Table of contents
1. External (DESTEP) analysis……………………………………………………….…..3
1.1 Demographic ……………………………………………………………………3
1.2 Economic …………………………………………………………………….…4
1.3 Socio-cultural ……………………………………………………….…………..6
1.4 Technological …………………………………………………………………..7
1.5 Ecological ……………………………………………………………………….9
1.6 Political ………………………………………………………………………….10
2. Internal analysis ……….………………………………………………………….……11
2.1 Strategy ……………………………………………..………………………….11
2.2 Shared Values ……………………….…………………………………………12
2.3 Structure ………………………………………………………………………..14
2.4 Systems …………………………………………………………………………15
2.5 Staff ……………………………………………………………………………..17
2.6 Style …………………………………………………………………………….17
2.7 Skills …………………………………………………………………………… 20
3. SWOT analysis…….………………………………………………………………..…..22
3.1 SWOT Matrix……………………………………………………………………22
3.2 Strengths – Opportunities……………………………………………………..22
3.3 Strengths – Threats……………………………………………………………23
3.4 Weaknesses – Opportunities………………………………………………….24
3.5 Weaknesses – Threats…………………………………………………………24
4. Change management …………………………………………………………………..25
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* Organisational culture assessment instrument
In this assignment we are going to carry out an ‘internal and external analysis’ of Center Parcs. It is necessary for companies such as Center Parcs to carry out these analyses in order to operate successfully in this highly competitive and fast paced market.
For the external analyses as a group we researched a large body of information from a number of different sources. From this research we have identified two trends of each external factor and we have analysed the impact of these on Center Parcs. For the internal analyses we have carried out further research and we have also visited ‘De Eemhoff’ Center Parcs near Amsterdam and interviewed one of their managers. This has given us a insight into the company and all information needed for the internal analysis.
1. External analysis for CENTER PARCS
The external analysis is one of the two parts of the situational analysis and it is the first that we are going to look at. External factors are the opportunities and threats presented by the external environment to the organization. These factors can directly or indirectly affect a company and it can be difficult for an organization to influence their impact. Whereas with internal factors it is far easier of a company to influence and control their effects. Both internal and external factors can have a major effect on the success of a company.
With the help of a DESTEP-analysis we are going to analyse the external situation of Center Parcs to get an overview of the environment and its developments. DESTEP stands for: demographically, economic, social/cultural, technological, ecological and political.
1.1 Demographical trends and development
Products and services are made for the population so it is necessary to be aware of growth, size and structure of the market. If a population is increasing then demand from goods and service will most likely increase too. (Wikipedia ‘destep analysis’) The age, gender, household, origin, income and population are aspects that need to be considered to analyse the demographical situation.
The first demographical trend we are going to look at is ‘the aging of the population’. The average age of the inhabitants of high developed countries is constantly growing. (WTTC, 2011) This is caused by lower birthrates as well as the fact that people are waiting longer before having their first child.
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But not only is the age of the population is changing. Due to a developed health care system with good medicine in Europe, people stay healthy much longer than ever before. The feeling of being old applies much later to them and so they want to keep up with having an active life. Also older people tend to have more money than the younger. They receive pension, sometimes they inherit wealth from part of their family and they can also get their life insurances back. That is backed up by the ‘Berlin Ageing Studies’ which is an examination from Max-Planck-Institut in Berlin (2011): older people are becoming increasingly important to the economy because proportionately their income has increased more than younger peoples.
As a result of this people aged 50+ are going to be a dominant target group in the tourism industry in the coming years. Center Parcs needs to carefully consider this trend since older people are usually more willing to spend more money on a range of things such as high quality food, recreational activities, health treatments and accommodation. Currently Center Parcs is highly geared towards the family holiday market which means it would need to adjust its current strategy to react to this trend. If it does not it could find that this trend has a negative effect on the organization. However, the trend of an ageing population may only have a small impact on Center Parcs since most of its facilities and activities are suitable for the older generation too.
The second demographical trend which could have impact on Center Parcs is the effect of urbanization. In today’s society a large percentage of the population live in urban areas. Urbanization first started at the time of the industrial revolution and continues today. One forecast states that by 2050 70% of the entire population will be living in cities. (Tourismusforschung Österreich, 2011) This will mainly be due to young Europeans moving from agrarian regions to the cities. By moving to a city a person would usually find more opportunities such as better education and better jobs prospects. Also for young the social life is much more attractive in a city. (Dolanc, 2010) However, there are negatives aspects to urbanization. For example people living in cities tend to lead far more stressful lives with far less free time.
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This trend could be very positive for Center Parcs since people who are living in cities prefer to spend their leisure time in natural and relaxing surroundings. Being in an opposite environment can help a person recover from the effects of a hectic city life. Because Center Pars sites are located in natural areas such as coastal areas, lakes and forests this trend of urbanization could increase its visitors. A negative aspect on the other hand could be that Center Parcs will find it hard to attract new and young employees since people find it more convenient to live close to work.
1.2 Economic trends and development
To be able to analyse the economic situation aspects like the purchasing power, unemployment, inflation, income and currency need to be observed as well as the international developments.
The first economical trend describes a new Tax which has been introduced in different countries on the purchase of flight tickets which will most probably result higher flight rates for the consumer.
According to the webpage ‘www.dailymail.co.uk’ in the “UK passengers will have to pay up to 55% more on flights” (started 1st of November2010) This is a enormous rise particularly on long haul flights since the tax rise is according to the distance of the destination.
In Germany is also a tax rise on flight tickets (started in September 2011) according to the webpage ‘www.spiegel.de’. The amount that has to be paid also depends on the distance of the destination. The Airlines are affected by that in different ways. Some have to cancel some flights because they can’t offer attractive prices for certain destinations anymore, some have to rise the costs for flight tickets due to the tax and the value added tax that comes with it.
Travel agencies also add extra taxes to the ticket price due to the necessary change of their booking systems.
Everybody is affected by this change but especially for families it can be very expensive to travel to farther destinations due to the amount of tickets that need to be purchased.
It won’t put off people from travelling because people are not willing to sacrifice their holiday just because of the rise but they will be more aware of the changes in price and probably will be more careful choosing a destination.
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“So will this be the last tax increase for a while?
Unfortunately there may be more on the way. The current government wants to double the revenue it earns from aviation tax in the next four years from £28.9bn to more than £56bn. Of course, extra costs to airlines eventually find their way to customers too.
According to ABTA, The Travel Association, forecasts show APD revenue will continue to rise from £1.9bn in 2009-10 to £3.8bn in 2015-16 with UK aviation tax will also continuing to rise.” (dailymail, 2011)
Higher flight prices could result that especially families are not able to pay the high prices anymore. Therefore it could have a positive effect on Center Perks and might increase the number of visitors since their locations are easy and quick to reach by car for their main target group the surrounded countries like Germany, Belgium, France and UK. The British could be the only target group that might decease.
The second trend we are going to describe is the economic crises. Due to the global economic crises, the consumer behavior has changed. Priority in times of the crisis is to add to the savings instead of spending the money. Leisure activities as well as holidays are one of the first things the consumer tents to cut down.
According to the webpage ‘www.qfinance.com’ The UNWTO says that the international tourist’s arrival declined worldwide by 4% in 2009 but with sights of improvement for the coming years.
