A Study About London Zoo Management Essay

The case being discussed here is about the questionnaire prepared by an MBA student to help the management of London zoo to be able to gain some information which will be useful for the future of the zoo.

The London zoo has been up and down in various ways which can be said to have come from environmental, economical and social issues and which they have to deal with. The management wishes to know what can be done to overcome these challenges and remain profitable in the future. The zoo asked the student to do a research using the visitors to the zoo as respondents and this was done over a period of one month. The main thing we shall concentrate on is the questionnaire and how it was made and the issues around it.

A questionnaire is a very important tool for using to do survey of situations which can or are facing different companies and organisations. It is along with interview, observation, and experiment, forms primary method of data collection. the other method that can be used is secondary where academic journals, magazines or books may be used (Donnelly R., 2004: 16). It can help the organisation to collect important information so that they can be analysed and be used for the purpose which they wanted to use them for. But when making the questionnaire, while each questionnaire has to be different because, they are going after different objectives, it is normally good to know that the questionnaire must meet some standards in its design so that it can meet the purpose appropriately.

The researcher should consider using the right techniques to make the questionnaire.

Preparation of questionnaire

In preparing a questionnaire, there are a number of factors which the researcher must take into consideration if the goals are to be met. According to Bruce I., (2008: 1-8) a questionnaire is a tool for seeking answers which will help overcome some problems or achieve some objectives.

Bruce also say that depending of the structure of the questionnaire, there can be sampling or survey errors where the sampling refers to mistakes made when analysing the data gathered and survey errors is about the mistake made as a result of wrong question, both these are caused by the poorly developed questionnaire.

A well prepared questionnaire should consider some number of factors which include (Mark S., et al, 2007: 361-62);

  • It should not contain very many questions as this may make the respondents to rush through in answering or not to answer at all; it is not that they are idle.
  • The questionnaire, should guarantee the respondents about their privacy, this is very important it does not matter what the questionnaire has been about, it must ensure that people privacy is given, the can be done by telling them that what they write or say will be made confidential and be used only for the purpose wanted.
  • The questionnaire should settle on multiple choice questions because this is easy to tick off than using writing questions where the respondents are suppose to write long stories, first they have no time and secondly, not all are able to write or the handwriting may not be legible.
  • The questionnaire should use a good acceptable language so that it is not offensive to anyone basing on their diversity issues.
  • The questionnaire should have a good title for the respondents to know why it was being made and this can make them to be ready to respond appropriately.
  • A good questionnaire should also have very good and clear instructions so that all respondents will be able to follow clearly and know what is being said.
  • It is good to begin with just a few interesting issues before going to those which are a bit more serious and also, in arranging the questions, it is good to have related questions at the same place than to have same questions at different locations of the questionnaire.
  • If possible use closed ended questions unless some sections require open ended questions, but close ended questions should be used more often.

London zoo and best practice

By looking at the London zoo, if we compare with the issues of best practices, we can find that there are some things which are not in line with the best practice and which the MBA student should have taken into account to design the questionnaire. These issues include;

  • The London zoo questionnaire is very long, and this may make the respondents to rush and answer all questions but they will not do so carefully, because, they are rushing.
  •  The questionnaire should have used more of closed ended questions than open ended, this could have got more adequate response and this could also help respondents because they do not feel they must write too much. Although for London zoo they used the ratings, but he should have put the ratings after every question so that respondents do not have to go back and forth looking for ratings.
  • The questionnaire also did not provide guarantee about the use of information being gathered and the respondents do not know why they are filling it. This means they do not know the objectives of this questionnaire at all and are working blindly.
  • The layout of this questionnaire is also not impressive, it makes the respondents to look at it as a big task, the researcher could have used a table format where the questions will be put together in tables with the section to tick or put rating at the right side of table. They could have even put the zoo logo.
  • The language used should have been made a bit simpler so that everyone can understand for example, in question number 16, about rating the comfort of animals, what is the meaning of comfort in this case, because, a wet ground can be good for a crocodile but not a cat.
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Strengths and weaknesses

By looking at the zoo, we can find that there are areas of strengths and others of weaknesses,

Strengths:

  • The questionnaire is long and with many questions and the assumption is that it covers very many aspects which can be said to be useful.
  • the questionnaire was designed to be answered by any kind of visitor be in local or tourist or individual or party, that means all views will be taken.
  • The questionnaire uses ratings which makes the work of the researcher to analyse abit easy.

