Module 3 – assignment: case study – data collection – interviews and


In this Activity, there are two case studiesView in a new window, one on interviewing from Chapter 7 and the other on Observation from Chapter 8. Read through the two case studies, select one of the two, and answer the questions at the end of the case study you choose. Copy the questions into a separate Word document, answer the questions in the document you created, then turn in that document.


Assignment: Data Collection – Interviews and Observations




KyotoMidtownisacompositeurbandistrictofmodernbuildingssurroundingahistoricJapanese garden.Itfeaturessophisticatedbars,restaurants,shops,artgalleries,ahotelandleafypublic spaces.KyotoMidtownaimstoofferauniqueshoppingexperiencewithabroadselection of outlets thatincludeJapan’sfirstflagship boutiqueand theworld’sfirstconceptshops. Fromplayful and trendsettingboutiquestoprestigiousbrandsvaluedtheworldover,itaspirestobeaplacefor peoplewhoappreciatethefinerthings in life.


Inthepastfewyearshowever,visitornumbershave declined.Forthisreason, themanagementof KyotoMidtownshoppingcentrefeelsthatitisimportanttodevelopa betterunderstandingofits shoppersin ordertotaketheshoppingexperiencetoanextlevel.Itwantstoknowwhatattracts customerstoitsstores,whatcustomersneedwhileshoppingandhowtheygoaboutshopping. Basedon theseinsights,itwantstodevelopstrategiesthatarecloselyaligned withitscustomers’ shoppingstrategies,needsandpreferences.


The management of theshoppingcentrehashired HoshimiKusunoki, aninternationalfull-time MBA studenttoproduceareportcompletewithpractical,handson recommendationsreadyfor implementation.Bornand raisedinanupper classfamily inYamanote,Hoshimi isfamiliarwiththe lifestyleandattitudes of people visitingtheKyotoMidtownshoppingcenterandthe high expectationsthattheyhave.


AkeyaimofHoshimi’sresearchprojectistofindoutwhatshopperswouldneedtoincreasethe frequencyofshoppingatthecentreaswellastounderstandhowitcomparestoothershopping centresinKyotocompetingforcustomers.Based on preliminaryresearch,Hoshimihasbeenable to developthefollowingspecific projectobjectives:


·         To establish theprofileof shoppers

·          TounderstandtheirawarenessandusageoftheMidtown Shoppingcentre

·         Tounderstandhowshoppers travel tothe shoppingcentre,howfar theyhavetravelledand howfrequentlytheyshopthere

·         To exploreshopperbehaviorandunderstandwhat theyhavepurchased orhadexpectedto


·         Tounderstandtheirexpectationsto theMidtown shoppingcentre

·         Tounderstandtheirattitudesto the Midtown shoppingcentre


Hoshimiwants toconduct structured facetofaceinterviewswith 100shoppersatthe shopping centreandacompetingshoppingcentre.Theinterviewswilltakeplaceduringthekeyshopping hours acrosseverydayof theweekamongarepresentativesampleofparticipants.





1.         Hoshimihasplannedtocarryoutstructuredinterviews.Howdostructuredinterviewsdiffer fromunstructured interviews? Which would be more appropriate for this study and why?


2.         What arethepossibleadvantages anddisadvantagesof usingfacetofaceinterviews in this situation?


3.         Theinformationobtained duringinterviewsshouldbeasfreeaspossiblefrombias.Howcan Hoshimiminimizebias introduced bytheinterviewer,theinterviewee,or thesituation?


4.         What advice would you give Hoshimiregarding theselectionof participants for her interviews?







DawsonChambersisa young,dynamicandfastgrowingresearchagencythatis specializedinMystery Shopping,MarketResearch,andCustomerServiceTraining.Itislocatedin Geneva,Switzerland from whereitprovidesnational andinternational organizationswithcustomizedperformanceimprovement programs.DawsonChambershasaconsiderablenetwork ofspecialistmysteryshoppersoperatingfrom regionalhubsacrossSwitzerland.Thesemysteryshoppersprovideserviceorganizationswiththetools todevelop,trainandre-train theirteamstoimprove customerserviceandsalesperformance.Dawson ChambershasrecentlbeenapproachedbySebastianKoch,managerofSwiss-tell,aSwissmobile phoneproviderheadquarteredin Basel.Sebastianhasasked Dawson Chamberstoassessthequality of servicedeliverytocustomers ofSwiss-TelmobilephoneshopsacrossSwitzerland.