“However, the WTO added a note of caution, saying that although “there is a clear improvement on the negative results of 2009, this growth compares with a particularly weak period of 2009—the worst months of the global economic crisis. On the whole, international tourist arrivals totaled 119 million during the first two months of 2010, up 7% on 2009 but still 2% below the value of the record year of 2008” (qfinance, 2009)
Most of the people are not willing to scarify their holiday at all because of the crisis but it could have an effect on how much money they are willing to spend and their choice of destination. Therefore it could have a positive impact on Center Parcs as people may decide to spend their holiday in one of their parks instead of travelling to a farther and more expensive destination like the States, Australia or Asia.
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At the same time the economic crises could result a decrease of customers for Center Parcs since everyone is more careful with their money.
1.3 Socio-Cultural trends and development
We speak of social changes when many people change their habits concerning private lives. The social aspect has a huge influence on industries and their products of course because they are depending on what people do, want and buy. Therefore knowing the behavior of the consumers is very important. It needs to be analysed to see what interesting things are going on and to be aware of the needs and wants of the customer. Points like level of education, religion, lifestyle and values and norm have to be considered for that.
A very important social trend for companies to be aware of is that people are going to undertake shorter but more frequent leisure trips. In former years the whole family picked a destination to plan one basic vacation which takes two to three week’s maybe and was mostly around summertime. Nowadays it becomes more and more usual that people are going on short trip holidays. Reasons for that are that for instance employees with higher responsibilities cannot easily be away for several weeks. In addition to that people want to distribute their holiday better in order to have the opportunity to relax from the hectic life in the meantime. (AutoGebrauchtwagen, 2011)
Furthermore short trips are very common because they can be planned spontaneous. For example whenever you feel the need for recreation you can decide to go somewhere over the weekend. The big advantage is then that you can chose from several last minute offers and even safe money. The flights have also become cheaper in the last few years because of low cost carriers so that it is worth to fly for a just a few days. Websites like booking.com make it even easier to find good opportunities and to compare the prices.
This trend could be a big opportunity for Center Parcs because they offer holidays that just last a weekend or a few days during the week. If short trips are becoming more usual they can benefit from it because customers will choose a Center Parcs destination very often. There is everything that they need to get away from their working lives namely the tropical swimming pool, other sport facilities, natural surroundings, a nice cottage to stay at and careful employees. Also shops and restaurant are easily available so that the conditions are perfect for parents to recover in the brief time given while their children have fun as well.
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On the other hand this trend could be a disadvantage for Center Parcs as well. Short trips are often used to explore cities. As the flights are not that expensive for example to go to London for a weekend people might decide to do sightseeing instead of enjoying the natural area within Center Parcs. (Wikipedia, 2011) This depends sometimes on the mood of the people but sometimes also on their favorite activities. Center Parcs cannot do much to attract people who want to see cities instead of nature so this could also be a dark side about it.
The second trend we are going to describe is wellness travel. Since people are getting more and more conscious of their health and fitness and need to un-stress from their busy working lives, the Wellness industry is growing. According to the webpage ‘travelmarketreport’, “There is more emphasis on stress reduction than weight loss and more programs like yoga and meditation. More people are traveling to wellness destinations in groups – friends, family, couples, and even children” (Susie Ellis, president of ‘SpaFinder Inc’) (Travelmarketreport, 2011)
The newest trends for 2012 in accordance to the webpage ‘healthandfitnesstravel’ are for instance; Health and Fitness travel, Spa and Culture, Boot camp for the soul, Age adapting spa’s, Holidaying with health gurus, Nutrition as a foundation, Health and Fitness consultation, Social spa-ing, Healthy breaks for men, Healthy aging, Mind and body awareness, Health and fitness in nature, Family wellness, Health concerns.
This trend could be very positive for Center Parcs since they offer a wider range of fitness activities as well as recreational facilities. Center Parcs is therefore might attractive to people who are looking for a holiday in that kind of niche. On the other hand a disadvantage for them could be that people who like to go on a wellness holiday do not really think about Center Parcs because their image is to be a family destination. Therefore it could be the case that customers searching for a Spa and for calmness consider Center Parcs as being too crowded with children and book somewhere else.
1.4 Technological trend and development
Technological development results the continuous improvement of production methods and innovation of goods and services. Also the communication technological has a big influence with the internet and ICT developments. According to this it’s clear how essential technological development for the internationally competitive position of business life is. Therefore it is important for companies to be always up to date and aware of the newest technological trends and development.
The first technological trend we are going to describe is social networks like ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’. These social networks are getting more and more popular and therefore important for companies and their promotion. Especially young people (the customers of tomorrow) spent a lot time in Social networks, but also the older user generation is growing.
In the following you can see statistics which are provided by ‘Facebook’ itself.
People on Facebook
* More than 800 million active users
* More than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
* Average user has 130 friends
Activity on Facebook
* More than 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
* Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
* On average, more than 250 million photos are uploaded per day
* More than 70 languages available on the site
* More than 75% of users are outside of the United States
* Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application
* On average, people on Facebook install apps more than 20 million times every day
* Every month, more than 500 million people use an app on Facebook or experience Facebook Platform on other websites
* More than 7 million apps and websites are integrated with Facebook
* More than 350 million active users currently access Facebook through their mobile devices
* More than 475 mobile operators globally work to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products
Many companies create their own accounts with networks like ‘facebook’ and ‘twitter’ where they provide information of the company and a link to their homepage. With help of these social networks people get aware of products, services which are offered by certain companies and often stay in people’s heads.
As you can see in the statistics, social networks reach a big target group so it is a good opportunity for Center Parks to use it for promotion. They get a big audience in a short period of time and can get the interest of new customers and also remember previous customers of their business. Another aspect is that people can and often use ‘Facebook’s’ GPS function to share their location and activity with friends which is promotion for Center Parcs without even doing anything. The only negative aspect for using these social networks as a way of promotion for Center Parcs would be the fact that they don’t reach most of their elderly target group. But since Center Parcs still uses other ways of promotion there is no real negative aspect.
Center Parcs already created a Facebook page where they inform about special offers. (Talking travel tech, 2010)
Another important trend is the development of smartphones. The market share of smartphones grew rapidly in the last year. We found some facts on Wikipedia which backs up the power of these smartphones.
“In profit share worldwide smartphones now far exceed the share of non-smartphones. According to a November 2011 research note from Canaccord Genuity, Apple Inc., which doesn’t make phones that aren’t smartphones, holds 52% of the total mobile industry’s operating profits, while only holding 4.2% of the global handset market. HTC and RIM similarly only make smartphones and their worldwide profit shares are at 9% and 7%, respectively. Samsung, in second place after Apple at 29%, makes both smartphones and feature phones and doesn’t report a breakdown separating their profits between the two kinds of devices, but it can be intuited that a significant portion of that profit comes from their flagship smartphone devices. “(Wikipedia)
Additional to the development of smartphones there have been over 300 million apps created in the last three years and the numbers of downloads are more than 10.9 billion. The downloading price for apps is falling rapidly and most apps which are used for the purpose of promotion are already free. (MobiThinking, 2011)
Center Parcs could make use of the function of apps to make it easier for customers to have a look at offers, prices and other relevant information. It would also give guests the opportunity to book their trip easy with their phone and also do quick changes on bookings (T4, 2008).
The negative site of this opportunity is the high costs of programming such an app. If an application is not free many people won’t use it. It’s also a trend which is not used by most of the older generation.
