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Business Research Methods. 12. Fieldwork and Non-response Error. Lecture Outline. 1) The Nature of Fieldwork 2) Fieldwork/Data Collection Process 3) Selection of Field Workers 4) Training of Field Workers 5) Supervision of Field Workers 6) Validation of Fieldwork

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business research methods

Business Research Methods

12. Fieldwork and Non-response Error

Dr. Basim Makhool

lecture outline
Lecture Outline

1) The Nature of Fieldwork

2) Fieldwork/Data Collection Process

3) Selection of Field Workers

4) Training of Field Workers

5) Supervision of Field Workers

6) Validation of Fieldwork

7) Evaluation of Field Workers

Dr. Basim Makhool

fieldwork data collection process

Selecting Field Workers

Training Field Workers

Supervising Field Workers

Validating Fieldwork

Evaluating Field Workers

Fieldwork/Data Collection Process

Dr. Basim Makhool

selection of field workers
Selection of Field Workers

The researcher should:

  • Develop job specifications for the project, taking into account the mode of data collection.
  • Decide what characteristics the field workers should have.
  • Recruit appropriate individuals.

Dr. Basim Makhool

general qualifications of field workers
General Qualifications of Field Workers
  • Healthy. Field workers must have the stamina required to do the job.
  • Outgoing. The interviewers should be able to establish rapport with the respondents.
  • Communicative. Effective speaking and listening skills are a great asset.
  • Pleasant appearance. If the field worker's physical appearance is unpleasant or unusual, the data collected may be biased.
  • Educated. Interviewers must have good reading and writing skills.
  • Experienced. Experienced interviewers are likely to do a better job.

Dr. Basim Makhool

training of field workers
Training of Field Workers
  • Making the Initial Contact – Interviewers should be trained to make opening remarks that will convince potential respondents that their participation is important.
  • Asking the Questions
      • Be thoroughly familiar with the questionnaire.
      • Ask the questions in the order in which they appear in the questionnaire.
      • Use the exact wording given in the questionnaire.
      • Read each question slowly.
      • Repeat questions that are not understood.
      • Ask every applicable question.
      • Follow instructions, skip patterns, probe carefully.

Dr. Basim Makhool

training of field workers7
Training of Field Workers
  • Probing التحقيق – Some commonly used probing techniques:
      • Repeating the question.
      • Repeating the respondent's reply.
      • Using a pause or silent probe.
      • Boosting or reassuring the respondent.
      • Eliciting clarification.
      • Using objective/neutral questions or comments.

Dr. Basim Makhool

training of field workers9
Training of Field Workers
  • Recording the Answers – Guidelines for recording answers to unstructured questions:
      • Record responses during the interview.
      • Use the respondent's own words.
      • Do not summarize or paraphrase the respondent's answers.
      • Include everything that pertains to the question objectives.
      • Include all probes and comments.
      • Repeat the response as it is written down.
  • Terminating the Interview – The respondent should be left with a positive feeling about the interview.

Dr. Basim Makhool

guidelines on interviewer training the council of american survey research organizations
Guidelines on Interviewer Training: The Council of American Survey Research Organizations

Training should be conducted under the direction of supervisory personnel and should cover the following:

  • The research process: how a study is developed, implemented & reported.
  • Importance of interviewers; need for honesty, objectivity & professionalism.
  • Confidentiality of the respondent & client.
  • Familiarity with market research terminology.
  • Importance of following the exact wording & recording responses verbatim.
  • Purpose & use of probing & clarifying techniques.
  • The reason for & use of classification & respondent information questions.
  • A review of samples of instructions & questionnaires.
  • Importance of the respondent’s positive feelings about survey research.

An interviewer must be trained in the interviewing techniques outlined above.

