A study of a commercial fitness centre during its first three years of providing a client service : stakeholder perspectives on the characteristics, developments and changes : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies in Management, Massey University
Physical exercise and leisure is an integral part of New Zealand society. The scale of the fitness centre industry today and its continual growth has been influenced by an increase in public participation over the past 100 years. With an increase in demand for greater access and availability of leisure and fitness activities, the progressive development of commercial and non-profit fitness centres has occurred. The objective of this study was to examine the characteristics, developments and changes within a fitness centre in its establishment phase of providing a client service. The underlying assumption of the research was to assist the fitness centre industry, as there was concern about the significant number of fitness centres in the Auckland region that closed within five years of establishing their operation. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative research methodology was used to access the fullest range of relevant data within one particular fitness centre. The mixed methodology consisted of interviews and questionnaires in order to elicit stakeholder perceptions. The data was progressively subjected to the process of grounded theory, which formulated significant categories and properties of the characteristics, developments and changes of a fitness centre. This in turn generated a comprehensive set of theoretical propositions. The theoretical propositions became the basis for a model on organisation development and the impact of change. In this setting the model illustrates that the operational effectiveness of the fitness centre is dependent on the planned developments and consequential changes that occur. The model is also seen as relevant to other service organisations besides the fitness centre industry.