1.5 Ecological trend and development
Aspects such as safety, climate, energy and sustainability, are important to be thought of when analysing the ecological situation in trends and development. You have to think about environmental regulations, good and responsible social marketing concepts and labels for products as for instance products that are not tested on animals. You should check the following points to analyse the ecological variable:
The first trend we are going to describe is the climate change which is one of the most important global topics of our generation. It means that the statistical distribution of weather patterns change. This can lead to intense storms, melting of the polar ice caps, desertification et cetera. Many coastal areas are in danger because of the rise of the sea level. Especially in countries like Germany and the Netherlands you can see that they don’t have four seasons anymore. They just have a really hot summer and an extremely cold winter. In September 2010 it was already 0.9″ C colder than normal. “It was the 26th coldest September since 1900.” (Gosslin, 2010) In October already some places in Germany had snow. Also the Netherlands is affected by the climate change. The temperature changes destroy the nature as for example the increase of discharge of rivers.
Although the observed effects in the Netherlands are limited without having led to serious problems for the country, climate change and its effects are expected to accelerate over the next few decades and persist for a considerable length of time. (Berk, 2006)
So in a few years the climate change can cause problems for Center Parcs. People will prefer to travel in the off season because the summers in Western Europe are getting warmer. The early and extreme winter persuades people to prefer summer destinations in the off season. Less people will prefer Center Parcs as their summer destination.
Furthermore the maintenance cost for the nature will rise. For example storms could destroy the nature or hot summers can desiccate plants. Center Parcs has to maintain its nature because nature is one of the five keystones of the concept of Center Parcs. This maintenance cost could get extremely high. If Center Parcs manages to upkeep the nature, Centre Parcs demand will increase. On account of the climate change the demand of the travelers is higher in nature surroundings. (Visit Europa, 2006)
Another trend is Sustainability. Sustainable principles refer to the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. A suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. Many people can benefit from sustainable tourism. Destinations will preserve generations to come and will also have a positive association for example on the living standard. Residents can find new jobs and will be able to live wealthier and healthier. Companies can reduce costs and find new markets.
In a few points Center Parcs isn’t able to guarantee sustainability. For example for the Aqua Mundo Center Parcs has to import tropical plants from other countries. But just because of these points Center Parcs should not give up in trying to be sustainable. As far as Center Parc is able to handle sustainability they should do so.
Getting sustainable means for company’s high investments but these investments can turn out to save large sums of money. For instance Fairmont Royal York has reduced 476,000 liters water per day with their new water system. Sustainable systems as for waste management, energy and conservation can save Center Parcs a lot of money.
But the main question is if consumers are interested enough to spend money to travel sustainable. At the moment just 5% of our environment tries to travel sustainable but most of them are families which is Center Parcs main target group. Families who are interested in sustainable tourism will choose Center Parcs as their travel destination. But there will also be a higher demand in sustainable tourism in the upcoming years. Surveys pointed out that 80% in Europe believe that their travel choice make a difference and 67% would change travel habits if they knew it will made a difference (Jansen, 2011).
It isn’t clear if sustainable tourism will be successful but as you can see it has potential.
1.6 Political trends and development
Politics can have a huge influence on any company including large organizations like Center Parcs. If there are basic changes to the law or if there are new regulations introduced in Europe the parks might have to adapt its policy respectively.
People and companies are very much controlled by rules and regulations of. If anything changes are made regarding rules and regulations companies need to react at once. In such a case Center Parcs would be powerless to stop change in the law. Therefore it is very important for them to be up to date concerning upcoming laws and regulations. This would enable Center Parcs to limit any negative effects or even take advantage of the changing situation.
A more specific example would be if they had planned to invest in a new activity for children and the government decides that it would be too dangerous Center Parcs must know about it immediately to be able to stop the construction.
At the moment it seems to be the case that there are no political changes in the Netherlands that would affect Center Parcs. The internet does not provide any sources (at least none in English) and so we asked the managers in the interview if there have been any political changes lately that could have any meaning to them.
The manager from the Human Resource Department came up with the fact that employees have to work longer in the future before they can take retirement. The retirement age is going up to 67 years which means two years longer than it currently stands.
We thought about the possibility that the staff might be demotivated by knowing this especially the older ones because they know that there are two more years to work than they have thought.
Surprisingly we were told in the interview that this change has no effect on the workers of Center Parcs. Also at the moment a small part of the workers at ‘De Eemhof’ is older than 65 years. It is difficult for some to stop working immediately after so many years. They want to keep their job to have something which gives them a structured day if they are still fit enough. Often part-time contracts are concluded. In this way Center Parcs can keep some of their experienced staff longer and the people are happy to have something which gives sense to their lifes.
In the future people are forced to work a bit longer and some of them won’t like it of course but according to Center Parcs this outlook does not change anything for the company.
2. Internal analysis
To be a successful company it is important to know what you stand for, where you are at the moment and where you want to go in the future. As a holiday park Center Parcs of course has a strategy for this.
Their mission is to guarantee a moment of happiness for their guests that they can enjoy in a safe, stimulating and relaxing natural environment. Careful employees will always be there to help them.
Their vision is based on the assumption that people need time and a place to get together with family and friends. Therefore Center Parcs aim to create and to preserve a place where the customers can enjoy the simple but special things in life and where they can easily be who they really are.
In the near future Center Parcs park ‘De Eemhof’ wants to increase their revenues to cover high investments they had in the past few years to have their cottages renovated and to open up a new part. The Marina is close to the river side and offers very modern apartments for a Center Parcs stay.
In the longer term the park wants to distinguish itself from the competition trough a unique ability to offer short holidays with authentic park concepts. They want to be recognizable and inspiring to the guests when they come to the park. In this way ‘De Eemhof’ likes to ensure and to increase customer satisfaction which is 93% at the moment but they state that it is always worth to reach for a 100%.
The most important customers for the visited Center Parcs park are young families with little children like in every other park, too. It also attracts business people for the reason of offered meeting rooms and the possibility to do team strengthening activities in the surroundings, sailing for instance. Most of the people come from European countries like the Netherlands itself, Germany, France, Belgium, the UK and Poland. But since around two years many guests from Israel come to visit ‘De Eemhof’ due to its very close location to Amsterdam. So people combine a city and a leisure trip. At the moment 30% of the arrivals are from Israel.
Daily visitors are youth groups that want to go swimming for a day or young couples as well.
The general manager of ‘De Eemhof’ is very confident about their role in the industry by saying that there are no competitors at all because Center Parcs has such a unique concept. In fact other holiday parks exist of course that are cheaper than Center Parcs which can be a threat for them.
Landal Green Parcs, Roompot and Oostappen are the ones who we consider to be the most important.
Landal Green Parcs advertise with its natural locations as well as Center Parcs, they are also focusing on young families with children and they offer a lot of action and fun activities. As they are situated in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium they aim for the same people in geographic aspects.
Roompot also has its parks in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. In many of their parcs they have Beach resorts for their guests and they also try to attract business people by offering meeting spaces and other facilities. These parks are also located in nature regions and advertise with the possibilities of cycling and hiking.
The Oostappen Groep as well focuses on families with children and offers sport and relaxation activities. Their strengths are water facilities inside and outside, too and the destinations can be chosen from different areas in the Netherlands and Belgium.
So as a conclusion we can say that there are other holiday parks that try to attract the same target group offer the same locations and facilities and are cheaper than Center Parcs actually is. Even if Center Parcs have a higher brand awareness (96%) and lots of satisfied customers that want to do revisits they should definitely be aware of the developments of similar parks in the industry.
2.2 Shared values
Shared Values form the vision of a company. This vision can be determined by applying the OCAI- instrument. This instrument was developed by Cameron and Quinn and describes different organisational cultures. A company can never be fully classified into one single culture but occupies parts of every culture to a certain extent. Over 10,000 companies worldwide use the instrument to have an objective view on their operations and to be able to realise when changes are necessary.
