Employee Surveys
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Articles by David Chaudron, PhD

Assessing Your Organization: An employee survey isn't always enough

David Chaudron, PhD

Surveys are great to use to diagnosis the problems within an organization. They can provide beneficial information about the breadth and depth of problems that affect different types of groups. This article discusses the benefits of using surveys and warns against using surveys as the only type of technique to assess your organization. To read the full article click here Assessing Your Organization: An employee survey isn't always enough.

Planning an Employee Survey

David Chaudron, PhD

Organizations use surveys to gather information from their employees. Surveys can provide beneficial information to organizations; however, most organizations do not effectively use surveys and do not gain the information that they could from them. This article discusses how organizations can effectively incorporate surveys in their daily life. To read the full article click here Planning an Employee Survey.

Performance Improvement & the Balanced Scorecard

David Chaudron, PhD

Does money measure an organization success? Measuring success by focusing on one aspect provides a poor evaluation. Organizations need to use a more comprehensive measurement such as a balance scorecard. The benefits of using a balance scorecard are discussed in this article. To read the full article click here Performance Improvement & the Balanced Scorecard.

Giving Feedback on Management Style: the 3 degrees of 360 feedback using an employee survey

David Chaudron, PhD

Feedback on management style is critical for organizational change. Traditionally feedback has been given from top down as a yearly performance appraisal. 360 feedback was introduced to provide management with feedback from more than one source. This article discusses how organizations can use surveys to provide 360 feedback.

To read the full article click here Giving Feedback on Management Style: the 3 degrees of 360 feedback using an employee survey.

Additional Information on Employee Surveys

Saari, L., & Scherbaum, C. (2011). Identified Employee Surveys: Potential Promise, Perils, and Professional Practice Guidelines.
Industrial And Organizational Psychology, 4(04), 435-448.
This article opens up a discussion on identified surveys, describe them under the circumstances in which they can be used, and highlight potential concerns with them. As employee surveys have expanded and evolved in their use, the practice of surveying has also evolved and one area that shows this change is the impact of technology on survey practices.Another change in employee surveys has been the increased realization that employee attitudes, as measured by employee surveys, can be statistically related to other important organizational data.
Linking employee opinion survey data to a variety of other human resource and organizational data and conducting analyses to test research questions can lead to useful, data-based insights. Identified employee surveys (that retain identifying information about each employee) are uniquely beneficial for individual-level longitudinal research questions. For limited time span individual-level, limited time span unit-level, and longitudinal unit-level analyses, identified surveys are not needed.
It is clear that identified surveys can impact employee perceptions and response behaviors. However, it is less clear under what conditions these effects will occur; to what extent they will occur, whether there is a greater impact with sensitive questions, and if the effects are any greater than those that may already be created by the use of online surveys. Empirical research and theory development are needed to understand the likely complex relationships among survey identification, perceptions, and response behaviors.

Knapp, P. R., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2010). Designing, administering, and utilizing an employee attitude survey.
Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, 2, 1.

Employee surveys are tools used by organizational leadership to gain feedback on and measure employee engagement, employee morale, and performance. This article provide managers, employees and leaders with an approach to design, administer, conduct respondent feedback of results, and assist local management in helping to resolve issues and problems identified within a department or unit in most organizations based on a real world example. The authors give guidelines for constructing questions for an employee survey as follows:
  • Each question should be meaningful to respondents
  • Use regular English without any technical jargons
  • Make questions concrete
  • Avoid biased words and phrases
  • Check your own biases
  • Use caution when asking about personal information
  • Each question should have just one thought
Managers and leaders are usually concerned about the overall attitudes and opinions of their employees and often make ongoing assessments to measure it. Consequently, they usually resort to Organizational Climate Surveys (also known as Employee Attitude Survey) to measure the opinion and views of employees in the organization and its various units. A survey is a method of collecting information directly from people about their ideas, feelings, health, plans, beliefs, social education, and financial background.
Overall, the Survey instrument should be short in nature, to the point and the questions designed to ascertain the employee opinions in the areas that the Department Manager and HR Manager may be concerned with or interested in obtaining employee opinions.
The author concludes that if organizations are going to succeed and grow in this competitive global economy, it is paramount that employees and managers work together as a team. Managers should appreciate and thank everyone for their cooperation.

Hoffman, M., & Tadelis, S. (2017). How do managers matter? evidence from performance metrics and employee surveys in a firm.
Mimeo, University of Toronto. Pp 1-59.

