Does the Latest German Anti-Smoking Law Affect the Restaurant Behaviour of the Berlin People?

Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Telephone Survey

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2008

61 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Theoretical Framework
2.1 Telephone Survey as Part of the Primary Research
2.2 Characteristics of Telephone Interviews
2.3 Design Phase of Telephone Interviews
2.4 Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI).

3 Case Study “Telephone Survey”: Research Process
3.1 Problem Definition
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Sampling
3.4 Gathering the Data
3.5 Analysing the Data
3.6 Conclusion

4 Résumé
4.1 Sources of Errors
4.2 The Authors’ Survey Experiences

Appendix 1 Questionnaire Form German/English

Appendix 2 Sample

Appendix 3 Telephone Directory Compact Disc

Appendix 4 Questionnaire Results – Data Base

Appendix 5 Questionnaire Results – Cross Tables

Appendix 6 Integral Total Management (ITM) Checklist


Declaration In Lieu of Oath

List of Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of Figures

Figure 1: Primary Research and Placement of Telephone Surveys

Figure 2: Berlin Districts

Figure 3: Area Codes of the 12 Berlin Districts

Figure 4: Area Codes of the 12 Berlin Districts without more than one allocation possibility

Figure 5: Randomly Selected Area Codes

Figure 6: Example District Mitte: Randomly Selected Telephone Numbers .

Figure 7: Duration of the Single Telephone Interviews.

Figure 8: Results of Question 1 and 2

Figure 9: Results of Questions 3 to 7

Figure 10: Results of Question 8

Figure 11: Results of Questions 9 to 11

Figure 12: Result of Question 13

Figure 13: Results of Question 12

Figure 14: Classification of Smoker/Non-smoker with regard to Question 2

Figure 15: Classification of Age with regard to Question 2

Figure 16: Classification of Smoker/Non-smoker with regard to Question 5

Figure 17: Classification of Female/Male with regard to Question 5

Figure 18: Classification of Age with regard to Question 5

Figure 19: Classification of Smoker/Non-smoker with regard to Question 7

Figure 20: Questionnaire Form German/English

Figure 21: Telephone Numbers of Sample

Figure 22: Telephone Directory

Figure 23: Data Basis of Telephone Survey

Figure 24: Cross Tables

1 Introduction

On the 1stof January 2008, the latest anti-smoking law was introduced in eight1 German states – and Berlin was one of them. Lower Saxony, Baden- Württemberg and Hessen have introduced this law already in 2007 whereas the remaining five states2 will follow over this year. By restricting indoor- smoking in public buildings, workplaces and in all restaurants and bars, the German government aims not only to protect non-smokers against the harmful effects of passive smoking but also to help smokers to give up. But from the economic point of view, especially the German restaurant industry complains that many businesses now witness lower profits and especially restaurants that are not in a position to have a separate smokers section are particularly hard hit.

As a result, the latest smoking ban is still a heavily discussed topic, not only among German smokers but also among the whole German population. To get an impression whether this smoking ban really affects the restaurant behaviour, the authors of this assignment conducted a telephone survey among Berlin citizens. And the results are someway surprising.

Chapter two clarifies the theoretical framework of developing and conducting telephone surveys by stating guidelines that have to be followed, describing the telephone survey process and mentioning general advantages and disadvantages of this primary research method.

The main part of this assignment – chapter three – spotlights the whole research process on the basis of a practical example. Here, the telephone survey about the impact of the German anti-smoking law on the restaurant behaviour of the Berlin people is developed, conducted and evaluated.

Finally, based on the own experiences of the authors, chapter four includes some errors that may occur within a telephone survey and adds experiences the researchers have made with the telephone survey method.

2 Theoretical Framework

2.1 Telephone Survey as Part of the Primary Research

Telephone surveys are part of the primary or field research that conducts original data for one information problem3. In contrast to the secondary or desk research, already existing results of information are not consulted from other parties.4 For the first time, data is gathered on the ground of interest.5 The primary research is classified into quantitative and qualitative research and their corresponding methods.6 Quantitative methods deal with objective data that can be numerically conducted and describe objective facts, e.g. market volume or market share.7 The approach of quantitative research “has been the dominant strategy for conducting business research, although its influence has waned slightly since the mid-1980s, when qualitative research became more influential. However, quantitative research continues to exert a powerful influence in many quarters.”8 Qualitative methods aim to reveal motives, attitudes and expectations to explain past behaviour of people and to derive future trends.9 Figure 1 presents an overview about different methods of the primary research and the placement of telephone surveys within:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Primary Research and Placement of Telephone Surveys Source: See Kux (2008), p. 17.