Dr. Basim Makhool

guidelines on supervision the council of american survey research organizations
Guidelines on Supervision: The Council of American Survey Research Organizations

All research projects should be properly supervised. It is the data collection agency’s responsibility to:

  • Properly supervise interviews.
  • See that an agreed-upon proportion of interviewers’ telephone calls are monitored.
  • Be available to report on the status of the project daily to the projectdirector, unless otherwise instructed.
  • Keep all studies, materials, and findings confidential.
  • Notify concerned parties if the anticipated schedule is not met.
  • Attend all interviewer briefings.
  • Keep current & accurate records of the interviewing progress.
  • Make sure all interviewers have all materials in time.
  • Edit each questionnaire.
  • Provide consistent & positive feedback to the interviewers.
  • Not falsify any work.

Dr. Basim Makhool

guidelines on interviewing the council of american survey research organizations
Guidelines on Interviewing: The Council of American Survey Research Organizations

Each interviewer is to follow these techniques for good interviewing:

  • Provide his or her full name, if asked by the respondent, as well as a phone number for the research firm.
  • Read each question exactly as written. Report any problems to the supervisor as soon as possible.
  • Read the questions in the order indicated on the questionnaire, following the proper skip sequences.
  • Clarify any question by the respondent in a neutral way.
  • Not mislead respondents as to the length of the interview.
  • Not reveal the ultimate client’s identity unless instructed to do so.
  • Keep a tally on and the reason for each terminated interview.
  • Remain neutral, do not indicate (dis) agreement with the respondent.

Dr. Basim Makhool

guidelines on interviewing the council of american survey research organizations13
Guidelines on Interviewing: The Council of American Survey Research Organizations
  • Speak slowly & distinctly.
  • Record all replies verbatim, not paraphrased.
  • Avoid unnecessary conversation with the respondent.
  • Probe & clarify in a neutral manner for additional comments on all open-ended questions, unless otherwise indicated.
  • Write neatly & legibly.
  • Check all work for thoroughness before turning in to the supervisor.
  • When terminating a respondent, do it neutrally.
  • Keep all studies, materials, and findings confidential.
  • Not falsify any interviews or any answers to any question.
  • Thank the respondent for participating in the study.

Dr. Basim Makhool

supervision of field workers
Supervision of Field Workers

Supervision of field workers means making sure that they are following the procedures and techniques in which they were trained. Supervision involves quality control and editing, sampling control, control of cheating, and central office control.

  • Quality Control and Editing – This requires checking to see if the field procedures are being properly implemented.
  • Sampling Control – The supervisor attempts to ensure that the interviewers are strictly following the sampling plan.
  • Control of Cheating – Cheating can be minimized through proper training, supervision, and validation.
  • Central Office Control – Supervisors provide quality and cost-control information to the central office.

Dr. Basim Makhool

validation of fieldwork
Validation of Fieldwork
  • The supervisors call 10 - 25% of the respondents to inquire whether the field workers actually conducted the interviews.
  • The supervisors ask about the length and quality of the interview, reaction to the interviewer, and basic demographic data.
  • The demographic information is cross-checked against the information reported by the interviewers on the questionnaires.

Dr. Basim Makhool

evaluation of field workers
Evaluation of Field Workers
  • Cost and Time. The interviewers can be compared in terms of the total cost (salary and expenses) per completed interview.
  • Response Rates. It is important to monitor response rates on a timely basis so that corrective action can be taken if these rates are too low.
  • Quality of Interviewing. To evaluate interviewers on the quality of interviewing, the supervisor must directly observe the interviewing process.
  • Quality of Data. The completed questionnaires of each interviewer should be evaluated for the quality of data.

Dr. Basim Makhool

non sampling error in marketing research
Non-sampling Error in Marketing Research
  • Nonsampling error includes
    • All types of nonresponse error
    • Data gathering errors
    • Data handling errors
    • Data analysis errors
    • Interpretation errors

Dr. Basim Makhool

possible errors in field data collection
Possible Errors in Field Data Collection
  • Field worker error:errors committed by the persons who administer the questionnaires
  • Respondent error: errors committed on the part of the respondent
  • Errors may be either intentional or unintentional.

