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Survey response rate levels and trends in organizational research

Survey response rate levels and trends in organizational research
Survey response rate levels and trends in organizational research
This study examines the response rates for surveys used in organizational research. We analysed 1607 studies published in the years 2000 and 2005 in 17 refereed academic journals, and we identified 490 different studies that utilized surveys. We examined the response rates in these studies, which covered more than 100,000 organizations and 400,000 individual respondents. The average response rate for studies that utilized data collected from individuals was 52.7 percent with a standard deviation of 20.4, while the average response rate for studies that utilized data collected from organizations was 35.7 percent with a standard deviation of 18.8. Key insights from further analysis include relative stability in response rates in the past decade and higher response rates for journals published in the USA. The use of incentives was not found to be related to response rates and, for studies of organizations, the use of reminders was associated with lower response rates. Also, electronic data collection efforts (e.g. email, phone, web) resulted in response rates as high as or higher than traditional mail methodology. We discuss a number of implications and recommendations.
empirical studies, questionnaire, research methods, response rate, survey
0018-7267
1139-1160
Baruch, Yehuda
25b89777-def4-4958-afdc-0ceab43efe8a
Holtom, Brooks C.
94aa0e74-58a2-4093-a3d1-f89e4623b046
Baruch, Yehuda
25b89777-def4-4958-afdc-0ceab43efe8a
Holtom, Brooks C.
94aa0e74-58a2-4093-a3d1-f89e4623b046

Baruch, Yehuda and Holtom, Brooks C. (2008) Survey response rate levels and trends in organizational research. Human Relations, 61 (8), 1139-1160. (doi:10.1177/0018726708094863).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This study examines the response rates for surveys used in organizational research. We analysed 1607 studies published in the years 2000 and 2005 in 17 refereed academic journals, and we identified 490 different studies that utilized surveys. We examined the response rates in these studies, which covered more than 100,000 organizations and 400,000 individual respondents. The average response rate for studies that utilized data collected from individuals was 52.7 percent with a standard deviation of 20.4, while the average response rate for studies that utilized data collected from organizations was 35.7 percent with a standard deviation of 18.8. Key insights from further analysis include relative stability in response rates in the past decade and higher response rates for journals published in the USA. The use of incentives was not found to be related to response rates and, for studies of organizations, the use of reminders was associated with lower response rates. Also, electronic data collection efforts (e.g. email, phone, web) resulted in response rates as high as or higher than traditional mail methodology. We discuss a number of implications and recommendations.

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More information

Published date: August 2008
Keywords: empirical studies, questionnaire, research methods, response rate, survey
Organisations: Southampton Business School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 356601
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/356601
ISSN: 0018-7267
PURE UUID: b3d0c1de-8917-47fe-b59a-3be42c2eddea
ORCID for Yehuda Baruch: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0678-6273

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Sep 2013 11:36
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:24

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