The Competing Values are flexibility and discretion versus stability and control on the vertical axis and internal focus and integration versus external focus and differentiation on the horizontal axis. Flexibility means that a company does not have fixed procedures for nearly every situation that appears and that business plans can be easily changed and adopted throughout the years. A flexible organisation can react very quickly to happenings as it does not have to come to an agreement with a lot of people. Young and dynamic are adjectives that characterise a flexible company. On the other hand a company who is very stable operates a lot through standardised procedures for situations that often occur. Often this applies to businesses which are large in the way that they have multiple locations. A lot of issues have to be discussed by the Board of directors that is responsible for the whole chain which takes quite a long time. When a company cares very much about human resources such as participation and mutual trust it is considered to have an internal focus. The employees’ opinion about special cases and their overall satisfaction at the workplace are important. A company that cares more about the end results as such so it can reach a high market share is said to have an external focus. Concentration on competitors is the highest priority and sometimes even aggressive actions are undertaken to beat them.
The different organisational cultures are Clan, Adhocracy, Market and Hierarchy. In a clan culture people built up good relationships and treat each other with respect. The employees are seen as an extended family that works well in a team. Tradition plays an important role and also concern for client satisfaction is very high. To put it in a nutshell human resource management is very crucial in a clan culture. Risk taking and innovating are indicators for an adhocracy culture. The working environment is supposed to be creative and every employee has the freedom to solve issues the way he or her personally thinks is the best. The emphasis for a market cultures is on getting the job done while expectations on the results are high. The company is held together by the importance of winning. The long-term focus is on reaching the goals set and have a competitive advantage. In a hierarchy culture the work environment is totally structured. A lot of procedures and formal rules need to be followed in order to reach an efficient execution of tasks. It has to be made sure that everything is controlled so that delivered products or services contain zero defects.(OCAI explained, 2010)
To determine the culture of ‘De Eemhof’ the OCAI-instrument was completed. Therefore six questions about different items of Center Parcs such as leadership or dominant characteristics for a company had to be filled in. The answers had to be given in the form of four different categories (A, B, C, D) that belong to the cultures of Clan, Adhocracy, Market and Hierarchy. 100 points had to be divided over these four categories, the highest number to the one that describes the culture of the company the best. At the end the scores for A, B, C and D had to be added up and then divided by six to get the average points for each of the questions. With the calculated percentages it is easy to see to which extent ‘De Eemhof’ follows which organisational culture. (The original papers are added in the appendix.)
The result was that Adhocracy (7.5%) and Market (10%) are not that important cultures for Center Parcs but they do of course have certain elements of these. It is not their goal to be innovators but they claim to be a product leader as other holiday destinations are not that successful and not that well-known as Center Parcs is. Being successful is of course a goal of Center Parcs but not in a way that they do better than their competitors but in a sense of high customer satisfaction which is mainly reached by friendly employees.
Hierarchy scored 32.5 % which is relatively high. That means that Center Parcs focuses very much on standard procedures. As they are a chain they try to offer the same products and solutions in each of their parks. Therefore they are dependent on a good coordination between the different parks so that everything runs parallel. Stability is a very important factor as people need to have something to rely on when carrying out the daily business. In a hierarchy culture the priority is to be structured and stable in order to combine the business activities of different units.
For Center Parcs the clan culture scored even higher as it reached 50%. This is due to the fact that Center Parcs has a very high concern on people. This applies first of all for employees but also for customers. It is the goal of Center Parcs to have a high customer satisfaction and they are even aiming for a hundred percent. Center Parcs is aware of the fact that the impression their employees make on their guests has a high influence on the customer satisfaction. They are selling holidays or in other words an experience, so that the service is not tangible and the feelings a customer has are decisive for his estimation. To make sure the staff is friendly and provides a good service it is essential to provide them a good working environment. Only somebody who feels good himself can make guests feel welcome. Center Parcs let their staff participate when important decisions are made to give them the feeling to be important and to have the power to contribute to implementations. Every day shift-kick offs with their floor managers take place to give the employees the opportunity to discuss certain issues and exchange experiences as well as ideas.
Center Parcs clearly has an internal focus. They are an extended family. Many occasions to get to know each other are arranged for example the yearly Barbecue in summer or the Christmas party. Employees get the chance to get together apart from working hours which contributes to the promoting slogan ‘Let’s get closer’. These events help pretty much to create and maintain a pleasant atmosphere in the team, between colleagues in the different departments as well as between managers and their staff. Everybody has the opportunity to talk about private problems to friends made in the company which is a good social support. Also mentoring plays a big role in the policy of Center Parcs. If any employee meets problems during his working day, might it be with customers, might it be with colleagues they can get advice from their floor managers first of all but problems can be carried on up to the general manager as well.
A clan culture indicates that a company has an internal and flexible orientation. For Center Parcs it is true that they are internally focused as they do a lot for their employees. Actually a clan culture also means that a company which is in line with it has a high grade of flexibility. However Center Parcs is not flexible in their operations as already stated above. They are such a huge company that they have to work with fixed procedures. For example when certain kinds of problems occur the staff does exactly know what to do first and when it is necessary to contact a manager. Customers that complain for a good reason can get discounts for a restaurant or for further visits. This is handled the same way in all of the parks according to specific guidelines.
Clan is the overall and most important culture for De Eemhof and also for Center Parcs in general, they said several times in the interview that human resources are their number one priority. But also a huge number of their actions contribute to the hierarchical culture.
The conclusion on assessing Center Parcs with the help of the OCAI-instrument is that they have an internal and stable focus.
Every organisation does need some sort of organisational structure. An organisational chart shows in a simple way how tasks are formally divided between departments and individuals. Of course an organisation as Center Parcs has got an organisational chart. Center Parcs is a line and staff organisation. To understand the setup of a line and staff organisation the simple line organisation will be described at first. A line organisation is the most traditional organisational structure. The chart is very simple and clear. In this type of organisation the authority flows from top to bottom. There are strict hierarchical levels between manager and subordinates. On the highest hierarchical level in Center Parcs is the General Manager. The departments of Center Parcs have to inform the General Manager of all important occurrences. The department formation of Center Parcs is shown in the following: Safety & Pool department, Leisure department, Technical department and Housekeeping department.
In a line and staff organisation you will also find staff with specialist and expertise knowledge who are also called support staff. The tasks of support staff are to advice and inform the line management in the area of their expertise but they do not have direct authority over the other departments. The responsibility belongs to the line manager and the support staff is just responsible for the quality of advice or information. Support staff is often located in staff departments (Marcus & van Dam, 2007).
There are two staff departments in Center Parcs: the Human Resource department and the Finance department.
Management Team of Department
The General Manager of Center Parcs has a whole Management Team around him. This Management Team builds the board of directors. Also the two supporting staff departments Human Resource and Finance have a Management Team. All the other departments have only got one manager who is responsible for the department. The department manager has at least one Floor Manager who assists him.
Center Parcs is a flat organisation. That means that it hasn’t got a great number of managers like a traditional organisation. The idea of this organisational structure is that employees will be more productive when they are more directly involved in the decision making process. Since the interaction between workers is more frequent, this organisational structure depends upon a much more personal relationship between workers and managers. This was confirmed in the interview with the General Manager of the Center Parcs ‘De Eemhof’. He informed the students that he knows about ninety per cent of the employees by name.