Dr. Basim Makhool

data collection errors
Data Collection Errors

Dr. Basim Makhool

possible errors in field data collection field worker errors
Possible Errors in Field Data Collection: Field-Worker Errors
  • Intentional field worker error:errors committed when a data collection person willfully violates the data collection requirements set forth by the researcher
    • Interviewer cheating occurs when the interviewer intentionally misrepresents respondents
    • Leading respondents occurs when the interviewer influences respondent’s answers through wording, voice inflection, or body language

Dr. Basim Makhool

possible errors in field data collection field worker errors21
Possible Errors in Field Data Collection: Field-Worker Errors
  • Unintentional field worker error: errors committed when an interviewer believes he or she is performing correctly
    • Interviewer personal characteristics occurs because of the interviewer’s personal characteristics such as accent, sex, and demeanor

Dr. Basim Makhool

possible errors in field data collection field worker errors22
Possible Errors in Field Data Collection: Field-Worker Errors
  • Interviewer misunderstanding occurs when the interviewer believes he or she knows how to administer a survey but instead does it incorrectly
  • Fatigue-related mistakes occur when interviewer becomes tired

Dr. Basim Makhool

possible errors in field data collection respondent errors
Possible Errors in Field Data Collection: Respondent Errors
  • Intentional respondent error: errors committed when there are respondents that willfully misrepresent themselves in surveys
    • Falsehoods occur when respondents fail to tell the truth in surveys
    • Nonresponse occurs when the prospective respondent fails to take part in a survey or to answer specific questions on the survey

Dr. Basim Makhool

possible errors in field data collection respondent errors24
Possible Errors in Field Data Collection: Respondent Errors
  • Unintentional respondent error: errors committed when a respondent gives a response that is not valid but that he or she believes is the truth
    • Respondent misunderstanding occurs when a respondent gives an answer without comprehending the question and/or the accompanying instructions
    • Guessing occurs when a respondent gives an answer when he or she is uncertain of its accuracy

Dr. Basim Makhool

possible errors in field data collection respondent errors25
Possible Errors in Field Data Collection: Respondent Errors
  • Attention loss occurs when a respondent’s interest in the survey wanes
  • Distractions (such as interruptions) may occur while questionnaire administration takes place
  • Fatigue occurs when a respondent becomes tired of participating in a survey

Dr. Basim Makhool

data collection errors with online surveys
Data Collection Errors with Online Surveys
  • Multiple submissions by the same respondent
  • Bogus respondents and/or responses
  • Misrepresentation of the population

Dr. Basim Makhool

nonresponse error
Nonresponse Error
  • Nonresponse: failure on the part of a prospective respondent to take part in a survey or to answer specific questions on the survey
    • Refusals to participate in survey
    • Break-offs during the interview
    • Refusals to answer certain questions (item omissions)
  • Completed interview must be defined

Dr. Basim Makhool

nonresponse error31
Nonresponse Error
  • Response rate enumerates the percentage of the total sample with which the interviews were completed

Dr. Basim Makhool

nonresponse error32
Nonresponse Error
  • Council of American Survey Research Organizations-CASRO response rate formula:

Dr. Basim Makhool

reducing nonresponse error
Reducing Nonresponse Error
  • Mail surveys:
    • Advance notification
    • Monetary incentives
    • Follow-up mailings
  • Telephone surveys:
    • Callback attempts

Dr. Basim Makhool

unreliable responses
Unreliable Responses
  • Unreliable responses are found when conducting questionnaire screening, and an inconsistent or unreliable respondent may need to be eliminated from the sample.

Dr. Basim Makhool

minimizing non sampling error
Minimizing Non-Sampling Error
  • Cannot eliminate and cannot measure (except for non-response error)
  • Implement CONTROLS to minimize error:
    • Close supervision of data collectors
    • Training

Dr. Basim Makhool

minimizing non sampling error36
Minimizing Non-Sampling Error
  • Care in constructing questionnaire and instructions…pretest!
  • Provide incentives to respondents
  • VALIDATION…industry standard is 10%

Dr. Basim Makhool