Weaknesses.

  • This questionnaire is very long and this might discourage the respondents
  • The questionnaire also, uses ratings which is not as good as using the closed ended question or at some point open ended questions.
  • This questionnaire does not provide any policy of privacy and confidential use of information which is collected. This is not good.

In doing this kind of questionnaire, there are other ways by which the required information could have been collected. in my view, interview method could have been used where the researcher could have been given a team of volunteers of the staff at London zoo to help him to collect the required data. In this case, face to face interview could be used.

Advantages of using interview method

  •  The respondents is passive and can easily give the answers as they come to mind not have to think which may mean giving a thought answer which is not right.
  • This method is cheaper because, a few stationary may be used like only on paper for questionnaire and a chart for making answers.
  • Interviews allow expression which may make the researcher to get other information than just answers to questions.
  • They can reframe questions to fit the respondents like language or the way it is asked.

Disadvantages;

  • Interviews can be expensive and time consuming because they require that the researcher spend time with respondents which can take much time and it is not good. Also respondents may want to give long answers.
  • Interviews can be very expensive because, many interviewers are needed to do the work.
  • Interviews can be biased in the selection of the person to be asked the questions because, they interviewer can be biased and pick people who he/she think will give answers.

2. What an IP matrix does and what changes to be made to standard 9×9 ip matrix

IP matrix is about importance and performance of a thing. It shows how something gives levels of importance and performance by look it from customer point of view.

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This matrix is very good. Because, it tell company where to take action and where not.

Some areas need urgent action some areas need no action at all (Robert J., 2008: 468).

This example of 9×9 matrix is in appendix section.

Some changes need to be made in 9×9 matrix to use the figure given. For example,

  • We cannot use the normal boxes because there are many figures to be used.
  • We need to use line diagrams to show that there are figures which are on the action area and the others on not action areas.
  • The matrix cannot use only the overall value not everything.

The use of the IP matrix.

  • The IP matrix shows manager what priority in taking necessary action to solve problem is.
  • Again is tells about which action is necessary to cover many objectives and which action not necessary.
  • Makes the people to know what next importance thing to do in making decision are.

I.P Matrix

Zone A range 4.99- 3.80 Order-winning objectives: on the importance’s scale they are high priority areas within the organization and areas that perform fairly well in service delivery.

Zones B ranges 3.79 to 2.00- Qualifying areas in the organization and are rated as good or appropriate for the general running the organization

Zone C range 2.0 to 0-less important area

s in the priority list but worst performing service groups in the performances scale and need urgent action.

Factors for urgent action zone and improve zone (appendix iii)

An IP matrix shows the order of importance and less importance of items which are being studied.

It represents the information in a graph which can then be clearly understood. On this graph the IP matrix, anyone can now tell which items should be given immediate importance and which items can be left to be dealt with in the future.

However, we cannot say that IP matrix is in itself the answer to all the problems that a company may face. The information in the IP matrix may be for inside use or because of inside problems but the problem could have come from outside and so the company cannot get the information.

If the IP matrix is not used, there are other models which can still be used to find the situations that affect a company or an orangionsation, Like London zoo; they could use Regression analysis and even simulation techniques (Lloyd P., 2005: 24)

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF REGRESSION ANALSYS

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

– It is easy to show all the data in the population which is being studied

– It shows the strength that exist between tow things or two variables

– It can be used to predict the future.

– It is a difficult method to use because there is a difficult formulae

– This method may not in itself give the solution about what is to be done.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SIMULATION TECHNIQUES (Brett M., Kevin M., 2004: 66).

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

– It makes the people who are doing research to know exactly what may happen in the future

– It can be used to make future decisions about the company.

