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Crowne Plaza Hotels In Its Repositioning Finance Essay

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The following sections provide an understanding of the methodological framework
used by the researcher especially connected to primary data collection and the
analysis, to answer the research questions. Any research should have a properly
structured method which can be verified and validated. Further the description of the
methodology provides the reader with the ability to analyse the research proper;
especially relating to reliability and validity.
The initial sections of the methodology revolve around the larger frameworks
relating to the philosophy adopted by the researcher and the research approach.
Further sections move on to the practical considerations and factors adopted by the
researcher to collect data, interpreting and analysing to develop the conclusions.
Each section provides the description of various feasible and possible opportunities
available with the researcher under each heading and the reason why the specific
opportunities or framework was selected. The methodology section follows on the
basis of the research onion framework developed by Saunders et. al. (2003) where
the structure of the methodological framework is provided. This structure is provided
in the below figure.

Source - Saunders et. al., (2003, p138)

The initial aim of the researcher was to analyse the strategies and methods being
adopted by Crowne Plaza hotels in its repositioning to target the upper-upscale
market. Based on this the following objectives were also formulated.

To critically evaluate the literature on repositioning of an organisation and
hospitality sector in particular
To analyse the repositioning strategy adopted by Crowne Plaza hotels

To recommend improvements to the repositioning strategy of Crowne Plaza hotel

The above aims and objectives have largely remained the same; however the initial
objective is completed with the completion of the literature review in the previous
section. The focus of the methodology is to develop a framework for completing the
second and the third research objectives which are enlarged below.

Research aims for objectives

To analyse the strategies adopted by Crowne Plaza hotels in repositioning to target
upper-upscale market
To analyse the characteristics of the upper-upscale business segment
To analyse the general objectives of repositioning of Crowne Plaza hotel
To analyse the competition for Crowne Plaza Hotel after repositioning
To recommend improvements to the repositioning strategy of Crowne Plaza hotel
To recommend tangible changes to be implemented by the hotel
To recommend positioning messages for the hotel
It is to complete the above-mentioned research aim and objectives that the present
methodology is constructed and hence all the propositions of the researcher is
enabling the completion of each of the research objective.

Research philosophy
The philosophy adopted by the researcher in the context of the study is described as
the way in which knowledge is developed in a structured manner Saunders et. al.,
(2003) which as per Chapman (2005) is highly dependent on the viewpoint adopted
by the researcher about the study and also about the larger context within the study
is conducted. Taking a particular research philosophy would highly depend upon the
research question and also the mentality of the researcher. Various research
philosophies are positivism, realism and interpretivism (Walliman 2010).

Positivism considers social reality as the observable, abstract and hence to be studied
based on specific concepts and rules and hence adopting a very strict scientific
method (Jackson 2010). According to Saunders et. al., (2003) involves the
generation of hypothesis, tested using the data collected often in a quantitative
manner (Kothari 2009) however qualitative data is also utilised. On the other hand
interpretivism approach focuses on context specific evaluation and interpretation of
the subject reality and hence stresses on the importance of the context in which the
study is conducted rather than the specific concepts and rules (Saunders et. al.,
2003). Hence the researcher deviates from the strict scientific considerations and
evaluates the research questions, the roles of the individuals or the subjects under
the study and hence developing a deeper understanding of the research subject,
further contributing to context based conclusions (Bryman and Bell 2007). Realism
on the other hand considers social reality to be studied based on scientific principles,
however specifies that it is also dependent upon the thoughts and processes of the
research subject or the individuals connected with the research (Cooper and
Schindler 2006).

Rationale for adopting interpretivism

The researcher has adopted an interpretivist research philosophy as the aim of the
research is to analyse the repositioning strategies, tactics and practices adopted by
Crowne Plaza hotel brand. The repositioning strategy is an on-going one, in other
words it is being operationalised as the research is conducted, the researcher do not
have sufficient data which can provide conclusions about the suitability of the
adopted strategies and practices by Crowne Plaza brand which can be concluded as
successful or unsuccessful. The success or failure of the repositioning strategy would
be evident only after it is implemented and analysed by the customers.
However at this stage the researcher intends to evaluate the present functions,
working and development in Crowne Plaza hotel and hence utilising the specific
situation and the context. Moreover an in-depth study of the strategy, tactics and
practice is required to be conducted, furthered by a qualitative mode of research.
Hence the researcher has adopted interpretivism rather than positivism and realism
which if taken could only result in generalisations. Further positivism and realism, to
be used, would necessarily require quantitative data to make generalisations about
the strategies adopted by Crowne Plaza brand.

Research approach
Two types of research approaches considered by Sekaran and Bougie (2010) and
several other authors are deduction and induction. Deduction is the utilisation of
pre-existing concepts, theories which are used for development of hypothesis or a
conceptual framework which is then analysed with the help of data (Burns and Burns
2008). Induction is the reverse process or utilises the data to analyse the existing
theories, concepts and models and either to validate the same for to develop new
ones (Chapman 2005).