If an employee of the Housekeeping Department has a problem he turns to his Floor manager of the department. In the case that the Floor manager needs advice to solve the problem of his employee he contacts the department manager of the Housekeeping Department. The department manager reports problems to the General Manager or the management team of the General Manager. If the department manager needs finance advice or has a question for the Human Resource department, he can contact them.
A person who has a management position in the Human Resource Department is responsible for the attraction, selection, training and assessment and rewarding of the employees of the Center Parcs. He not only has to think about what is best for the employees of the company, but also has to cover the achievement of the organisation’s business goals. He has to find a balance between the needs of the company and the needs of the company’s employees. The tasks of a Human Resource Manager include: recruiting and staffing, organisational department planning, performance management and improvement systems, employee relations, policy development and documentation, employees safety and health and company employee and community communication. A manager of the Human and Resource Department has no power over the other departments of the Center Parc. That means that he hasn’t got the right to tell the employees of the housekeeping department what to do for example. That lies in the responsibility of the Department and Floor Manager. The Human Resource Manager can only give the Managers of the Departments advice. The departments communicate with the Human Resource Department about problems. The Human Resource Manager has also got the responsibility to inform the General Manager about important happenings.
Center Parcs park ‘De Eemhof’ measures different things to see if they have reached the goals set. The most important thing is customer satisfaction because it is the number one goal to get as many customers as possible and also to stimulate them to come back. At the moment they have a satisfaction of 93 % but their goal is to reach 100 %. They are aware of the fact that a 100% is never possible but they are trying nevertheless. In addition they collect data about the background of their guests for instance which countries they are from or what their reasons for the stay are to be able to adapt their offerings to the needs of the target group.
The loyalty of ‘De Eemhof’ is very high as 30 % of the visitors are coming back in the same year and visit the park again.
Last year the company spent 40,000 Euros to make the Center Parcs more attractive. Since that time they have 30 – 40 % more sleep overs.
To find out about the customer’s opinion surveys are developed and distributed. With this method they want to find out what the customer really wants and what they as a company or as a single park have to change or to add in order to make their parks even more attractive in the eye of a visitor. (Review centre, 2011)
Regular and standardised inspections and observations take place especially in the sector of service quality and cleanness. In this way they try to help their parks to constantly improve their performance and to have even more satisfied customers.
Every morning before the working day starts the floor manager for each department meets his staff for the ‘shift kick off meeting’, where the daily planning is discussed. Twice a year there is a department day, where the different departments like leisure, finance, accommodation, safety & pool and the Human resource come together to get a better overview about the last half of the year. Once a year is a big meeting with the whole Center Parcs staff, where they talked about what they’ve reached, what their goals are and how their Center Parcs stands in comparison to other Center Parcs and bungalow parks in general . They also give their staff the possibility to participate at events like a Christmas- or a Halloween party or a BBQ to improve the atmosphere between the colleagues.
‘De Eemhof’ Center Parcs has 700 employees, including the food & beverage department. They hire 300 full-time and 400 part-time employees.
They have 30 % male and 70 % female workers.
12 % of the employees in Center Parcs are between 15 and 20 years old, most of them work part-time. 24 % are between 20 and 30 years. 18 % of the employees are at the age of 30 to 40. 26 % are between 40 to 50 years old and 16 % are between 50 to 60 years. The remaining 4 % are 60 or older. So the average age of employees is 45. (Center Parcs, 2009)
The technical part is mostly done by male workers. Just 5 % of the women work in the technical department. The main departments for female workers are housekeeping and reception. The management positions are equally divided between male and female. Most of the work is done by native speakers. Especially in the high position jobs like management most workers are native. It’s really important for them to be able to speak different languages especially English, German and French. The simple jobs like housekeeping or maintenance for instance are also done by immigrants. For those jobs language skills are not needed like in high positioned jobs and also a high education is not necessary. Center Parcs gives everybody the chance to work his or her way up in the company and to hold a higher position in the end as far as the worker has the ambition to do so.
In order to achieve the goals of a company, it is important to have the right leader who is trained and has a certain level of life experience to be able to support employees in helping them to fulfill their tasks in a meaningful and pleasant way.
There are different leadership styles but you won’t find any of them in their pure form in real life.
In the following we are going to describe the leadership grid (Robert Blake and Jane Mouton) in order to compare it to the leadership style of Center Parcs.
The leadership grid shows different kind of styles which helps you to decide how to lead, depending on your concern for people and relationship versus your concern for production and task orientation. The model shows five different leadership styles and the degree to which of these two dimensions it focusses on.
This diagram is taken from the webpage ‘mindtools’
Impoverished Leadership – Low Production/Low People
This style is characterized by a low concern for both, production and people.
The leader is mostly ineffective and his main concern is not to be held responsible for mistakes. With this leadership style it is not possible to create a satisfying and motivating work environment as well as creating systems for getting the job done.
The result is disorganization and dissatisfaction of the employees.
Produce or Perish Leadership – High Production/Low People
Also known as Authoritarian-compliance management is a very directive style which mainly concentrates on the production rather than people. The employees are simply seen as a means to an end and they are always secondary. This type of leadership is very autocratic, there are strict rules, policies and punishment is used as the most effective means of motivate employees.
Country Club Leadership – High people/ low production
This ‘social club’ style is characterized by low concern of production and pays high attention to the need and welfare of the employees. It’s based on the thinking that as long as the employees are happy and secure, they will work hard and conscientious. This leadership style forms a very nice and fun work environment but the production could suffer due to the lack of direction and control.
Middle-of-the-Road Leadership – Medium Production/Medium People
This style is a balance between the two competing concerns. Managers using this style try to pay attention to both, the goals of the company as well as the welfare of the employees. By compromising and giving concern to both, neither production nor people needs are fully met. This only results an average performance rather than the perfect one.
Team Leadership – High production/ high People
In this style a high concern is paid for both, production and people which leads to a high level of efficiency as well as a good atmosphere within the employees. The premise is that employees are involved in understanding the organizational purpose and have a stake in the organizations success which results a link between their needs and the production needs.
There is no best way to lead a company but the best leaders are those who can use many different behavioral styles and apply the right style for each situation.
2.6.3 Leadership style of Center Parcs
Center Parcs’ Leadership style is quite well balanced between the two competing concerns, people and product. It may first appear that there is a higher concern for the employees as the managers concentrate a lot on their welfare. In hospitality industry the product is the service offered, which is delivered through the employees so they are part of the product. Therefore customer and employee satisfaction are correlated, and a happy employee is willing to deliver the desired service. That way Center Parcs tries to achieve their goals.
There are several programs, like skill training as well as meetings for improvement of working conditions to keep the employee satisfaction high. Furthermore Center Parcs organizes the so called ‘Happy Employee Activities’ which involve, BBQ’s in the summer and different activities during the year.
There is a shift kick off every day so every employee knows their task for the day, more than that there are the 2 main meetings a year with the whole company so everyone knows about the goals for the upcoming year as well as the achievements of the year before. With this meeting the management gives the staff a feeling of being involved and an important part of the company. Knowing what is happening and what the goals are motivates the staff to work hard.
Feedback is another important part of their leadership style, managers keep the staff updated if they are doing a good job and the other way around the staff also has the chance to give feedback to their managers.
According to the managers in the interview “the managers at Center Parcs always have an open ear for their staff and try to care for their interests, needs and wants. Furthermore good communication is important for the ‘we-feeling’ and the motivation of the employees.”
