The positivism philosophy would help conducting a scientific study supported by real time facts and figures. As mentioned by Morgan (2009), positivism philosophy supports scientific studies that evaluate statistics to evaluate research scenarios. On the other hand, deductive approach could help following a waterfall model approach to maintain effective flow of information while the descriptive research design could help the researcher to analyse various aspects concerning service quality and its impact on staff retention and workforce performance.

The research is going to investigate the current situation at Radission Blu considering the responses of the organisational employees. Saunders et al. (2009) acknowledged that quantitative data reflects the perception of a sample population that could describe a particular research scenario. Along with the responses of the Radission Blu employees and a range of secondary data, conclusion would be made on the service quality at Radission Blu and whether it is influencing staff retention and organisational performance.

3.2 Data collection method:

Data collection process involves collection of both primary and secondary data. The researcher would conduct gathering quantitative data while conducting the study. Furthermore, the researcher needs to attain potential data collection process in order to draw the accuracy on the given topic. Considering the fact, VanderStoep and Johnson (2009) stated that a step wise data collection process would be required for avoiding any discrepancy that might occur between the actual and gathered data. In order to gather quantitative data, the researcher would send a questionnaire consists of a set of questions to the employees of the Radisson Blu, the UK.

Prior to send the questionnaire to the employees, the researcher would send an invitation mail to the existing employees in order to acquire respective affirmation from their side. After receiving the affirmation, a set of questionnaires would be given to the employees and the respective responses of employees would be treated as the quantitative data. On the contrary, Creswell and Plano (2007) argued that primary data alone cannot create sufficient result which could reach the authenticity of the study. While, a combination of primary and secondary data could effectively provide authentic and desired result of the study. The secondary data could be gathered by suing journals, books and by utilizing magazines of the firm. In this context, Ryan and Golden (2006) stated that theoretical propositions received from secondary resources would help researcher conduct the study in an effective manner. Not only this, university library, official website of the Radisson Blu and collecting e journals can also help the researcher achieving the accuracy and authenticity of the research.

3.3 Sampling method:

Success and the failure of research depend on the chosen sampling process. As cited by Brannen (2009), sampling process involves the selection of few homogeneous groups from a vast population of heterogeneous groups exists within the pool. As a matter of fact, suitable sampling process would guide the researcher maintaining accuracy and relevance of the given project. Among several types of sampling process, simple random probability sampling process would be conducted by the researcher. As cited by Freshwater (2007), simple random probability sampling method provides equal opportunity to the respondents to achieve authentic result of the given study. Hence, in this researcher, the researcher would conduct simple random probability sampling in order to gather response from the employees of the firm Radisson Blu, the UK. It would help researcher gathering accurate opinion about the role of service quality in the process of staff retention and maintaining employee performance throughout the organisation.

Sample Size:

Appropriate data collection depends on the chosen sample size of the research. Otherwise it might create ethical issue to the research output. As mentioned by Cameron (2009), sample size below 40 could create unethical issues as it might become unable generating authentic data for the research. Considering the fact, the researcher would opt from choosing 60 employees from the Radisson Blu, the UK. The responses gained from 60 employees would create authentic result of the study. Hence, the sample size for this study would be 60.

3.4 Accessibility issues:

There would likely to be difficulties in fetching the past data relating to the business of Radission Blu. Although the annual reports along with the past corporate reports concerning the business of Radission Blu could turn out to be effective secondary sources of information, there could be limitation is retrieving more insight of the organisation. On the other hand, retrieving quantitative data by means of responses of the employees of Radission Blu could be another stiff challenge. As mentioned by Long (2007), collecting primary responses from the direct stakeholders of business organisations is always going to be a challenge for the researchers. These issues are needed to be addressed effectively to conduct effective data collection process.  

3.5 Ethical issues:

Several ethical considerations have been focused on so that the research study can be made conducted controversy free. Morse (2007) argued that a considerable number of research studies fail to comply with the ethical standards. Adding to that, Morgan (2009) acknowledged that research studies need to pass the ethical standard benchmark in order to be accepted in the society. The researcher has ensure that the participants have taken participation in self consent and none of the participants are forced to take participation. The questionnaire has been developed taking into consideration the human sentiment, feelings, religion and race. None of the questions takes reference of these elements. Finally, the researcher ensures confidentiality of the candidatures and the responses of the participants.

3.6 Data analysis plan:

Quantitative data or the responses of the employees of Radission Blu would be analysed using MS Excel sheet. At the outset, the responses would be converted into numeric format and the percentage response would reflect the research scenario. Accordingly, the data would be represented using tabular and graphical formats for better understanding. As stated by Creswell and Plano (2007), effective visualisation of data could help conducting effective data analysis process. The graphical representation of data could therefore help deriving conclusion.  