Rationale for adopting deductive approach

The researcher has used a deductive principle or approach considering that several
frameworks and conceptual models of repositioning is available and most of them
are having very much practical implications especially in the hospitality industry.
The literature review provided deeper insights about the strategy of repositioning, in
general terms as well as for hospitality context. It was analysed that the resourcebased consideration of repositioning is important for hospitality companies and
especially for hotels were location cannot be changed and the other resources
especially the intangible factors can be modified. Further repositioning was
evaluated as a modification of the customer mentality mainly to capitalise on a better
positioning of the organisation.
These are the frameworks which are used by the researcher; or in other words those
concepts and theories are being used throughout the research study, especially in the
data collection, the development of the questionnaire for the interview and even the
analysis of the data. The researcher does not intend to develop new strategies,
concepts or frameworks for the repositioning. Rather the researcher focuses on the
present mode of repositioning especially the strategy adopted by Crowne Plaza brand
and relevance and close match to the theoretical framework evaluated in the
literature review. On this basis it can be considered that the deductive framework is
utilised by the researcher.

Research strategy
Strategy of research can be considered from different perspectives and undeniably an
analysis of various books provide different aspects and details about a research
strategy. Indeed the research strategy is about the applied aspects of research
especially data collection, analysis and when going deeper about the accessibility of

data, reliability, validity, limitations and so on. Several types of research strategies
are gained by different types of groups. According to Sekaran and Bougie (2010) the
research strategy can be qualitative or quantitative. On the other hand Cooper and
Schindler (2006) direct research strategies to be experiment, survey, case study,
grounded theory and ethnography.

Quantitative and qualitative strategy

When considering the quantitative and qualitative strategies, the prime factor to be
understood is the way in which the data is collected and analysed. Quantitative
research strategy according to Saunders et. al., (2003) focuses on large data, often
numerical, condensed and hence can be evaluated using statistical or mathematical
methods. Quantitative data is often structured, easy for analysis; however have the
limitations that they are for developing generalisations and not to focus on the
specific aspect. Qualitative studies on the other hand goes in depth into a particular
research subject and hence provide a shorter range of valuable and in-depth data
particularly about the core of the research subject (Bryman and Bell 2007).
Qualitative data is subjective whereas quantitative data is subjective (Jackson 2010).

Rationale for adopting qualitative strategy

Considering the variations in the research strategies mentioned above, the necessity
being an in-depth evaluation, the researcher has utilised qualitative forms of data
collection and analysis. This involved a subjective consideration of the entire data
collection and analysis process wherein an interview was utilised, using a semi
structured questionnaire to collect valuable and context specific data about the
restructuring of Crowne Plaza hotel brand. A quantitative study need large amount of
data from different sources which was not available due to the limitations of
accessibility. The researcher had only access to certain individuals in one of the
Crowne Plaza hotels in London, who were willing to participate in the study and
hence the need for adopting a qualitative study. Moreover the research philosophy
adopted is interpretivism, necessitating and further validating the use of qualitative
research strategy.

Case study based strategy

On the basis of the consideration that research strategies can be experiment, survey,
case study, grounded theory and so on, the researcher evaluated the possibilities of
utilising most of the above and the drawbacks of the same. After a brief study about

all the research strategies, it was finalised that a case study model would be best
suitable for answering the research question. A case study model is chosen mainly
because an organisation is the target or the subject of the study; although the focus is
on the strategy adopted by the particular organisation through the individuals
(managers). In other words the research is about the repositioning strategy of
Crowne Plaza hotel brand, but it is not limited to one particular hotel but to a larger
brand. Due to the problems and limitations of accessibility, only certain managers in
one particular hotel within the brand family was accessible to the researcher for
conducting the data collection. From the data collected, researcher found that a case
study type of strategy is the best possible to develop the answers to the research

Population of the research

Population according to Walliman (2010) is the subjects or the participants of the
study. The present study is focusing on the strategies used by Crowne Plaza hotel
brand and its implementation through the various managers in the brand family. The
population or the research subject would be individuals involved with the
implementation of the repositioning strategy for Crowne Plaza hotel brand: however
in the different properties spread across the world. These are the persons who can
provide in-depth data about the repositioning strategy. On the other hand population
can also be considered as those hotels which are undergoing repositioning currently.

A sample according to Jackson (2010) is developed due to the impracticality of
conducting a research on the entire population. A sample according to Kothari
(2009) is a subset of the population; however should be representative of the
population. Different types of sampling methods are divided as probability and
nonprobability sampling method (Cooper and Schindler 2006). Probability has the
statistical precision which contributes to the reliability and validity of the conclusions
(Burns and Burns 2008). However in many cases nonprobability sampling methods
are adopted due to limitations, accessibility and so on.