But as mentioned before Center Parcs doesn’t only have a high concern for their staff, the attention paid for the product is high too. To always stay one step ahead of the competition, Center Parcs constantly invests in the improvement of their facilities and activities.
Overall we can say that the atmosphere within the company seems to be very good, the managers as well as the employees have a good understanding of organizational purposes and goals and there is a link between people and product. If we connect it to the ‘Leadership grid’ of Robert Blake and Jane Mouton it comes very close to the ‘Team leadership’ style which is the one that company’s desire to implement.
2.6.4 Desirable Leadership style of Center Parcs
How mentioned above Center Parcs Leadership style is comparable to the ‘Team leadership’ style of the ‘Leadership grid’ of Robert Blake and Jane Mouton. According to the interview with two of their managers, the customer satisfaction is 93% which shows that Center Parcs is doing everything right at the moment included the leadership. Clearly there are always little things to be improved and what we got told in the interview is that Center Parcs tries to go for the 100% customer satisfaction. Concerning the leadership style it is important to recognize that ‘the Team Leadership style’ isn’t always the most effective approach in every situation. There are times and occasions where either more attention for products or people is necessary. So it can be said that even though Center Parcs and its leadership style is good the way it is and in the situation they are in but there could come a time when it is necessary to change and improvement is always possible.
2.7.1 How to observe hospitality
A good hospitable performance ensures that people feel welcomed in your company. A company has to do everything it can to make sure that its guests have a comfortable experience. This is important for every kind of company but it is even more so for companies in the hospitality industry such as Center Parcs. They need to attract people to stay in their parks for their holiday with good service. When going on a holiday people want to relax and they expect to have a good experience. For a stay in a hotel, or bungalow park in this case, a huge impression comes from the behaviour and attitude of the staff. This is why the staff needs to have good ‘customer service’ skills.
Therefore a good strategy is to provide the employees with pleasant working conditions to keep them motivated. The theory is that if staff is happy they will behave in a good and friendly way towards the customers which makes them happy and satisfied as well.
Hospitality performance should start with signs that help the guest to find the way to the destination. This is not essential for small restaurants or cafés obviously but for bigger companies like hotels, resorts or fun parks. Moreover providing enough and close by parking space is always appreciated by the customer. When entering the building the staff should greet the guest in a friendly manner to give a feeling of welcome. It is also crucial that especially the employees at the front desk are able to speak fluent English and even better several other languages. Since the grooming of the staff is one of the first things the guest notices, wearing the same uniform provides a good impression.
One of the guest’s priorities is that the waiting times are kept as short as possible and that the personnel is punctual in case of an appointment or meeting.
Furthermore facilities should be clean and in working order.
The last important item of good hospitality performance is that if problems occur the staff needs to respond professionally and come up with a solution immediately.
2.7.2 Hospitality performance of ‘De Eemhof’
When we were getting near ‘De Eemhof’ signs appeared so it was easy to find the entrance. The employee at the entrance asked us in a friendly way who we are and what we were here for. He was very polite and able to speak English. He explained clearly where we should park and advised that we should walk to the business centre to meet the manager for our interview. The manager was expecting a group of students and it was obvious that he was well prepared to welcome us. The way to park was very obvious and there were enough parking spaces available. The directions to the business centre were easy to follow and we found our way there in just a few minutes. At the centre itself there were several women sitting behind a reception desk who welcomed us and pointed us in the right direction to find the room.
In front of the room we had to wait a few minutes but chairs were available and they provided coffee, tea, water and several snacks like small cakes. We really appreciated the welcome we were given and had the feeling that they cared about us.
The manager had tickets for the swimming pool for us which we felt showed consideration and made a good impression on us.
The room we had the interview in was furnished with chairs and a white board which was sufficient for an interview. The managers remained standing which showed respect and a business-like attitude. They told us a little bit about themselves and about their roles within the company and then let us ask our questions.
They responded to every question but sometimes in a way that we thought was too general. Often they could not provide the exact figures we needed but they always tried to explain the issues we asked about. There were two managers in the room and if one did not know how to answer a specific question the other one helped him or her out which was good. This showed a good teamwork because they harmonized well with each other.
Right after the interview we walked around the park and found that sometimes the directions the signs pointed to were a bit unclear. This is something which could be improved because it was annoying not to know which way to go for example when searching for the Marina. But a good point about this was that big maps were distributed over the park so we could get directions from them.
The staff that was responsible for the swimming pool did not really make a good impression on us. Even if we did not have much to do with them the ones who actually went swimming felt that the staff was observing them the whole time in a way which was not enjoyable. They treated us as though we were irresponsible students who would damage something or behave badly in some way. The employees did not seem to like their job because they were unfriendly and did not seem motivated. We could see this from their posture and facial expressions.
The opposite was the case when we went for a coffee in the Market Cafe. We did not have to wait long until someone came to our table and took our orders. Also we received our coffee within good time and were treated nicely. The employees seemed to like their work and the atmosphere was very well created with many plants and new, comfortable furniture.
Obviously we did not have much time to spend in the park itself so we did not meet that many employees and we couldn’t try many restaurants or facilities of course but overall we think that Center Parcs did a good job concerning hospitality performance from the bits and pieces that we saw and experienced. Only the experience within the swimming pool was a bit of a problem.
Often we notice that companies treat us, who just visit their facilities and don’t spend money for an overnight stay very differently to their normal clients. We can understand this in a way but organisations should not only give their best to paying customers because every visitor could be a prospective customer and so the same high standards of service should be given to everyone.
3. SWOT analysis
3.1 Confrontation matrix
| External | Opportunities | Threats |
Internal | Center Parcs‘De Eemhof’SWOT – confrontation matrix | O1 +50 generationO2 healthy livingO3 wish for sustainabilityO4 more short trips O5 higher flight taxes | T1 lower birth-ratesT2 climat changeT3 economic crisisT4 growing competitors |
Strengths | S1 high quality foodS2 close to AmsterdamS3 natural surroundingS4 reachable by carS5 wide range of activities | + + + O OO O O + O+ + + + O O O + + + + + O O O | O O O O O O + + O O O + O O + + O O O + |
Weaknesses | W1 expensiveW2 weather dependentW3 maintenance costsW4 only partly sustainable | O – – – OO O O – OO O – O OO O – O O | O O – -O – O -O – – OO O O – |
Positive (+), no match (O) & negative (-) influence on ‘De Eemhof’
3.2 Strengths – Opportunities
S1 high quality food – O1 50+ generation:
The older generation sets value and spend more money for health and food with high quality.
S1 high quality food – O2 healthy living:
People who think that a healthy life style is important also set value on high quality food because it is considered to contain lots of vitamins.
S2 close to Amsterdam – O4: more short trips
Especially for the inhabitants of Amsterdam and those people that want to visit Amsterdam the Center Parcs in ‘De Eemhof’ is a good possibility for short trips.
S3 Natural surroundings – O1 50+ Generation
Especially elderly people like to spend their leisure time in the nature, therefore it’s an advantage for Center Parcs to have their parks in natural surroundings.
S3 Natural surroundings – O2 Healthy living
Spending time in nature belongs to a healthy life style as fresh air and outsides activities can provide new energy. Therefore Center Parcs satisfies the request of a healthy lifestyle as the parks are located in natural surroundings.
S3 Natural surroundings – O4 More short trips
As people are going on more short trips, natural surroundings are very appealing to them because they offer recreation in a short time.
S4 reachable by car – O4 More Short Trips
When people go on short trips it is often rather spontaneously than planned in advance and it also should be as easy as possible. If a destination is reachable by car it is often more attractive to people especially if only a short trip is planned.