The telephone interview is an applied research. It provides answers to specific problems to make better decisions about a particular course of action by learning the reasons for a particular business activity.10 It determines the nature of a situation by describing characteristics of a population or a phenomenon that is partially defined.11 Characteristics of a particular group are uncovered to measure attitudes and to describe behavioural patterns that point to problems and opportunities.12 Most surveys have multiple objectives and gather many factual information, e.g. demographic information combined with feelings to a specific issue to determine whether for example certain age groups have different feelings.13

A survey, “[…] is defined as a method of gathering primary data based on communication with a representative sample of individuals.”14 With accordance to the communication medium, a telephone interview is the contact to “respondents by telephone to gather responses to survey questions.”15

Today, similar to the USA, telephone surveys play an important role in German business and market research because density of telephone extensions has been increased and charges have been decreased since 1990. The sample16 validity has become more representative and cost efficiency has risen whereby the number of executed telephone interviews expanded from 22% in 1990 to 43% in 2002.17

Most of the telephone interviews are highly structured because they promote standardisation of asking questions, recording answers, safeguarding of aggregating replies and reducing the main error due to interviewer variability. The aim is that all respondents receive exactly the same interview stimulus. Therefore, the interviewers have to read out questions exactly and in the same order as visualised in the interview schedule.

2.2 Characteristics of Telephone Interviews

Telephone interviews are characterised by using a telephone as communication tool to gather responses to survey questions. There are different ways to conduct a telephone survey, the three most common ones are:

- Central Location Interviewing
- Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI)
- Computerised, Voice-Activated Telephone Interviews

Central Location Interviewing means to conduct telephone interviews from a central location.18 This way of conducting telephone interviews is a very cost- effective one as so called Wide-Area Telecommunications Service lines with long-distance telephone services at fixed rates are often provided throughout the entire country or within a specific geographic area.19 If the telephone interview is computerised, the cost-effectiveness further increases. A second advantage is the effective supervision and control of the quality of interviewing by hiring staffs of professional interviewers.

Due to advances in computer technology, the Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) that allows all responses to telephone interviews being entered directly into a computer becomes increasingly important and is therefore described more in detail in chapter 2.4.

Computerised, Voice-Activated Telephone Interviews are a form of computer- assisted interviewing in which a voice-synthesised module records a respondent’s single-word response in a computer file.20 Main characteristic is the lack of a human interviewer. Due to its nature, such a telephone interview only works with short and simple questionnaires. The main advantage is the cost- and time effectiveness.

The same with every research method, conducting telephone interviews has advantages as well as disadvantages. One major advantage is the high speed of data collection, especially in connection with a computerised system. In comparison to person interviews, conducting telephone interviews results in relatively low costs, mainly as travel time and cost are eliminated.21 Furthermore, callbacks are much easier and less expensive than personal interview callbacks. As nearly every household has a telephone today, almost all target groups are reachable. But when conducting telephone surveys, the differences in the optimal calling window have to be considered: Whereas for example private persons are best reachable in the evening hours, the optimal calling window for the retail branch is between 9:00am and 7:00pm, excluding breaks.22 Within their opening hours, doctors should never be contacted by telephone for survey purposes; the best way is to fix a calling date with the medical secretary.23 As the respondent does not see the mimic of the interviewer, the influence of the interviewer on the respondent is limited. In addition, there is often a less reluctance on sensitive topics than personal interviews.24

When deciding to conduct a telephone interview, the researcher must also be aware of the disadvantages in connection with this method: A main disadvantage is the limited length of the interview as the refusal to cooperate with interviews is directly related to the interview length.25 A maximum of 15 minutes seems to be a good rule, but always depending on the survey topic and survey situation.26 This limited time frame also reflects a limited quantity of question. As telephone interviews are more impersonal compared to personal interviews due to the absence of face-to-face contact there is a greater tendency for interviewers to record no answers and incomplete answers.27 Due to the increasing number of marketing and sales calls, there is a declining willingness to cooperate with telephone interviewing as the people have prejudices against the interviewer.28 And not only the declining willingness to cooperate but also the problem of unlisted telephone numbers and the use of call-screening devices to avoid unwanted calls lead to an increasing difficulty to establish contact with potential respondents.29 Finally telephone interviews only allow acoustic communication and cannot be supported by a visual medium. This is the reason why certain attitude scales and measuring instruments cannot be used easily because they require a graphic scale.30

