Lecture 4 – Assignment 1 – THE RESeARCH PROPOSAL
Daniel Lourenço is a Portuguese student in International Business at the University of Lisbon. Born in Reguengos de Monsaraz, he is an active sportsman, excelling in football and swimming. As a young man Daniel developed a keen interest in aviation. He read everything he was able to find on the subject and began training for his private pilot license when he was 14, but he had to give it up six years later to focus on his studies.
Daniel has just started writing his master thesis and he has handed in his research proposal to his advisor, Leonor Soares Henriques Pais.
Leonor is a senior operations manager for CAP Airlines (CAP), a Portuguese aviation company. He has been working for CAP for the last 7 years, and he is responsible for ensuring that operations are efficient in terms of using as little resources as needed, and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements. Leonor’s job is quite hectic and ever since he has started, Leonor has been working long hours.
Daniel and Leonor have agreed to meet in a few days to discuss the following research proposal which was developed by Daniel.
The story below is one of the many typical complaints posted on the airline customer feedback website describing passengers’ experiences with CAP Airlines. CAP is the airline of PLC Travel Group, a leading international travel corporation based in Lisbon.
PLC Travel Group was formed eight years ago by the merger of First International Holidays with the tourism division of NTI Portugal. PLC Travel Group carries the brands ‘Arches’, ‘Portugal International’ and ‘CAP’, and it is the largest tour operator in Portugal.
PLC Portugal has its own airline company (CAP) and owns a franchise chain of CAP travel agencies. PLC Travel Group was formed eight years ago by the merger of First International Holidays with the tourism division of NTI Portugal. PLC Travel Group carries the brands ‘Arches’, ‘Portugal International’ and ‘CAP’, and it is the largest tour operator in Portugal.
PLC Portugal has its own airline company (CAP) and owns a franchise chain of CAP travel agencies. CAP carries out charter and regular flights to medium haul destinations such as the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Red Sea and to long haul destinations such as the Caribbean. Its hub is based in Lisbon. Today CAP’s fleet consists of three Boeings 737-800 and four Boeings 767-300. Because the Boeings 767 are rather outdated they need more maintenance than the Boeing 737. Despite an intense maintenance program, these planes have a lot of technical problems. Consequently, the long haul fleet of CAP has dealt with a lot of delays recently. New long haul planes have been ordered, but these planes will not be delivered for another 2 years. This means that more delays will inevitably occur.
For this reason CAP needs to obtain more knowledge on the wait experience of passengers during delays and the effects of this experience on customer satisfaction and the evaluation of the service CAP provides.
This research proposal will address the problem and problem statement in section 1.2. Section 1.3 details the research questions that will help to answer the problem statement. Next, section 1.4 discusses the relevance of the project. Section 1.5 provides a brief description of the research design, whereas section 1.6 includes information on the time frame of this study. Finally, this research proposal will provide a selected bibliography used in writing this research proposal.
1.2 Problem Indication and Problem Statement
Prior research has claimed that service waits can be controlled by two techniques: operations management and management of perceptions. For CAP it is very difficult to obtain "zero defects" (no delays). Hence, this project will focus on managing the perceptions of the wait experience, because CAP cannot control the actual amount of delays and wait duration (recall that they work with a number of outdated planes), the company must focus on controlling the customer's perception of the waiting experience. To do this successfully it is important to know the variables that influence the perception of this waiting experience and the possible impact of waiting on customer satisfaction and service evaluations. More specifically, this project focuses on the following problem statement:
How do delays affect consumers’ service evaluations?
Drawing from prior research in the areas of waiting, service evaluations, attribution theory, and mood theory, hypotheses are generated regarding the relationships among a delay, affect, and service evaluations. The hypothesized relationships are tested in a field setting involving delayed CAP passengers.