Summary 4.5 Questionnaires (Saunders et al 11.1-11.4)

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Summary - 4.5 Questionnaires (Saunders et al 11.1-11.4)

  • 1 4.5 Questionnaires (Saunders et al 11.1-11.4)

  • What do we mean with "Questionnaire"?
    A general term to include all methods of data collection in which each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions in a predetermined order.
    Includes interviews, telephone questionnaires, on line questionnaires,...

    Most widely used in the survey strategy.
    The design of a questionnaire will affect the response rate & reliability & validity of the data. This can be maximized by:
    • careful design of individual questions
    • clear an pleasing layout of questionnaires
    • lucid explanation of the purpose
    • pilot testing
    • carefully planed and executed delivery/return of completed Q.
  • When to use the Questionnaires?
    Q are usually not particularly good for exploratory or research that requires large numbers of open-ended questions.
    Q works best with standardized questions that will be interpreted the same way by all respondents. Questionnaires tend to be used for:

    1. Descriptive research (using attitude & opinion questionnaires and organisational practice questionnaires to identify and describe the variability in different phenomena)
    2. Explanatory (analytical) research (examine and explain relationship between variables, cause-effect relationships)
  • Types of questionnaires?
    • Self completed

    • Interviewer completed
  • The choice of questionnaire?
    Will be influenced in relationship with your research question and objective, in particular:
    1. Characteristics of the respondents
    2. importance of reaching a particular person as respondent
    3. importance of respondents' answers aren't contaminated or distorted
    4. size of sampling (likely response rate!!)
    5. type of question to collect your data
    6. number of questions you need to ask to collect your data

    Your choice will also be affected by the resources:
    1. Time available to complete the data collection (can be overcome by using cluster sampling !)
    2. financial implications of data collection and entry (CAPI (=computer aided personal interviewing) or CATI (=computer aided telephone interviewing))
    3. availability of interviewers and field workers to assist
    4. use of automated data entry
  • Deciding what data need to be collected?
    Explanatory research requires data to test a theory or theories. This means that  you need to define the theories you wish to test as relationship between variables prior to designing your questionnaire.

    Research design requirements is essential because you only get one chance to collect the data.
    It's therefore important to address your objectives and:
    1. reviewed the literature
    2. discussed your ideas with colleagues, project tutor,...

    You need to be clear about which relationships you think (are likely) to exist between variables:
    1. dependent variable (changes in response to changes in other variable)
    2. independent variable (causes changes in a dependent variable)
    3. mediating variable (transmits the effect of an independent to a dependent variable)
    4. moderating variable (effects the relationship between an independent & dependent variable)
  • Types of data variable?
    Three types of data variable that can be collected through questionnaires:

    1. Opinion (record how respondents feel/think of something or believe is true or false)
    2. Behavior (contain data on what respondents did in the past, do now of will do in the future)
    3. Attribute (contain data about the respondents characteristics. Things a respondents possesses rather than he does (f.e. age, gender,marital status, education,occupation & income)
  • Question Coding
    Analysing your data means that question responses will need to be coded prior to entry.
    • numerical responses: actual numbers can be used
    • non-numerical: design a coding scheme and incorporate it into the questionnaire.
              Thereby pre-coding the questions
  • Constructing the questionnaire, order & lay-out?
    To assist the flow of the questions, it may be necessary to include filter questions (these identify to whom the next question are applicable, so they can skip of fill).

    The layout should be designed to make reading questions and filling in responses easy. The best way of obtaining valid responses to questions is to keep both the visual appearance of the questionnaire and the wording of each question simple.

    A length between 4 & 8 pages (A4) has been acceptable and telephone questionnaires to max half an hour cause few problems.

    note: You can reduce lenght without reducing legibility by using matrix questions
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Example questions in this summary

What do we mean with "Questionnaire"?
When to use the Questionnaires?
The choice of questionnaire?
Types of questionnaires?
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