Sample of research

In the present case also, researcher was unable to develop a sample framework for a
probability sampling method wherein a subset of the larger population could be used
for the collection of data. As indicated the population would be the managers of
Crowne Plaza hotel who are involved in the development and the operationalisation
of the repositioning strategy. Due to the problems of accessibility, a nonprobability
sampling method was chosen.
A convenience sampling method was chosen as the best possible alternative of all the
nonprobability sampling approaches. A convenience sample as per Saunders et. al.,
(2003) would be based initially on the convenience of researcher in accessing the
respondents and further by the convenience of the respondents in providing the data.
Further the researcher also evaluated the ability of various persons involved with the
repositioning strategy of Crowne Plaza hotel in providing reliable and valid data. In
other words researcher evaluated the knowledge, experience and the involvement of
several managers of one particular hotel within the brand family - Crowne Plaza
London - The City hotel. The researcher has worked in this hotel for a period of time
and hence has accessibility to some of the managers.
Upon evaluating the experience and involvement with the current repositioning
strategy, the researcher concluded the availability, accessibility and the knowledge of
three managers in the hotel as to provide in-depth details about the repositioning
strategy of the hotel. These three managers were involved in the operationalisation of
the repositioning strategy although there were also involved in the creation of the
strategy at the higher levels. The managers directly reported to the project teams
involved in developing the repositioning strategy at the higher levels of
Intercontinental hotels group. Hence they have better and deeper knowledge about
the various elements of the repositioning strategy and its operationalisation in not
only the particular hotel but also in several other hotels in the same brand family. On
this basis it can be considered that the sample is the three managers who are
involved with the repositioning of Crowne Plaza hotel. Due to several ethical
considerations especially about the need for maintaining the confidentiality of the
respondents, the researcher is unable to provide full details of the respondents,
either the names or even their designations.

Data collection
As indicated in various phases of the same section (methodology) a qualitative
strategy was adopted which necessitated the utilisation of a particular data collection
technique. Although there are several tools used for primary data collection, such as

interviews, survey, observation and so on, faced with the need of developing
qualitative data, the researcher finalised on interviews as the data collection
instrument. Even in interviews there are different types such as a face-to-face
interview, telephonic interviews and so on and since the researcher did not have
direct accessibility to the sample (three managers), a telephone interview was
conducted. A telephone interview also has the limitations of a lack of personal touch,
was the only feasible option available to the researcher mainly because of the
limitation of location and distance. However the researcher has fully prepared for the
interview and had conducted a mock interview or a pilot testing of the research
instrument (interview questionnaire).
The interview questionnaire was semi structured enabling the researcher to move
around the research questions to develop more data considering the knowledge and
experience of the three different managers. The interview questions were mostly
based on the theoretical framework about the repositioning strategy in general terms
as well as in specific terms. The interview questions also revolved around the
framework analysed in the literature review, especially about the resource-based
consideration. The researcher also utilised several other secondary data sources
especially from websites and other articles and journals, mentioning the
repositioning of Crowne Plaza hotel brand.
The researcher initially conducted a mock interview with one of the managers of the
hotel in India to analyse the reliability and validity of the research instrument (semi
structured questionnaire). Further for the telephone interview, the researcher fixed
the time for the interviews with the three managers and completed the interview over
a period of three days. During the interview, the researcher noted down the answers
to the different questions which was further used for analysis.

Data analysis
A type of data analysis technique-contextual, content analysis technique where the
qualitative data was initially coded and the specific conceptual factors were analysed
in an interpretative method was used by the researcher. In other words researcher
evaluated the data noted down during the telephonic interviews and used the same
for comparison and triangulation. The three respondents provided different
perspectives about the strategy and its operationalisation with respect to Crowne
Plaza repositioning which was used by the researcher to develop the context specific
aspects related to the specific interview questions and develop the common themes
from the three interviews. The interview data was used in conjunction with other

secondary sources and the classical framework from the literature review to develop
the conclusions.

The main limitation faced by the researcher was the accessibility to the respondents.
The researcher faced with the barrier of geography and distance did not have direct
contact and hence was unable to conduct a face-to-face interview with the
respondents. Although in the initial stages it was thought that the sample
respondents (the three managers) would not be able to provide sufficient data; in the
end and after the data analysis was completed, found that the data provided is highly
reliable and valid based on the triangulation method. Even if the researcher was
faced with the limitation in terms of the barrier of geography and distance, it has not
affected the reliability and validity of the analysis and the conclusions.

Ethical factors
Ethical considerations especially relating to a specific subject would be the level of
confidentiality to be maintained about the respondents and about the research study
itself. Since the study is focusing on the present strategy adopted by Crowne Plaza
hotel which is under operationalisation and hence not completed, can only be
analysed on a larger framework. Although the researcher has developed in depth
details about the strategy adopted Crowne Plaza hotel, some of the details were
omitted in the following analysis section due to the confidential nature of the data
collected. Even though the respondents provided the same, the researcher due to the
necessity of being completely ethical and hence protecting the respondents and the
organisation understudy, deemed it suitable not to include some of the data
collected. However this has not limited the researcher in developing considered
conclusions and hence to complete the research satisfactorily. Moreover the
researcher has taken the consent of the three managers involved in the interview to
publish the data based on analysis. The researcher has also undertaken to keep the
confidentiality of the respondents to the full extent and hence unable to name them
or provide any details.