– It involves difficult mathematical functions which many people may find difficult to use or even to explain.

– Simulation techniques are not popular because they still do not provide solutions to the problems being faced.

Improvements to the IP matrix

The IP matrix is sufficiently good for the purpose but in my view there are some things I can do to make it a bit better.

These improvements may include;

  • I would not plot on the 9 variables but I would just use two. These can be the items to be improved and the items to be retained or removed. And I would show this difference with a straight line cutting diagonally between the tables from bottom left to top right. Anything above this region should be improved and anything below should be left the same or removed.
  • Also, I would Use just a few representative figures to explain the IP matrix, like if there are 50 responses on which a rating is done. I can only use 15 to represent all the remaining. This makes a generalised conclusion to be one that many objectives or actions plans can be devised.
  • 3. Questionnaire
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THE LONDON ZOO

QUESTIONNAIRE ABOUT THE ZOO, WE AIM TO FIND WAYS TO IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ZOO.

Your information will be kept very secret.

1.

Is this your first visit to the zoo this year

a. Yes

b. No

2.

How long have you been here today (approximate please)

a. 1 hour

b. 2 hours

c. 3 hours

d. more than 3

3.

Have you found your visit enjoyable today?

a. Yes

b. No sure

c. No.

4.

Do you think the entrance fee is fair?

a. Fair

b. Too high

c. Unjustified

5

How would you rate the conditions in which animals are kept here at the zoo?

a. Good

b. Satisfactory

c. Bad

6

How do you view the services at other facilities at the zoo, like toilet, restaurant.

a. Good

b. Satisfactory

c. Not good

d. Very bad

7

Are there any animals that are not here and you would wish to see here if possible or an increase in the number of some particular animals?

a. Yes (_______)

b. No

8.

Are you satisfied with the issues of Health and safety that are in place here at the zoo, like exits, barriers etc

a. Yes

b. No

c. Not sure

9.

Would you like to see other forms of presentations at the zoo, like acrobatics by performance groups, but not involving animals?

a. Yes

b. No

10.

Would you support any programs aimed at sustaining the zoo and keeping it open to the public like funds drive?

a. Yes

b. No

11.

What factors in the zoo will make you visit the zoo often

a. Lower fee

b. More breeds

c. Both

12.

When next do you hope to visit the zoo

a. Less than month

b. In 5 months

c. In 1 year

d. Not sure

13

Can you recommend family and friends to frequent the zoo?

a. Yes

b. No

c. Not sure

The above questionnaire has taken into account the best practice for the questionnaire in the way of;

  • The number of questions has been made manageable, not too many and not too few also.
  • Those who will answer are given the objectives of the questionnaire and are also given the confidentiality issue that they will be respected in what they say.
  • The questions are mostly closed ended unless in just few places where there are open ended questions.
  • The questionnaire uses simple language for the respondents to be able to understand and to respond to it.
  • The questionnaire has been laid out in a table format and this is good for the respondents to follow.
  • The questions given have been set in sequence format that is easy to follow and this is a positive factor of the questions because, questions are related to each other in a good way.

Conclusion;

The London zoo can improve if all the factors are taken into account. But because all these may be too many factors, only a few representative figures should be used.

Also, the zoo management should consider starting to have many promotional and advertisements to improve the zoo and to make people to be aware.

References

Brett M., Kevin M., (2004) Statistical power analysis: a simple and general model for traditional and modern hypothesis testing. Rutledge. 2nd Edn. 66

Bruce I., (2008) Questionnaire Design: How to plan, structure and write survey materials for effective market research. Kogan publishers. 2nd Edn.

Donnelly R., (2004) The complete idiots guide to statistics. Alpha books publishers.

Mark S., et al, (2007) Research methods for business students. Pearson Education. 4th Edn. pg 361

Lloyd P., (2005) Essays in HOnor of Peter Lloyd: Trade theory, analytical models and development. Edward Edgar.

Robert J., (2008) Service operations management. Improving service delivery. pg 468

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