Employee surveys are tools used by organizational leadership to gain feedback on and measure employee engagement, employee morale, and performance. This article looks at the worth or managers by using evidence form performance metrics and employee surveys in a firm. The authors notes that firms use employee surveys to collect information from employees about their managers, however, there is no enough evidence to conclude whether the collected information is or should be used to evaluate and compensate managers. The results indicate that managers matter to a significant degree, the precise mechanism by which managers’ matter remains an important area of research.
When using employee surveys, the author notes that an obvious challenge in using employee surveys is the possibility that employees may not be truthful. Workers generally care about what their managers think about them, and may be highly averse to saying something negative about them. Employee surveys bring to bear an advantage often ascribed to subjective performance evaluation, namely, that they help account for difficult-to-measure aspects of performance. Survey information about one’s managers is only collected on managers who manage a minimum number of individuals because the surveys are designed to ensure the anonymity of responses.
Various survey questions are asked every year about what employees think about their managers. Employees are asked for each question whether they strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neither Agree nor Disagree, Agree, or Strongly Agree. The results indicate that managers matter to a significant degree, the precise mechanism by which managers’ matter remains an important area of research.

Van De Voorde, K., Paauwe, J., & Van Veldhoven, M. (2017). Predicting business unit performance using employee surveys: monitoring HRMrelated changes.
Human resource management journal, 20(1), 44-63.

Organizations use employee surveys as tools for gaining feedback on and measuring employee performance, morale, and engagement. The current paper examines to what extent employee surveys can serve as a predictor of better financial performance at the branch level. Organizations still face challenge of finding appropriate indicators, establishing temporal relationships, and providing useful management information. Management needs, in particular, this type of information in order to develop, implement, and use workforce scorecards.
The authors seek to demonstrate how organizations can monitor HRM-related change processes using employee surveys since they consists of tackling three challenges facing corporate HR managers and HR researchers when setting up and making use of workforce scorecards. Management needs to select and develop a range of indicators that can be used to monitor and measure the effects of HRM and employee survey data can act as indicators of HRM related change process.
The authors find out that branches can manage to obtain these scores, which in turn suggests there is stillroom for improvement in profitability for the organization in the branches that have not yet obtained these scores. They conclude that There is a need to translate research evidence into information that can be used by managers and policy-makers within organizations to solve organisational problems in a process known as ‘evidence-based management.

Pritchard, K. (2014). Using employee surveys to attract and retain the best talent.
Strategic HR Review, 13(2), 59-62.

Employee surveys have been promoted as vehicles that can facilitate an understanding of work-related attitudes and thereby inform managerial interventions designed to enhance employee job satisfaction and “engagement.” This paper seeks to understand how employees perceives the organization eternally as employers and how regularly tracking the opinions of staff can ensure the best talent are engaged and stay with an organization. The author finds out that an advanced analysis of employee surveys can predict how employees are feeling to help organizations retain their most valuable staff.
While strong employer brand is important in making it easier to attract staff, the author notes that most employers do not know how their employees perceive them externally. Job seekers will consider companies as an employer based on their experience or knowledge as a customer. Employee survey into job seekers to find out how they perceive different organizations as places to work (by rating them on a range of job attributes) can provide valuable insight to assist organizations in developing their employer brand.
The perceptions of job seekers were in stark contrast with perceptions of current staff. One example of this was related to the attribute "having fun at work.” This was something for which external job seekers rated the organization poorly, whilst current employees rated it very highly. All in all, client that it starts with negative feelings about the way they are being treated, leading to negative views on the way decisions are made in their department, and then a feeling that their performance is not improving.

Popovic, B., Maletic, R., & Paunovic, T. (2015). Employee Satisfaction Survey in Function of Business Improvement.
Management - Journal of Theory and Practice of Management, 20(76), 31-40.
This paper was to determine the level of employee satisfaction, as well as the extent to which different factors affect their job satisfaction. The authors found out that Men are more satisfied with work than women, as well as the teaching staff are more satisfied in comparison with the non-teaching staff. Motivated employees are an important component of a successful company. Satisfied employees enjoy their work and gain great satisfaction from their work and the influencing factors on satisfaction are career opportunities and career development, teamwork and challenging opportunities.
To determine employee satisfaction at the Faculty of Agriculture in Zemun, the authors carried out an anonymous poll using written questionnaire. They categorized the demographic data gotten by gender, age, activity, and years of service among other categorization. The data were statistically analyzed using SPSS software package. The authors found out that employees are most satisfied with working hours. It was believed that the reward system does not stimulate the employees’ creativity and commitment inadequate way. Employees were most dissatisfied with the reward system.
In conclusion, the authors of this paper concluded that males are more satisfied with work than women are, while employees aged between 41-50 are more satisfied that employees of other ages. The level of satisfaction increased with increase in education levels. Firms can use various employee surveys to determine the factors that lead to the satisfaction of the employees and find out ways to boost employee’s satisfaction.