Likeinmanyothercountries,themobilephoneindustryinSwitzerlandishugeanddespitetherapid growthofonlineshopping,brick-andmortarbusinessisstilldominantinthemobilephoneindustry; mostpeopleinteractwith amobilephoneprovidervaaphoneshop.Accordingtomanyhowever,the qualityofservicedeliveryinthesephoneshopsispoor.Aparticipantinapreliminarystudydescribed thequalityofservicedeliveryinphoneshopsasfollows:Whileitwouldbeunreasonabletoexpect everysalesassistant to knowthecompleteins andouts of eachphone- althoughitwouldberathernice iftheydid-youdoexpectgoodadvice.Most ofthetimehowever,shopassistantsdonot offeranything neartoadvice;they trytoshove certainproducts downyourthroat andtheyarealways tryingtoup- sell.”


SebastianKochbelievesthatitdoesn’thavetobethisway. Hethinksthatconsumersshouldgetsound advice withoutbeingbelittledandpatronized.Healsothinksthatmysteryshoppingcanprovidean excellent insightintohis teamsabilitytointeractwith customersand that itis thereforea valuable tool toimproveboth salesand customerservice.ThatiswhySebastian hasasked Dawson Chambersto developandlaunchamysteryshoppingprogram.  Sebastianhasexplainedthattheaimsof thisprogram are to:


•    highlightif companyprocessesarebeingfollowed;

•    provideacomprehensiveevaluationoftheserviceprocess;  Sebastianwantstoknowwhat works in thecustomerserviceprocessandwhatdoesnot;

•    identifytrainingneeds for thestorestoimprovetheirservice.


Withtheseobjectivesin mindDawsonChambers hasdevelopedamysteryshoppingprogram.The researchagencyhasdrawnupasurveymodeland-afterathoroughdiscussionwithSebastian– decided thatitsmysteryshoppershaveto collect the followinginformation:


·         speed of service;

·         the questions asked by the shop assistant to help the customer to find a suitable product;

·         the types of products shown by the shop assistant;

·         the sales arguments used by the shop assistant;

·         whether or how the shop assistant attempted to close the sale;     

·         compliance with company standards relating to service;

·         whether the shop assistant suggested any add-on sales;


Theyhavealsoagreeduponthefollowing.Anumber ofmysteryshopperswillbegiven instructionsto makethetransactionatypicaltotesttheknowledgeandserviceskillsoftheshopassistantswhereas otherswilltrytoreturnpreviouslyboughtmerchandise.Notallmysteryshoppingscenarioswillinclude a purchase.




After visitingone or morephoneshopsthe mysteryshoppershavesubmitted thecollecteddatato Dawson Chambers,which reviewedand analyzed theinformation.Areportandapresentation ofthe resultswasproduced,identifyingstrengthsand weaknesses ofthecompany’sperformance.Points on whichimprovementwasrequiredwereidentifiedandrecommendationsmadeastohow toachieve theseimprovements.




1.      Define  observation  and  explain  (based  on  your  definition)  why  mystery  shopping  is  a  form  of observation.

2.      If you were Sebastian Koch, would you inform your shop assistants about the mystery shopping program before it actually takes place? Why (not)?

3.      (How) would the mystery shoppers benefit from a coding scheme?

4.      What are the benefits of mystery shopping over other methods of data collection such as interviews or questionnaires?

5.      Sebastianisrelyingsolelyonmysteryshoppingtoimprovethecompany’sperformance.Whatarethe dangers ofthis?Inotherwords,what arethelimitations ofmysteryshopping?



Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2013). Research methods for business: A skill building approach (6th ed.). Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-94225-2.



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