S4 reachable by car – O5 Higher flight Taxes
As flights are more expensive due to the rise of flight taxes it is a big advantage for Center Parcs to be reachable by car.
S5 wide range of activities – O1 50+ Generation
Center Parcs focus on families as their main target group but as they have different facilities and activities it covers the satisfaction of the 50+ generation as well.
S5 wide range of activities – O2 Healthy Living
People spend more time doing sports since the awareness of a healthy lifestyle is higher. Therefore it is important for parks like Center Parcs to offer a wide range of activities.
3.3 Strengths – Threats
S3 natural surroundings – T2 climate change
We all know that a climate change is taking place but what we don’t know is how long our nature will stay the way we know it. Therefore it is important for many people to spend the time left in a natural area.
S3 natural surroundings – T4 growing competitors
Since the population in cities is growing holiday destinations in natural surroundings are getting more popular. Therefore Center Parcs has got a big advantage over their competitors.
S4 reachable by car – T3 economic crises
Since people think twice about spending their money in the economic crisis, destinations which are reachable by car are more attractive as farther destinations where a plane ticket is necessary so that higher costs are included.
S4 reachable by car – T4 growing competitors
Destinations which are reachable by car will always have an advantage over those which aren’t. Especially since there is a growing competition for Center Parcs the fact that people can get there easily by car is a big plus point.
S5 wide range of activities –T4 growing competitors
Since there is a growing competition it is important to offer a wide range of activities and facilities which is exactly what Center Parcs offers and therefore a advantage in comparison to their competitors.
3.4 Weaknesses – Opportunities.
W1 expensive – O3 wish for sustainability:
It is expensive for an organization to be/get sustainable. It means a lot of investment cost that can cause a higher price for Center Parcs customers.
W1 expensive – 04 more short trips:
Nowadays travelers prefer to do short trips a couple of times in the year and don’t want to invest just in one big trip. There short trips have to be as cheap as possible. In this case Center Parcs isn’t achievable for everyone.
W3 high maintenance cost – O3 wish for sustainability:
It was already said that the investments to get more sustainable are high. Also maintenance costs can be very expensive, if for instance new systems for water reuse need to be purchased and installed.
W4 only partly sustainable – O3 wish for sustainability:
Nowadays people have the wish for sustainability. Center Parcs tries to be sustainable but in some aspects they can’t be sustainable as for example they have to import plants for their Aqua Mundo.
3.5 Weaknesses – Threats
W1 Expensive – T3 Economic Crises:
As there is an economic crisis at the moment the big disadvantage for Center Parcs is that they have high prices because people are not willing to pay that much.
W1 Expensive – T4 Growing competitors:
Besides Center Parcs there are other holiday parks which have lower prices so that Center Parcs could lose potential customers.
W2 Weather dependent– T2 Climate Change:
De Eemhof is a Center Parc which is extremely weather dependent in comparison to other Center Parc parks. Since the climate change gets worse and worse the weather is kind of unpredictable.
W2 Weather dependent – T4 Growing competitors:
Other holiday parks might not be that weather dependent and have an advantage here.
W3 High maintenance costs – T2 Climate Change:
The climate change has caused many storms in the last few years. Often buildings and outdoor facilities get destroyed by a storm which would mean that a lot has to be repaired.
W3 High maintenance costs – T3 Economic crises:
It could be that similar parks do not have such high maintenance costs as Center Parcs does so that they would have an advantage for their pricing again.
W4 Only partly sustainable – T4 Growing competitors:
Center Parcs says that they are sustainable but they have tropical plants in their swimming pool. We do not consider this as being sustainable so we would call them only partly sustainable. Competitors might stick better to the principles of sustainability which could be more appealing to many guests.
4. Change management
While looking at our SWOT matrix you can see that sustainability has the most matches.
Therefore we are going to focus in that aspect and how it can be developed.
What first comes into people’s minds when thinking about Center Parcs is the tropical plants and the design of the Market Dome and the Aqua Mundo. As sustainability is getting more and more important it is clearly not a good promotion for Center Parcs as importing tropical plants isn’t sustainable at all.
If you take a closer look at Center Parcs you can actually see that they already focus on sustainability a lot. After doing a bit of research on Center Parcs homepage we could find quite a few sustainable aspects as well as future plans to improve sustainability.
One of the sustainable aspects is that 90% of the parks consist of forests and water and support the biological diversity which means to adopt protected animals for instance.
Furthermore if there are upcoming plans of new buildings it will get proved if it has any consequences for the environment. Center Parcs is very strict about these regulations.
Center Parcs also got the ISO14001 certificate. This certificate “exists to help organizations (a) minimize how their operations (processes etc.) negatively affects the environment (i.e. cause adverse changes to air, water, or land); (b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, and (c) continually improve in the above.” (wikipedia’ISO14001’)
Moreover ‘Center Parks’ has got plans to get even more sustainable which include the purchase of more energy efficient equipment like refrigerators and dishwashers as well as decreasing the amount of energy use at all. Furthermore they want to reduce the use of water as well as of the chlorine in the water.
When thinking about the ‘SOLL situation’ Center Parcs does already have a lot of plans how to get even more sustainable and more conscious of our environment. But there is always more to improve for instance the waste management.
As observed during our one day visit at Center Parcs, there were no garbage bins provided to be able to separate waste. So we would advise them to be more aware of it as this is an important factor concerning sustainability. Center Parcs should put up new garbage bins to give guests and staff the possibility to separate their waste. Also it is necessary to inform the staff to pay closer attention to waste management. Moreover it would be a good idea to put up signs in the cottages as well as in the public areas to make guests aware of the importance of separating their trash.
Sustainability does not only focus on the natural environment but also concerns social aspects. The local community should be involved and therefore Center Parcs would enable them to make profit. In other words local products should be used instead of buying from abroad.
Additionally there are more certificates that prove sustainable actions. For example the recently developed ISO14006 certificate which provides instructional guidance on incorporating ecodesign. Center Parcs should aim for more of these kind of certificates in order to show officially their ambition towards the protection of the environment.
As already mentioned Center Parcs imports tropical plants to their parks which is why people think that they don’t really care about the environment. The Aqua Mundo and Market Dome with their tropical design is the reason why so many people come to visit Center Parcs. Since this is the main concept it is impossible to be changed.
Therefore Center Parcs need to work with the option of promotion to change the image of Center Parcs in people’s minds and emphasize the parts in which sustainability is achieved.
According to the webpage ‘http://www.centerparcs.com/’ Center Parcs is one of the leading sustainable ‘Large Scale Tourism Destinations’ on the market and people should know that.
To get from the ‘IST-‘ to the ‘SOLL-situation’ the strategy needs to be somehow changed and the management would have to decide to what extent. Therefore the decision to take the lack of promotion concerning the sustainability as our focus point was based on the fact that Center Parcs already is one of the leading sustainable companies. In the following the actions that need to be taken are going to be described based on the theory of Lewin.
According to Lewin, “changes cannot take place from the one day to the next change is gradual with uncertainties of one kind or another at every turn.” (Marcus and van Dam, 2007)
Starting with the first phase ‘unfreezing’ the staff needs to be informed about the changes that will be taken. This should be implemented through the yearly big meeting in which every employee is involved. As it doesn’t have any major changes for the service staff it would be enough to just give a brief description of the change. Also Center Parcs could provide additional information on their intranet to give the employees the chance to reread it.