De Waal, A. (2014). The employee survey: benefits, problems in practice, and the relation with the high-performance organization.

Strategic HR Review, 13(6), 227-232.

Employee surveys are tools used by organizational leadership to gain feedback on and measure employee engagement, employee morale, and performance. This paper discusses employee survey regarding its benefits, problems in practice and its relation with high-performance organizations (HPO). The article outlines the benefits of employee surveys as to enhance employee satisfaction, which results to the employee service customers better. Organizations measure the satisfaction of their employees regularly where the employees are asked to rate their satisfaction with the organizations on some aspects. Following are the problems of employee survey as outlined in the article:
  • Poor follow-up of survey results
  • Does not measure employee satisfaction accurately
  • Limited scope of employee survey
The article also outlines various factors that an organization must meet to fit in the high-performance organizations. They include:
  • Quality of management in the organization
  • Openness and action orientation
  • Long-term orientation
  • Continuous improvement and renewal
  • Employee quality
In a high-performance organization in which employees and managers focus on organizational areas requiring improvement to create an excellent organization, employee survey in used when factors dealing with human interactions are present. These factors include quality of management, quality of employees, openness and action orientation that need deepening and strengthening. Employee survey allows high performing organizations to deepen and strengthen HPO factors.
Yanchus, N. J., Beckstrand, J., & Osatuke, K. (2015). Examining burnout profiles in the Veterans Administration: All Employee Survey narrative comments.
Burnout Research, 2(4), 97-107.
The paper examines the profile of burnout in the veteran’s administration using narrative comments from all employee survey where the authors compared eight MBI-based burnout profiles to employee comments in the same survey. Understanding employee burnout is critically important for organizations. Employees who are burned out are more likely to show greater absenteeism, higher turnover intention as well as actual turnover, lower job satisfaction, and lower organizational commitment.
They found out that frequently, employees did not provide detailed enough information to assess the presence of varying levels of all three dimensions. In this context, the finding that this information was present in approximately half of the randomly selected comments is noteworthy as it suggests the salience of the burnout concept in determining employees’ broader experience of strengths and weaknesses of their workplace.
Burnout profiles reflect relative levels of three MBI-based dimensions – exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal achievement – within individuals. We compared 8 quantitatively-based burnout profiles to open-ended comments in the same large organizational survey and found employee profiles to be overall consistent with their comments. As commenters were not asked specifically about burnout, this underscores the role of burnout in defining an overall workplace experience. Burnout profiles offer a rich and, to our knowledge, currently unique source of information about how burnout is specifically manifested at work. Assessing burnout profiles can inform research and field work, including interventions to support workforce morale.

Sanchez, P. M. (2016). The employee survey: more than asking questions.
Journal of Business Strategy, 28(2), 48-56.
In the article, employee engagement is defined as "an outcome of how employees perceive their work, leadership of their organizations, the recognition and rewards they receive, and the communication ethos of the organization.” The article provide some basic ideas of why some employee engagement surveys fails in organizations and highlighted ten key areas as project planning, communication, questionnaire design, timing, prioritization of issues, engaging senior management, data delivery, follow-up support, monitoring and accountability and linking survey results to business outcomes. It concludes by giving best practices to avoid common pitfalls in surveys.
The author identifies ten key obstacles to employee survey success as:
  • Communication
  • Questionnaire design
  • Timing
  • Prioritization of issues
  • Engaging senior management
  • Data delivery
  • Followup support
  • Monitoring and accountability
  • Linking survey results to business outcomes
The article suggests that employee attitude surveys are used by organizations to explore employees’ views and opinions, to get feedback on the impact of a new strategy or policy, for example, and to monitor levels of morale and satisfaction across the organization. The author makes original connection is made between effective employee surveys and employee engagement, and bestpractice guidance is provided on ensuring survey success. Otherwise, a survey runs the risk of destroying rather than building employee engagement.
Raziq, A., & Maulabakhsh, R. (2015). Impact of Working Environment on Job Satisfaction. Procedia Economics And Finance, 23, 717-725.
In this paper, Raziq & Maulabakhsh, (2015) looks at how working environment affects the job satisfaction of the employees. In a working environment, the authors consider factors such as work hours, job security, and safety, relationship with workers, esteem needs, and top management, while in job satisfaction, they test factors such as productivity, effectiveness and efficiency, level of commitment, sense of ownership, and employee loyalty.
The paper targeted population consisting of the banking sector, educational institutes, and telecommunication industry operating in the city of Quetta, Pakistan. The authors have noted that most the business fail because they fail “understand the importance of the working environment for employee job satisfaction and thus face many difficulties during their work” which weaken the business. Employees, like the employers, play in significant part in achieving the vision and mission of a company.
In conclusion, the authors suggest that business should realize the importance of a positive working environment to maximize the level of job satisfaction. A negative working condition prohibits employees from portraying their capabilities. It hinders them from attaining their full potential. The current workforce consists of high-educated people who are aware of their rights while working in an organization. The respective organization needs to identify the needs of their employees and meet them to make sure there is the effective accomplishment of the company’s goals and objectives.

