James H. is CEO of The Gym Chain. The Gym Chain is a multinational leisure business headquartered in Australia. Some of the leisure centres under The Gym Chain have been slowly losing the profit and becoming costly to run, particularly in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. James is very familiar with leisure industry, as he has been in this business for many years. He retrieves company sales data for the last 3 years from The Gym Chain internal reports system. He also accesses the intelligence system to obtain trade industry articles written about customers’ attitude of the leisure centres. James recognises that competition has severely eroded The Gym Chain’ profitability. He knows that he needs some help with additional information. For this he hires Sue, a market researcher with many years of experience working in the leisure industry. He asks Sue to prepare a report summarising what she feels was the major problem. Sue prepared the report and her report stated that competitiveness will depend on understanding the costumers’ attitude. James gives Sue go ahead to design a study to explore people’s perception of the role of the sport and leisure industry in their lives and in particular, the way people join to use the gym facilities. Previous studies show that participant involvement in adult fitness programmes is associated with their attitudinal loyalty, comprising investment of time and money, social pressure from significant others, internationalisation or commitment to the fitness regime. In particular issues such as gender are of interest and literature shows that men and women will have different reasons for going to a gym and engaging with the kinds of activities as they attend. Older people usually tend to show higher levels of attitudinal loyalty to recreational activities. Perception of gym users regarding the facilities, their self-image and their feeling in general is of interest as well.
Study designed by Sue attempts to examine whether or not the previous findings also apply to involvement in leisure clubs and gyms under the study. For this purpose a survey using questionnaire is designed to collect data from participants in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore for a comparative purpose.
She contacts participants across the countries under study. Each gym under study in every country has 1200 members (3600 total) and a simple random sample of 10 percent of the membership from each gym (120 each and 360 total) has been taken. Participants were asked to participate in an online survey. Sue is particularly interested to know how much time people spend on each of three main classes of activity in the gym: cardiovascular equipment, weights equipment, and exercises. Participants are asked to take a note of how long they spend on each of the three activities on their next visit. After a series of follow ups, the company received a sample of 90 replies (a response rate of 25 per cent). Now the data collected is available for analysis.
One issue that could always arise after collecting the data using questionnaire is missing data and it is important to handle ‘missing data’ properly. Missing data arise when respondents fail to reply to a question (either by accident or because they do not want to answer the question). As an example in the data set, respondent 24 has failed to answer question 2 (age). This has been coded as zero (0) and it will be important to ensure that the computer software is notified of this fact, since it needs to be taken into account during the analysis. Also question 13 (what other exercise you do) has a large number of zeros, because many people did not answer it, as they have been filtered out by the previous question (i.e. they do not have other sources of regular exercise). Their failure to reply is more indicative of the question not being applicable to them. Examining the questions reveals that the kinds of data collected varies by question. Some of the questions call for answers in terms of real numbers: (e.g. variables var3, var13, var14, var15). Some other questions (var1,var11) yield either/or answers and are therefore dichotomies. The rest of the questions take the form of lists of categories, but there are differences between these too. Some of the questions are in terms of answers that are rank ordered (var7, var8, var9). However in the case of other questions (var 6, var 10, var 12) the categories are not capable of being rank ordered. These should be taken into account when preparing the data for analysis.
This case is linked to the data (in Moodle). Parts of the questionnaire used for data collection are available in the prescribed text book (Bryman, 2011) pages 337-338. To address this assignment the current case, questionnaire, data should be used in combination. Make sure that the structure in the course description (Assessment Task 2: Group Project: Written report and oral class presentation) is followed to address this assignment.
After reading the case your analysis task will include the following:
Reviewing academic sources relevant to the topic, formulating research objectives, research philosophy and methodology:
Any source including books, journal articles are acceptable, as long as they are relevant. A particular gym’s website could also be used for some information. If websites are used they will be in addition of the four academic sources. After reading the literature you should be able to formulate a research and consequently the research objective. An example of the objective could be: “to find out whether or not participants’ gym attendance and usage habits differs from one country to another”. You should elaborate briefly on the research philosophy and methodology utilised.
Data analysis to turn the data into useful information(use gym data):
This is the descriptive analysis part of the assignment and this will include at least the following analysis:
Frequency (shown in tables and diagrams)
Measures of central tendency (means, median, mode)
Measures of dispersion (variance, standard deviation)
This is a higher level analysis part of the assignment and this will include at least the following analysis:
Relationship between variables:
Chi-square, Spearman’s rho, Pearson’s r
Comparing means and statistical significance (t-test, ANOVA test)
Managerial advice: You will need to advise James on the findings. This could include but not limited to:
Description of the participants
How they utilise the facilities
Perceptions of the gym users towards the gym
Their feelings and self-image in general
Relationships between any of the variables
Suggestions on how the questionnaire could be improved (by addition or deletion of variables)
Appendices of the analyses: please note that you will run quite a lot of analysis, however they mostly should be included in the appendix. Only include graphs, tables, chart, etc., in the body of the report that are relevant to the report and you would like to discuss the results further in the report.
Students have a high degree of flexibility in designing the research and the analyses they conduct, however for more detailed structure follow the Course Description (Group Project).