Indirect observational methodology in managing sports services

Verónica Morales-Sánchez, M. Teresa Anguera, Rocío Pérez-López


Researchers are paying increasing attention to users as a key component in service management. However, very few studies have sought to examine the quality of sports services for children. This is perhaps surprising when one considers that physical activity is engaged in more by children than by any other social group, not to mention the importance of developing and consolidating children’s interest in sport so as to help promote healthy lifestyles. With this in mind the present study uses indirect observation as a means of assessing the quality of municipal sports services for children. In recent years the indirect observational approach has made a notable contribution to the development of research methodologies. Indeed, it has been shown that valid, reliable information can be extracted from documents of various kinds. However, in order to ensure that such information is of high value, these documents need to be prepared in such a way that systematic analyses are possible. This study focuses on the quality of sports services for children and compares the views of children (8-12 years old) with those of parents and of the staff of municipal sports facilities. The aim was to gather information that could help improve such services and tailor them more to children’s needs. The information was gathered by means of in-depth interviews, the contents of which were then analysed using Atlas.ti software. The data presented here forms part of a broader research project.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Verónica Morales-Sánchez, M. Teresa Anguera, Rocío Pérez-López