M. Saari, Lise and Charles A. Scherbaum. (2011). “Identified Employee Surveys: Potential Promise, Perils, and Professional Practice Guidelines.” Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 4. 435-448.
On this paper the authors discuss the potential cases in which identifying surveys should be used in contrast with nonidentified or temporarily identified surveys by classifying research questions into two dimensions: level of analysis (whether employee-level or unit-level data is required) and time span (length of time required by a particular question). Identifying surveys are surveys that retain identifying information so that it can be afterwards linked to other individual-level variables over time such as current and future performance, ratings, promotions, attendance, and other surveys. The use of this kind of surveys places concerns in terms of employee privacy and personal data because the lack of anonymity might have an impact on response behaviour; however, they are also thought to be beneficial as they can help obtain data-based insights as well as serve as a support for predictive analytics and employee life-cycle research which can help HR to take decisions and make recommendations.
The authors, taken the concerns on privacy and ethics into account, then propose professional practice guidelines which include developing policies for the collection, use, and protection of data; clearly informing employees what kind of survey they are taking and what that means; avoiding coercion (whether actual or perceived); protecting identities by separating identifying information from survey data so that it can be linked from various sources without make use of most sensitive identifiers such as an employee number; using data responsibly by only using identifying surveys when required by the questions (for individual-level longitudinal research questions); and defining duty to warn (when and if revealing someone’s identity should ever be allowed or necessary).

Myskova, Renata (2011). “A New Measure of Employee Satisfaction.” Global Journal of Business Research. 5 (1).
The aim of this paper is to present a suitable methodology for evaluating employee satisfaction along with an employee satisfaction indicator that could be applied in individual companies considering their particular needs and conditions. Employee satisfaction is found to be determinant of future output rate as well as increasing human potential while dissatisfaction can result in lower working effort and, thus, lower utilization of human resources. The approach includes:
a) Analysis and formulation of the process: determination of employee satisfaction influencing factors
b) Determination and analysis of all factors which characterize the problem: company employees
c) Delimitation of possible solutions: employee satisfaction needs to be observed in regular periods in order to use the gathered data as a feedback for evaluation of already applied changes within the company (related to employee satisfaction).
d) Selection and implementation of the selected alternative
This paper will be useful for anyone looking to determine individual employee satisfaction indicators according to the organization’s structure and needs. Those indicators can be constructed for selected satisfaction factors and delimitated work groups according to various perspectives resulting from different needs of the examiner by using the equations provided by the author. The conclusion given is that employee satisfaction changes and it is important to recognize those changed to update the indicator.

Magnami, Elisabetta. (2012). Vertical Disintegration and training: evidence from a matched employer-employee survey. Journal of Productivity Analysis. 38, 199-217.
In order to understand the mechanism through which outsourcing impacts, whether favourably or negatively, on workplace performance (especially performance) the author has used the AWIRDS-1995 (1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey) dataset, a matched employer-employee survey designed to research the effect of organizational and market changes on workplace performance. She poses the hypothesis that outsourcing has an impact on worker’s training. While literature has tried to identify from which perspective to access the link between outsourcing and productivity, it hasn´t made the attempt to link training. When considering training, the author also deals with old worker’s training opportunity, a relevant matter given the demographic shifts and the need to have labour-market-demand-side actions that enhance their productivity. Part of the methodology followed by the author includes the usage of sample survey methodology “to obtain information about a large aggregate or population”. Additionally, the author uses Altonji et al.’s method, which establishes that the “negative impact of outsourcing on training is sensitive to the degree of correlation between ‘unobservables’ in the specifications of the two events” as a reference.

