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Tuesday 14th July, 14:00 - 15:30 Room: O-206

Conversations across the fence: Lessons for business survey methods drawn from social surveys, and vice-versa

Convenor Mr Alfred Tuttle (United States Census Bureau )

Session Details

Although typically treated separately in the literature and in practice, surveys of businesses and other organizations have much in common with social surveys of persons and households, namely that they are all completed by human beings. Effective survey requests, collection methods, and communications processes must be designed around the ways people think, interact with survey instruments, and communicate, whether they are being asked about the characteristics of their households or those of their employer.

While business surveys must contend with the additional dimensions of job specialization, information management systems, processes for coordinating work, and organizational goals and priorities, the basic cognitive processes involved in completing either type of survey (comprehension, retrieval, judgment, reporting) remain the same. Likewise, decisions about complying with survey requests are activated by social norms and psychological processes, such as altruism, cost-benefit analyses, social exchange theory, etc.

Thus, in large part, researchers have adapted and modified well-developed social survey methods for application in business surveys. However, with the advent of Web surveys, social surveys, traditionally conducted by interviewers, have been migrating to self-administration, long the primary data collection mode for business surveys. The evolution of the digital world has led to convergences in the design of, for example, Web pages and other electronic interfaces. Common practices in user-centered design shape norms for online interactions and the expectations of users, which become pertinent for both social and business surveys alike.

The purpose of this session is to engender dialogue among survey methodologists from both realms, considering both the application of lessons learned from social surveys to business surveys, and adaptations for business survey methods beyond those required for social surveys. The focus will be on questionnaire evaluation, design, testing and implementation of collection instruments, communication strategies, and other data collection procedures.

Paper Details

1. Second European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-2) – Questionnaire development process
Mr Xabier Irastorza (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA))

EU-OSHA’s ESENER-2 was completed in 2014, interviewing almost 50,000 establishments across all activity sectors in 36 countries. The survey helps fill an important information gap in the world of occupational safety and health, particularly for the smallest business sizes as ESENER-2 covers establishments employing at least five people.
This paper focuses on the main steps of the questionnaire development of ESENER-2:

a) A cognitive pre-test with 40 in-depth face-to-face interviews in three countries.
b) A translatability assessment of the English master questionnaire version.
c) A pilot field test with

2. From Concept to Question: Using Early Stage Scoping in an Establishment Survey for New Content Versus Revisions to Existing Questions
Ms Kristin Stettler (U.S. Census Bureau)

Early stage scoping (ESS) is a qualitative interview technique used to inform the development of survey questions. The method uses in-depth exploratory interviews, with targeted topics, conducted with a small number of representatives of the target population. Generally, ESS has been used for developing new content. Here, we will discuss how we used ESS in one project -- for new content development, but also for revisions to existing questions. We will highlight the differences we observed in using this method for these two different purposes and discuss how the method can best be applied in these two scenarios.

3. European Union Prescription Medication Study: Design and Field Procedures
Mrs Victoria Albright (RTI International)
Mr Scott P. Novak (RTI International)
Mr Frank Mierzwa (RTI International)
Mr Thomas S. Walker (RTI International)

Traditional epidemiological studies typically seek to develop nationally representative prevalence estimates based on samples of randomly selected participants located across large, geographic areas (e.g., states/regions). Reaching participants, recruiting them, and collecting data on them is costly and time consuming, particularly when a large sample (e.g., 10,000 or more cases) is needed to generate prevalence estimates for rare outcomes. This paper describes the main features and benefits of a more cost-effective approach and its application to determine prevalence estimates of drug misuse/abuse in five countries for youth and adults.