To summarise, a telephone surveys is the best survey research method if

- the information is needed quickly and the budget is not large
- the assistance of an face-to-face interviewer is not necessary
- the researcher must have considerably control over question phrasing
- the study does not require a long and complex questionnaire

Finally it is important to know that the success of a telephone survey depends on the respondents’ degree of interest for the issues investigated and the professionalism of the interviewer. The knowledge of the telephone behaviour is essential and the researcher must be aware of global considerations: Latin American Business people for example do not open up to strangers on the telephone whereas in Japan, telephone interviews that last more than 20 minutes are a real no-go.31

2.3 Design Phase of Telephone Interviews

Questionnaire design is not a simple task. Relevance and accuracy are the two main basic criteria for all kind of surveys. The proper wording of relevant questions can contribute immensely to improving the accuracy of the telephone survey.32 And “a survey is only as good as the questions it asks.”33 When developing a telephone survey, the question of how the survey should be structured must be answered. To answer this main question, the design of a telephone survey requires the following four decisions:34

- Content of the questions (What should be asked?)
- Format of the questions (What kind of questions should be used?)
- Formulation of the questions (How should each question be arranged?)
- Running order of the questions (In what sequence should the questions be arranged?)

The content of the questions can be divided into the following four batteries of questions which have a fixed running order35:

1. Contact questions to allow an easy access for the respondents
2. Factual issues to solve the research task
3. Control questions to determine the value of the answers
4. Questions about the person to define socio-demographic figures

Deciding about the format of the questions means deciding about the degree of standardisation of the questionnaire. This degree is determined by the answers to the following questions:

- Is there a fixed formulation of the questions?
- Is there a fixed order of the questions?
- Is there a fixed number of questions?
- Is there a fixed number of answering possibilities?

If all four questions can be answered with “yes”, there is a total standardisation of the survey and the other way around.36 In general, telephone surveys provide a high degree of standardisation due to the relatively high number of respondents.

Deciding about the formulation of questions requires looking for formulations that are easy to understand by the respondents. The questions must be formulated clearly and unmistakably.37 The use of a simple, conversational language, the avoiding of complexity and leading and loaded questions is especially for telephone surveys very important as the respondent cannot read but only hear the questions.38

The definition of the final running order of the questions is very important as it creates the suspense curve. A well-designed suspense curve leads to a higher response rate due to the higher motivation of the respondents.39

In contrast to personal and online interviews, the layout of a telephone questionnaire is of reduced importance as the respondent does not see it. Nevertheless, a good structured telephone questionnaire helps the interviewer. Finally, the questionnaire should be pretested by a small number of potential respondents out of the preferred target group to ensure the handling of the survey.

When conducting a telephone interview, the following “rules” have to be considered: First of all, the interviewer must have knowledge about the objective of the survey, as well as of the rules of conduct and the questions. Furthermore, the telephone interview should be based on the following six steps to ensure the highest possible motivation of the respondent:40

- Opening / Introduction to give an overview about the context
- State the length of the interview to allow scheduling
- State the benefit for the respondent to motivate the respondent
- Explain the data handling (anonymous, which data are saved etc.)
- Realise an exciting survey structure to avoid boring, uninteresting or overstrained questions
- Give feedback opportunity to improve survey quality

A good questionnaire design and a well-prepared interview procedure are the key to obtaining good telephone survey results.41

2.4 Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI)

The Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) is a type of telephone interviewing. The interviewer is lead through the interview schedule by a computer program, i.e. the interviewer reads questions from a screen and enters the respondent’s answers directly into the computer. Only one question is displayed at a time with the possible responses. All respondents receive exactly the same interview stimulus as the interviewer is permitted to read only the text or question as it is shown on the screen. The respondents’ answers are automatically stored during data input. A CATI requires a highly structured interview schedule as unacceptable answers are rejected from the computer.42

CATI programmes also include labour-saving functions e.g. selecting and dialing telephone numbers automatically. It controls the sample selection by randomly generated names or numbers or fulfils a sample quota. CATI provides an automatic call-back scheduling like recontact-attempts and allows the interviewer to enter a time slot when a busy respondent indicates a more suitable time. It also supplies a daily status of completed interviews relative to quotas.43 The great advantage is that interviewers are supported in their administrative work – i.e. when filter questions are asked the next relevant question is displayed automatically and interviewers have not to be attentive to skip irrelevant questions.44 With the help of CATI, the questionnaire structure can be more complex without the confusion of interviewers as interviewers see only one question a time. Further advantages are:45