Thomas F. Dowd Jr. (1973). Employee Attitude Surveys. A Key Management Tool. Journal (American Water Works Association). 65 (1), 46-49
Attitude Surveys are effective and relatively inexpensive tools when trying to understand what employees feel about their jobs, company, and management. These surveys can also help to improve relations and meet common business problems such as union-organizing drives, loss of key employees, causes of employee grievances, communication gaps, morale-destroying favouritism, orientation and safety programs evaluation and roadblocks. In order to achieve this, the author proposes the DUS Survey Approach.
The DUS survey consists of 69 to 80 questions (69 for hourly employees, 75 for non-exempt employees, and 80 for exempt personnel) and evaluates eleven key areas: compensation, performance effectiveness, general conditions, advancement practices, orientation and training, handling problems, safety, benefits, employment stability, communications, and community relations. This paper is useful as the author provides example questions for each category.

Fernández, Sergio, et al. (2015). Assessing the Past and Promise of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey for Public Management Research: A Research Synthesis.
Public Administration Review. 75 (3), 382-394.
The aim of this research is to make a much needed critical assessment of Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEUS) to, from the review of more than 40 research articles, discuss its strengths and limitations, make recommendations for refining the survey, and “forge a stronger link between those in OPM . . . and researchers who use the data to generate scholarly work”. A brief history of FEVS is given and then the use of FEVS for Public Management Research is analysed with a focus on employee empowerment and diversity management. Some of the identified strengths are the FEVS representativeness and generalizability, and the breadth of important public management concepts that it covers. In contrast, the weaknesses and limitations found by this study are: lack of proper measurement of important concepts, omission of significant variables such as organizational commitment and work motivation, not allowing guiding research questions drive the survey’s design, usage of bias-susceptible response scales, and longitudinality of the FEVS data.
From the previous results the authors make the following recommendations:
- Expand the list of topics and concepts measured in the survey.
- Reconsider item selection and construction, making greater use of reliable and valid measures reported in the literature.
- Modify survey design and implementation to create a panel of respondents.
- Organize a working group of researchers who can assist OPM with design and implementation of survey.

Stuart M. Klein, Allen I. Kraunt, and Alan Wolfson. (1971). Employee Reactions to Attutide Survey Feedback: A Study of the Impact of Structure and Process. Administrative Science Quarterly. Vol. 16, No. 4.

This paper focuses on examining the impact that attitude survey feedback has on recipient’s attitudes towards the feedback process and their perceptions of survey application. This study focuses on manufacturing employees and manufacturing managers and considers two variables, namely structure and process. The study found that the first group, management, perceived a close relation between application and satisfaction. This is attributed to the decision-making orientation of that group. The two process variables found were communication and involvement, the first one predicted better to satisfaction with survey feedback, and the second one predicted better to perceived utilization of the survey’s results.

The relevance of employee survey data comes from its value as barometers that provide a base from which to apply organizational change. The methodology used for this study was, firstly, the creation of a program that encouraged discussion of relevant issues: “It was recommended to the surveyed organizations that the lowest-level unit managers report back each unit’s data in as many group meeting as necessary to work through the problems raised by the survey results.” Upon modification of those recommendations the following conditions arose: no feedback, written feedback only, feedback meetings at all organizational levels and variations in most of the feedback conditions. Those varying conditions constituted the independent variables in the study.

Results were obtained from the following process: Data analysis according to hypothesis generated by each independent variable using one-way analysis of variance and t-tests in the statistical procedures. It was found that manufacturing managers perceived more utilization when the data reports were for the managers’ own units than higher-level units, and higher feedback satisfaction was found within those employees and managers who had had more than one meeting focused on such feedback. The study’s findings represent the beginning of a survey feedback model.

Employee surveys as a strategic management tool
Three Eras of Survey Research
In this paper, the author argues that survey research has witnessed three distinct phases of development – the Era of Invention (1930-1960), the Era of Expansion (1960-1990), and the Current Era where “Designed Data” has been supplemented by “Organic Data” (1990-Present). The paper states that in comparison to other realms of science, the field of survey research is relatively new, and finds definite articulation as a science only with the advent of certain aspects (such as universal frames, probability sampling, and structured questions) in the 1940s.

The author says that in the first era, the essential mechanisms that define the design of data collection were invented, as were the tools to generate the statistical data from the conducted surveys. Simultaneously, the founding fathers of survey research also established the means to conduct surveys in various sectors – private, academic, or government. In the second era, the use of the survey gained widespread acceptance as a valid and viable research tool. Its growth was certainly facilitated by several factors, the primary of which include – the US Federal Government’s need to assess the returns on the investments it had made in human and physical infrastructure, the advent of the quantitative social sciences, as well the deployment of quantitative information for studying consumer behavior. The paper contends that in the third era, survey participation drastically declined and the alternative methods of collecting data arose. This accompanied the weakening of sampling frames and the advent of unceasingly produced data, especially that arising from the Internet.