3.7 Research limitations:

The primary data type concerning the research study is quantitative only. The research fails to evaluate qualitative data that could help evaluating the research scenario better. Long (2007) appreciated the concept of a mixed method research comprising of quantitative and qualitative data analysis. On top of that, the sample population concerning the quantitative data is the employees of Radission Blu. Considering another survey questionnaire approach engaging the management staffs of the organisation could help in conducting more rigorous data analysis. As mentioned by Morgan (2009), the more the sample population for the quantitative data, the better for data analysis.  

4.0 Strengths of anticipated findings:

It is assumed that the probable findings from the research study would reflect the fact that improved service quality could positively influence the staff retention scenario and workforce performance. Findings from the research study might promote the fact that Radission Blu has been experiencing improved staff retention due to the superior service quality. Service quality might be influencing the organisational brand image of Radission Blu and apparently the brand has been managing to maintain effective staff retention scenario. 

5.0 Appropriateness of proposed dissertation structure:

The dissertation structure is supposed to be appropriate in the context of the research project as it supports an effective flow of information throughout the study. Initially, the first chapter provides an effective framework for the research study by drawing the background information along with the aim and objectives concerning the research study. Accordingly, theories and past literature would be discussed in the next chapter followed by the research methods in the third chapter. Once the research methods are identified, data analysis would be conducted in the fourth chapter followed by conclusion and recommendations in the final chapter. Therefore, the chosen dissertation structure is providing an effective research structure that supports systematic research operations.   

 

6.0 Timetable:

Research Operations Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4&5 Week 6 Week 7
Selection of research topic
Reviewing theories and literature
Evaluating research methodology
Primary secondary data collection
Conducting data Analysis
Findings and interpretation
Deriving conclusion and Recommendation
Final submission of the research project

 

 

 

References:

Athanassopoulos, A., Gounaris, S. and Stathakopoulos, V. (2011) “Behavioural responses to customer satisfaction: an empirical study”, European Journal in Marketing, 35(5 & 6), pp. 687-707.

Beatson, A., Lings, I. and Gudergan, S. (2008) “Employee behavior and relationship quality: impact on customers,” The Service Industries Journal, 28(2), pp. 211-223

Bojanic, D. C. (2011) “Quality measurement in professional service firms”, Journal of Professional Services Marketing, 7(2), pp. 27-36

Brannen, J. (2009) “Prologue, mixed methods for novice researchers: reflections and themes”, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(1), pp. 8–12

Cameron, R. (2009) “A sequential mixed model research design: design, analytical and display issues”, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(2), pp. 140-152

Caruana, A. (2002) “Service Loyalty: The Effects of Service Quality and the Mediating role of Customer Satisfaction”, European Journal of Marketing, 36(7), pp. 811-828.

Clow, K, E. (2003) “Building a competitive advantage for service firms”, International Journal of Service Marketing, 7(1), pp. 22-32

Creswell, J. (2003). Research design. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Creswell, J. and Plano, C. V. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications.

Freshwater, D. (2007) “Reading mixed methods research: contexts for criticism”, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(2), pp. 134-146

Karatepe, O. M., Yavas, U. and Babakus, E. (2005) “Measuring service quality of banks: Scale development and validation”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 12, pp. 373-383.

Kontoghiorghes, C. (2003) “Examining the association between quality and productivity in a service organization”, Quality Management Journal, 10(1), pp. 31 –42

Long, J. S. (2007) ‘Introduction to Common Problems in Quantitative Social Research: A Special Issue of Sociological Methods and Research’, Sociological Methods & Research, 16, pp. 3 – 7

McDougall, G. H. G. and Levesque, T. J. (2004) “A revised view of service quality dimensions: an empirical investigation”, Journal of Professional Service Marketing, 11 (1), pp. 189-209.

Morgan, G. (2009). Research Methods in Applied Settings. Routledge Academic.

Morse, J. M. (2007) “Approaches to qualitative and quantitative methodological: Triangulation”, Qualitative Research, 40(1), pp. 120-123

Paauwe, J. and Richardson, R. (2007) “Introduction to special issue on HRM and performance”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, p.p. 3– 8.

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A. and Berry, L. L. (2008) “SERQUAL: a multiple-item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality”, Journal of Retailing, 64 (1), pp. 12-37.

Reichheld, F. F. (2006) “Learning from Customer Defections,” Harvard Business Review, 74(2), pp. 56-67

Robertson, T. S. (2006) “Low-Commitment Consumer behavior”, Journal of Advertising Research, 16(6), pp. 19-24

Ryan, L. and Golden, A. (2006) ‘”Tick the Box Please”: A Reflexive Approach to Doing Quantitative Social Research’, Sociology, 40, pp. 1191 – 1200

Saunders, M. N., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research methods for business students, Page 52, 5th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall

VanderStoep, S. W. and Johnson, D. D. (2009) Research Methods for Everyday Life: Blending Qualitative and Approaches. 4th ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

 

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