- Interview is less time consuming
- Lower costs of data processing and higher data quality as inconsistent answers are lower
- Reduction of interviewer error
- Better interview control

Disadvantages of a CATI telephone survey are:

- Costs for system construction and coding46
- Time consumption of system construction and coding
- Influence of interviewer on errors can not be reduced to zero
- Open questions are not applicable

3 Case Study “Telephone Survey”: Research Process

3.1 Problem Definition

In recent years there have been multiple government initiatives to reduce the negative impact of smoking: Tobacco tax increases, information campaigns, initiatives and support to quit smoking.47 The latest anti-smoking law of the German government signed as legislative initiative in September 2006 intends to protect individuals against the harmful effects of passive smoking by creating a smoking-free environment in public places, at the workplace and in all restaurants and bars that have no separate room for smokers. Typically for Germany, many of the 16 states have their own particular variations: Bavaria for example was introducing the strictest curbs, enforcing a ban in beer tents as well as pubs and restaurants - resulting in a smoke-free Oktoberfest in 2008.48

Public opinion seems to be in favour of some of the government initiatives, like raising the age limit and a smoking ban in hospitals, airports or train stations. However, the intended smoking ban in restaurants and bars causes much controversy. And whereas the German government sees this law as enormous step for the protection of non-smokers, especially the restaurant industry claims that the measures deter people from going out to drink or eat.49

The German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) – the leading German association for the hotel and restaurant industry - states that 15% of establishments that adopted a smoking ban in 2007 saw turnover fall by around 50%.50 At present, the DEHOGA supports a complaint of constitutionality of three restaurant owners in Baden-Württemberg where the smoking ban was already introduced in 2007.51 According to the DEHOGA, small restaurants that cannot provide a separate smoking room are the real losers of the smoking ban by suffering existential fear due to the considerable decrease of smoking customers.52

The DEHOGA is subdivided into 17 national associations and 3 trade associations. The Hotel and Restaurant Association Berlin (DEHOGA Berlin) is one of the 17 national associations supporting the hotel and restaurant industry in the capital of Germany. In Berlin, rebellious smokers have not had to fear any repercussions till June 2008. But up to now, smokers flouting the smoking ban are slammed with fines of up to €100, while the restaurant owners face far heavier fines of up €1,000. Now, the DEHOGA Berlin estimates that the Berlin restaurants will suffer the same losses and even existential fear due to the decline in (smoking) customers as examined in other states.

Thus, the following research was done on behalf of the DEHOGA Berlin. The general purpose was to determine whether the latest German smoking ban affects the restaurant behaviour of the Berlin citizens to see whether there is a need for action for the DEHOGA Berlin to support and protect its members from the restaurant industry. A careful review of the question areas led to the development of the following specific research objectives:

1. To evaluate the attitude of the Berlin people towards the anti-smoking law with special regard to the prohibition of indoor-smoking in restaurants.
2. To identify a tendency in the development of the restaurant behaviour of the Berlin people to get an overview about the economic development of the restaurant industry in Berlin.
3. To determine whether the majority of the Berlin people would support a complaint of constitutionality by the DEHOGA Berlin in favour of the one-room restaurants.

Based on these specific research objectives, the following chapter details the methodology of the research and the procedures that were utilised at each stage of the research process.

3.2 Research Design

In accordance to the underlying task of this assignment – development of a telephone questionnaire and execution of 12 to 16 telephone interviews – the telephone survey as research method is the basis research design. Thus, each respondent should be interviewed by telephone. Especially with regard to the very short time frame, the telephone survey seems to be a very suitable research method as the respondents could be contacted very fast and easy and the responses could be generated really immediately.

This telephone survey is an ad hoc survey as it is was not planned for repetition, this means each respondent is surveyed about the specific topic only one time and not several times within a fixed timeframe. With regard to the survey objective – to find out whether the latest German anti-smoking law affects the restaurant behaviour of the Berlin people – the survey deals with only one topic.

Concerning the length of the telephone interview, the overall objective was to realise an interview within a maximum of five minutes to receive a high response rate as there is a general dependence between length of the interview and responses gained. Thus, the number of questions should not exceed 15.