Finally, the paper articulates that in each of these eras, survey research methods have been modified in response to societal changes, including using new technologies. The author asserts that survey research is plagued with a lot of uncertainty and reflects the traits of the age. However, the author concludes that constant adaptation will help survey research survive.

Achieving change through a best practice employee survey

Strategic HR Review, 2012, Vol.11(5), p.265-271

This paper directs leaders on the most effective and efficient way to conduct surveys by illustrating and exploring findings from a case study.

31 HR practitioners who manage employee surveys within their organizations were surveyed for this study in early 2010. The participating companies are large organizations headquartered primarily in the UK, Germany and the USA. They represent a diverse set of industries including banking and financial services, consumer products, information technology, manufacturing, natural resources, telecommunication/utility services and retail.

Findings –Senior leaders are a key barrier and that metrics of survey effectiveness often lack organizational focus. It offers insights and practical recommendations for HR practitioners. In particular, it shows how organizations can improve their survey feedback and action-planning processesnd other HR metrics to optimize their rewards programs. Mergers and acquisitions are further areas where employee surveys can be designed to assess cultural fit within the organization.

Causal impact of employee work perceptions on the bottom line of organizations

Harter, J. K., Asplund, L., Schnidt, F. L., & Agrawal, S. (2010). Causal impact of employee work perceptions on the bottom line of organizations

Perceptions of work conditions have proven to be important to the well-being of workers. However, customer loyalty, employee retention, revenue, sales, and profit are essential to the success of any business. It is known that these outcomes are correlated with employee attitudes and perceptions of work conditions, but the research into direction of causality has been inconclusive. Using a massive longitudinal database that included 2,178 business units in 10 large organizations, the authors found evidence supporting the causal impact of employee perceptions on these bottom-line measures; reverse causality of bottom-line measures on employee perceptions existed but was weaker.

Results of this study provide support for the proposition that employee perceptions of work cause future organizational out- comes such as employee retention, customer loyalty, and financial performance. Specific workplace conditions such as role clarity, feeling appreciated, coworker relationships, and opportunities to learn appear to be causal antecedents of various organizational performance outcomes. One implication is that changes in management practices that improve employee perceptions of specific work situation variables will increase business-unit outcomes, including financial outcomes. The findings also indicate that improving financial performance appears to increase general satisfaction and some specific work perceptions. Finally, this study found a great deal of consistency in the direction and magnitude of causal paths across the specific work perceptions tested.

Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys: Experimental Results for the Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and the Unmatched Count Technique (UCT)

Coutts., E. & Jann., B. (2011). Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys: Experimental Results for the Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and the Unmatched Count Technique (UCT). Sociological Methods & Research 2011.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of different implementations of the Randomized Response Technique (RRT) in a computer-assisted setting. Moreover, authors also want to compare the use of RRT to the Unmatched Count Technique (UCT) with the purpose of providing better tool to use for sensitive question in online surveys.

RRT technique relies on the pairing of an unthreatening question with the sensitive question of interest. Then, a randomizing device is used to control whether the respondent will answer the sensitive question, which is an answer known only to the respondent. The UCT technique uses similar approach with slightly different adjustments. In UCT technique, the respondents are asked directly about their own sensitive behavior at the same time as they are asked about a number of neutral or socially desirable behaviors. Then, estimation process used the aggregate prevalence of the other behavior in order to evaluate the prevalence of the sensitive behavior. UCT technique normally use two samples including a reference sample that answers a questions only about unthreatening behaviors and a sample that answers a sensitive question in addition.

The results of study indicate that the RRTs are problematic with several domains including the limited trust they inspire and nonresponse during the processes of surveys. Furthermore, estimation of RRT technique are unreliable because of a strong false no bias especially with sensitive questions. Moreover, respondents for UCT technique have shorter time to understand questions more. In general, UCT is considered as a better tool in the replacement of RRT. The authors suggest using UCT as a tool in the case of self-administered surveys. However, they also warned that UCT technique might not apply to all implementations of the RRT situation. Last but not least, the author suggests there should be research toward evaluating and improving the UCT technique since they only did forced-choice approach in this study.