Since this is a big step for Center Parcs itself the employees need to understand the importance of this subject. In other words promoting sustainability means that everyone should know what it means and act accordingly.
The change concentrates rather on the management level and therefore has no direct consequences for the service staff. This is why in the second phase ‘moving’ the service staff is not involved. Though the house keeping is the only department affected as they have to be more careful in how they carry out their job concerning waste management.
As already mentioned there are no changes for the service staff and so the third phase which describes the stabilization of the new habits can’t take place. Nevertheless the management needs to keep on reminding the staff of their new strategy which can be done during the shift kick offs. Also they could ask the employees for feedback on how they experience the new concept.
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Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument
Instructions for completing the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI).
The purpose of the OCAI is to assess six key dimensions of organizational culture. In completing the instrument, you will be providing a picture of how your organization operates and the values that characterize it. No right or wrong answers exist for these questions, just as there is no right or wrong culture. Every organization will most likely produce a different set of responses. Therefore, be as accurate as you can in responding to the questions so that your resulting cultural diagnosis will be as precise as possible.
You are asked to rate your organization in the questions. To determine which organization to rate, you will want to consider the organization that is managed by your boss, the strategic business unit to which you belong, or the organizational unit in which you are a member that has clearly identifiable boundaries. Because the instrument is most helpful for determining ways to change the culture, you’ll want to focus on the cultural unit that is the target for change. Therefore, as you answer the questions, keep in mind the organization that can be affected by the change strategy you develop.
The OCAI consists of six questions. Each question has four alternatives. Divide 100 points among these four alternatives depending on the extent to which each alternative is similar to your own organization. Give a higher number of points to the alternative that is most similar to your organization. For example, in question one, if you think alternative A is very similar to your organization, alternative B and C are somewhat similar, and alternative D is hardly similar at all, you might give 55 points to A, 20 points to B and C, and five points to D. Just be sure your total equals 100 points for each question.
Note, that the first pass through the six questions is labeled “Now”. This refers to the culture, as it exists today. After you complete the “Now”, you will find the questions repeated under a heading of “Preferred”. Your answers to these questions should be based on how you would like the organization to look five years from now.
The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument
1. Dominant Characteristics | Now | Preferred |
A | The organization is a very personal place. It is like an extended family. People seem to share a lot of themselves. | 50 | |
B | The organization is a very dynamic entrepreneurial place. People are willing to stick their necks out and take risks. | 5 | |
C | The organization is very results oriented. A major concern is with getting the job done. People are very competitive and achievement oriented. | 5 | |
D | The organization is a very controlled and structured place. Formal procedures generally govern what people do. | 40 | |
| Total | 100 | |
2. Organizational Leadership | Now | Preferred |
A | The leadership in the organization is generally considered to exemplify mentoring, facilitating, or nurturing. | 50 | |
B | The leadership in the organization is generally considered to exemplify entrepreneurship, innovating, or risk taking. | 0 | |
C | The leadership in the organization is generally considered to exemplify a no-nonsense, aggressive, results-oriented focus. | 0 | |
D | The leadership in the organization is generally considered to exemplify coordinating, organizing, or smooth-running efficiency. | 50 | |
| Total | 100 | |
3. Management of Employees | Now | Preferred |
A | The management style in the organization is characterized by teamwork, consensus, and participation. | 50 | |
B | The management style in the organization is characterized by individual risk-taking, innovation, freedom, and uniqueness. | 0 | |
C | The management style in the organization is characterized by hard-driving competitiveness, high demands, and achievement. | 15 | |
D | The management style in the organization is characterized by security of employment, conformity, predictability, and stability in relationships. | 35 | |
| Total | 100 | |
4. Organization Glue | Now | Preferred |
A | The glue that holds the organization together is loyalty and mutual trust. Commitment to this organization runs high. | 55 | |
B | The glue that holds the organization together is commitment to innovation and development. There is an emphasis on being on the cutting edge. | 5 | |
C | The glue that holds the organization together is the emphasis on achievement and goal accomplishment. Aggressiveness and winning are common themes. | 5 | |
D | The glue that holds the organization together is formal rules and policies. Maintaining a smooth-running organization is important. | 35 | |
| Total | 100 | |
5. Strategic Emphases | Now | Preferred |
A | The organization emphasizes human development. High trust, openness, and participation persist. | 45 | |
B | The organization emphasizes acquiring new resources and creating new challenges. Trying new things and prospecting for opportunities are valued. | 10 | |
C | The organization emphasizes competitive actions and achievement. Hitting stretch targets and winning in the marketplace are dominant. | 15 | |
D | The organization emphasizes permanence and stability. Efficiency, control and smooth operations are important. | 30 | |
| Total | 100 | |
6. Criteria of Success | Now | Preferred |
A | The organization defines success on the basis of the development of human resources, teamwork, employee commitment, and concern for people. | 50 | |
B | The organization defines success on the basis of having the most unique or newest products. It is a product leader and innovator. | 25 | |
C | The organization defines success on the basis of winning in the marketplace and outpacing the competition. Competitive market leadership is key. | 20 | |
D | The organization defines success on the basis of efficiency. Dependable delivery, smooth scheduling and low-cost production are critical. | 5 | |
| Total | 100 | |
A Worksheet for Scoring the OCAI
50 | 1A | 5 | 1B |
50 | 2A | 0 | 2B |
50 | 3A | 0 | 3B |
55 | 4A | 5 | 4B |
45 | 5A | 10 | 5B |
50 | 6A | 25 | 6B |
300 | Sum (total of A responses) | 40 | Sum (total of B responses) |
50 | Average (sum divided by 6) | 7,5 | Average (sum divided by 6) |
5 | 1C | 40 | 1D |
0 | 2C | 50 | 2D |
15 | 3C | 35 | 3D |
5 | 4C | 35 | 4D |
15 | 5C | 30 | 5D |
20 | 6C | 5 | 6D |
60 | Sum (total of C responses) | 195 | Sum (total of D responses) |
10 | Average (sum divided by 6) | 32.5 | Average (sum divided by 6) |
| 1A | | 1B |
| 2A | | 2B |
| 3A | | 3B |
| 4A | | 4B |
| 5A | | 5B |
| 6A | | 6B |
| Sum (total of A responses) | | Sum (total of B responses) |
| Average (sum divided by 6) | | Average (sum divided by 6) |
| 1C | | 1D |
| 2C | | 2D |
| 3C | | 3D |
| 4C | | 4D |
| 5C | | 5D |
| 6C | | 6D |
| Sum (total of C responses) | | Sum (total of D responses) |
| Average (sum divided by 6) | | Average (sum divided by 6) |
Scoring the OCAI is very easy. It requires simple arithmetic calculations. The first step is to add together all A responses in the Now column and divide by six. That is, compute an average score for the A alternatives in the Now column. You may use the worksheet on the next page to arrive at these averages. Do this for all of the questions, A, B, C, and D. Once you have done this, transfer your answers to this page in the boxes provided below.
Fill in your answers here from the previous page
NOW | | PREFERRED |
A (Clan) | 50 | | A (Clan) | |
B (Adhocracy) | 7.5 | | B (Adhocracy) | |
C (Market) | 10 | | C (Market) | |
D (Hierarchy) | 32.5 | | D (Hierarchy) | |
Total | 100 | | Total | |
An Example of How Culture Ratings Might Appear
NOW | | PREFERRED |
A | 55 | | A | 35 |
B | 20 | | B | 30 |
C | 20 | | C | 25 |
D | 5 | | D | 10 |
Total | 100 | | Total | 100 |