Voice of the Scout Results Are In!

The fall 2012 executive summary and the fall 2012 highlights infographic are now available online. (Go to www.scouting.org/jte and scroll to the Voice of the Scout section, then click the link for Findings and Analysis.)

One Response to Voice of the Scout Results Are In!

  1. Ron Morris says:

    I would caution against reading too much into the findings in this report:

    1) The methodology used introduces considerable bias. For one, the survey was only conducted by email which weights results more heavily to the opinions of women and college graduates among others. In addition, the quality of the email list varies considerably by council and a multitude of other factors

    2) The companies given as benchmarks are completely inappropriate – the Fall 2011 Executive Briefing makes it clear that there are no benchmarks for this tool in the non-profit sector and that BSA is “on the cutting edge with the adoption of” this approach. Comparing BSA numbers with those of Costco is ridiculous at best given the differences in the emotional and intellectual complexities of the service consumption relationships.

    3) The report is designed primarily to sell the services of the survey company and their packaged methodology. In reality, the more complex the relationship, the harder it is to map the factors that influence whether or not the organization is meeting its goals. In this case, the research company wants to persuade the reader that its trademarked methodology is a simple way to measure success in order to establish their measure as the de facto standard for the non-profit industry. As a result of this bias, many of the weaknesses in the methodology are minimized or completely ignored.

    4) One comment in the report addresses the ratio of negative to positive comments on the membership policy. This comment borders on professional incompetence. When an open-ended call for comments is included in a survey shortly after a decision is made regarding a very emotional topic, the negative comments can be expected to be significantly greater. For those who agree with the decision, there is very little emotional incentive for positive comments and even a social stigma against gloating. On the other hand, those who feel they have lost get at least some satisfaction from expressing their outrage.

    While I would not say the report is without all value, I do believe it has caused more problems than it has solved. One of the biggest worries I have is that the management of BSA is using this research to drive their strategic decision making process.

    A note on my background: Professionally, I research and advise organizations on demographics, social dynamics and customer/constituent relationship development with a special emphasis on adolescent development, interests and career choice. I hold an MBA in marketing and a MA in Secondary Education – Teaching and Learning with 25+ years of experience in these fields.

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