Hansen, E., & Schaltegger, S. (2016). The Sustainability Balanced Scorecard: A Systematic Review of Architectures. Journal Of Business Ethics,133(2), 193-221. doi:10.1007/s10551-014-2340-3
In this article they are interested in how recently there have been shortcomings in the measuring and management of corporate success and these shortcomings have resulted in increased economic risks and problems for companies, the economy, and societies. Therefore, scholars and practitioners are interested in the integrated measurement of economic, social and environmental performance by corporate sustainability performance measurement systems, in this case specifically, SBSCs. The aim of their research is to study in more detail the diversity of proposed SBSC architectures described in recent publications in order to shed light on measuring and managing sustainability-related organizational success through multidimensional performance measurement systems.
They go on to further review the literature and describe the research fields of corporate sustainability, corporate sustainability performance management systems, as well as the BSC and SBSC. This literature review shows that the integration of social, environmental and ethical issues into the BSC can be motivated by instrumental, social/political and normative theoretical perspectives.
The next question to consider as discussed in this article is how to integrate these issues into the BSC design and the authors have developed a two-dimensional typology of generic SBSC architectures that explain their fit based on contextual variables: First, the value system of the organisation specifies the design of the BSC hierarchy and thereby the nature of cause-and-effect chains or logical links between financial outcomes and various other performance perspectives and strategic objectives. Second, corporate sustainability strategy determines the extent to which sustainability-related strategic objectives are integrated into the performance perspectives and how sustainability-related strategic objectives are integrated (add-on, integration, extension).
Overall, the authors consider the SBSC to be a promising framework for integrating strategy and sustainability in businesses if the concept is not interpreted too rigidly but seen as an approach for sustainability-oriented organizational development.

Roberts, D. R., & Levine, E. (2014). Employee Surveys: A Powerful Driver for Positive Organizational Change. Employment Relations Today (Wiley), 39–45.

Employee surveys are a powerful diagnostic and improvement tool that can help organizations assess where they stand and how they can most effectively make improvements. Surveys provide direct, unfiltered employee feedback on the organization, especially when survey responses are confidential. This feedback is something that can be difficult for leaders (particularly senior leaders) to get any other way and is an invaluable resource in identifying priorities and driving positive organizational change. They can focus on metrics such as employee engagement, career opportunities, organizational reputation, pay, recognition (individual), and communication.
This article discusses that in addition to periodic engagement surveys, other kinds of employee surveys can be used to improve performance. They also discuss the use of employee surveys in the rewards area, where organizations can combine survey results with other data to optimize their rewards programs. In regard to employee surveys and their relationship to performance the article discusses the Graybar Experience and their use of ongoing engagement-survey programs and how they remain a vital organizational diagnostic and improvement tool for high-performing organizations. Graybar illustrates how organizations can use engagement surveys to understand what’s working and where there are opportunities for improvement. The ongoing nature of the survey program allows Graybar to track progress and adjust its priorities as needed over time, and Graybar’s annual engagement survey is a powerful tool for driving organizational improvement. The type of survey process used by an organization can vary depending on the needs and vision of the organization but both periodic-survey programs like Graybar’s and special purpose surveys are very valuable sources of data.
Nonresponse in Employee Attitude Surveys: A Group-Level Analysis
Thorsten Fauth, Kate Hattrup, Karsten Mueller, Brandon Roberts
J Bus Psychol (2013) 28:1–16