With regard to the theory stated in chapter 2.3, the following four decision where made with regard to the survey design:

What should be asked? The survey should assess the respondent’s attitude to the anti-smoking law and to smoking in restaurants. Furthermore, the survey should reveal whether there is a change in the respondent’s number of restaurant visits a month and/or a change in the length of his or her stay in restaurants. The survey should also ask whether the respondent avoids restaurants offering no indoor smoking possibility. In addition, it should be asked for the respondent’s attitude to an easing of the smoking ban in restaurants. At the end of the survey, a question about the age of the respondents by similarly noting the gender seemed to be necessary for a socio-demographic classification. As a result, the survey should be a mixture of behavioural, attitudinal and classification questionnaire.

What kind of questions should be used? Due to the limited length of telephone interviews, the researchers decided to only use closed questions that offer no more than four answering possibilities. This should also ensure that the respondent feels more comfortable in answering the questions and that he or she does not get lost during the interview because of an overwhelming or overloading of information. Especially with regard to the fact that in case of telephone interviews the respondent has not the possibility to read the question himself, the researchers believed that closed questions are the best question type for their survey.

How should each question be arranged? The questions should be arranged in a short and simple way to ensure an easy understanding for all kind of respondents and to gain a better response rate. Long questions and so called nested sentences should be avoided.

In what sequence should the questions be arranged? According to the content of the questions and the theoretical fundamentals stated in chapter 2.3, the researchers arrange the running order of the telephone questionnaire as follows:

1. Contact questions
2. Factual issues
3. Control questions
4. Questions about the person

Due to the sample area of the survey – Berlin in Germany – the interview was of course conducted in German. Therefore, the German questionnaire is also attached to this assignment (appendix 1). As a result, the researchers developed a telephone questionnaire containing the following 12 questions:

Question 1: Do you smoke?

The first question – a yes/no question - could be seen as a kind of ‘icebreaker question’ to prepare the respondent in an easy way for the factual questions. Furthermore, this question allows separating the answers of smoking peoplefrom those one who do not smoke to see the differences in attitudes and behaviours.


1 Berlin, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein.

2 Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia.

3 See Weis et al. (2005), p. 67.

4 See Berekhofen et al. (1989), p. 46.

5 Ibid.

6 See Weis et al. (2005), p. 30.

7 Ibid.

8 Bryman (2007), p. 154.

9 See Weis et al. (2005), p. 30.

10 Zikmund (2003), p. 7.

11 See Zikmund (2003), p. 58.

12 Ibid., p. 55.

13 Ibid., p. 175.

14 Zikmund (2003), p. 175.

15 Ibid., p.207.

16 A sample is a representative group of people out of a population who are surveyed.

17 See Weis et al. (2005), p. 114.

18 See Zikmund (2003), p. 207.

19 Ibid.

20 Ibid., p. 211.

21 See Zikmund (2003), p. 208.

22 See Dannenberg et al. (2004), p. 221.

23 Ibid.

24 See Zikmund (2003), p. 208.

25 Ibid., p. 211.

26 See Weis et al. (2005), p. 114.

27 See Zikmund (2003), p. 208.

28 Ibid.

29 See Zikmund (2003), p. 209.

30 Ibid., p. 211.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid., p. 329.

33 Zikmund (2003), p. 330.

34 See Dannenberg et al. (2004), p. 203.

35 Ibid., p. 204.

36 Ibid., p. 203.

37 See Dannenberg et al. (2004), p. 205.

38 See Zikmund (2003), p. 336.

39 See Dannenberg et al. (2004), p. 205.

40 Ibid., p. 262.

41 See Zikmund (2003), p. 361.

42 Ibid., p. 207-208.

43 Ibid.

44 See Bryman (2007), p. 216.

45 See Weis et al. (2005), pp. 115-116.

46 Ibid.

47 See, 11.06.2008.

48 See, 05.06.2008.

49 See, 09.06.2008.

50 Ibid.

51 See, 20.05.2008.

52 See, 20.05.2008.

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Does the Latest German Anti-Smoking Law Affect the Restaurant Behaviour of the Berlin People?
Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Telephone Survey
University of Applied Sciences Berlin
Research Methods
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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This paper contains a total of 24 figures and a detailed analysis of the telephone survey. Furthermore, an Integral Total Management Checklist is provided giving a 360-degree feedback to the topic under all management aspects.
Latest, German, Anti-Smoking, Affect, Restaurant, Behaviour, Berlin, People, Research, Methods
Quote paper
Nadine Pahl (Author)Anne Richter (Author), 2008, Does the Latest German Anti-Smoking Law Affect the Restaurant Behaviour of the Berlin People?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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