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Attitudes of demographic item non-respondents in employee surveys

[journal article]

Borg, Ingwer; Braun, Michael; Baumgärtner, Miriam K.

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-450053

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Abstract The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the participants in an employee survey who do not answer one or more demographic items differ systematically from those who fill out all demographic items. Logistic regression, with affective commitment, job satisfaction, and attitude towards leadership as predictors of responding to demographic items is used to analyze the data of an employee survey in a German company. Survey participants with low commitment, poor job satisfaction, and negative attitudes towards leadership are more likely not to provide demographic information, while highly committed participants tend to answer all demographic items. Non-respondents are also more concerned that their skills become obsolete, and they feel that employees do not have enough say. The paper does not distinguish among demographic item non-respondents on the basis of how many and which items are omitted. Future research should take a closer look at the different sensitivity of the demographic items. Managers should be aware that it is likely that the results of an employee survey for their organizational subunits tend to be biased and show a picture that is too optimistic as compared to company-wide results. The value of the paper lies in demonstrating a systematic and practically important bias in employee survey statistics that has been overlooked so far. (author's abstract)
Keywords data capture; quantitative method; survey; sample; sampling error; demographic factors; response behavior; co-worker; work satisfaction; survey research; Federal Republic of Germany
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods; Applied Psychology
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 146-160
Journal International Journal of Manpower, 29 (2008) 2
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01437720810872703
ISSN 0143-7720
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.