Given the common practice of using employee attitude surveys as a group-level intervention, this study used a group-level approach to examine the relationship
between group satisfaction and group nonresponse. Samples from four large organizations enabled job satisfaction scores to be aggregated to the work group level and correlated with group-level response rates. Additional regression analysis was conducted to control for a number of confounding variables at the group level. Findings Aggregate job satisfaction showed significant associations with group-level response rates across each of the samples examined. Work groups with higher aggregate job satisfaction had significantly higher response rates.
Regression analyses showed that, in addition to job satisfaction, work group size, heterogeneity in tenure, and heterogeneity in gender composition all had significant
effects on response rates.
Social influence processes may operate at the group level to increase homogeneity of job-relevant attitudes and similarity in survey response behavior. Future research should be designed to investigate the effects of group-level variables on nonresponse.
Want to know what employees think? Tap technology
Elizabeth Millard (2012) The Minnesota Lawyer, March 23, 2012
When Jeff DeYoung wants to know how employees are feeling about career development, work/life balance, office culture or other major topics, he doesn’t clear his schedule so that he has time for hundreds of informal chats. Instead, he orders an employee survey to be delivered online.
As managing partner in the Minneapolis office of the accounting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, DeYoung relies on surveys to make sure the firm’s 200-plus employees are satisfied. He even uses them for seemingly minor activities, like the holiday party.
“We did a quick survey to see what people wanted and were surprised to find they didn’t go for the fancy dress party; they wanted something casual and fun,” he says. “So we all went bowling, and people had a blast. But we wouldn’t have known that’s what they wanted if we hadn’t done the survey. ”
For consistent, useful employee surveys, technology tools are abundant and often stellar. They tend to be affordable and customizable, and they allow companies quick access to data and opinions. But they aren’t without some cautions, too. Here are some top tips for harnessing technology to create a strong employee survey:
Focus on the goal
Every survey should have a specific aim, such as gauging employee satisfaction with management. Trying to survey people about broad topics can backfire, since the survey will take too long and yield results that don’t lead to action.
Also, tailor surveys so they gather the data efficiently without extraneous questions. This will increase participation rates, leading to more useful data analysis of the results.
Find the best survey platform
Meet employees where they are. That might mean creating a survey that’s done online between their work projects, or, increasingly, it means a mobile-based survey that can be completed through a smartphone or other device.
Survey regularly, but not too often
Because employee surveys can be delivered over a mobile device or on the Internet, some companies are eager to garner employee feedback frequently. But avoid this temptation, advises Matt Norman, head of Dale Carnegie Training for Minnesota, which uses online assessment for clients’ employees.
“We’ve seen situations where the employees are feeling over-surveyed,” he says. “They get tired of having to interrupt work to answer another series of questions. ”
One exception to this rule is the quick survey that includes fewer than five questions. For example, the survey on the holiday party for DeYoung’s firm was created with a tool called Zoomerang and took people less than a minute to answer.
In general, though, save the longer surveys for a quarterly check-in, or whenever a major change is being considered, such as a management shift.
Get help with the questions
Although a company can always create a survey from scratch, there can be numerous land mines in that process. “There’s science behind the questions, to make sure they’re written in a way that minimizes the chances that someone could ‘game’ the survey,” Norman says.
Also, questions should be very direct instead of open-ended, advises Mark Pihart, an employment law attorney from Minneapolis-based Winthrop & Weinstine. He notes that if someone raises concerns within an employee survey, those are technically considered complaints and must be investigated.
“If you give an employee an opportunity to complain about something, then they usually will,” he says. “Tailor the questions so that they meet the survey’s goal, rather than giving employees a broad question that can be interpreted in different ways. ”
Follow up on the results
Issuing a survey and analyzing the resulting data can be helpful for executives, but don’t forget to turn that into meaningful action for employees, too.
“One of the mistakes that companies make is to do a survey, and then they don’t follow up by communicating the results to employees and tell them what’s happening next,” says Don MacPherson, president and co-founder of Minneapolis-based Modern Survey, which provides human resources technology and employee surveys.
He recommends that companies communicate with employees monthly on the progress of different initiatives and tie those messages back to the survey. Another advantage to technology is that this information can be easily sent via a mobile device or over email, and include some survey results in the message.
“People want to know the data will be used, that it will lead to positive change,” MacPherson says. “If you create a good survey and follow up on the results, you’ll have a great tool for keeping a company on track. ”

Unhappy at work? Swipe right to tell the boss

Melendez, S. (2015). Unhappy at work? Swipe right to tell the boss. Fast Company. 199, 68-70

The author explores the new ways to bring employee-engagement surveys into the age of the smartphone. Several companies use apps in order to learn of their employees’ mood, job satisfaction, and their values. Research has revealed that better-engaged workforces raise productivity, profit, employee retention, safety, and even employee health and happiness. So it is reasonable to measure employee satisfaction and find ways to improve worker’s morale. A few companies have already incorporated apps into their daily practice in order to learn about their employees’ well-being and, consequently, have the ability and opportunity to provide solutions to increase such well-being.

Management-employee relations, firm size and job satisfaction

Tansel, A., & Gazîoğlu, Ş. (2014). Management-employee relations, firm size and job satisfaction. International Journal of Manpower, 35(8), 1260-1275.

The study has the main purpose in the investigation of the job satisfaction in which it has relation to managerial attitudes towards employees and firm size using the linked employer-employee survey results in Britain. Authors used employee survey in order to approach the solution for job satisfaction. The authors processed the study by investigating the management-employee relationships and the firm size using maximum likelihood probit estimation firstly. Then, they used various measures of job satisfaction which has related to the management-employee relations through maximum likelihood ordered probit estimates with four measures of job satisfaction including: satisfaction with amount of pay; satisfaction with sense of achievement; influence over job; and satisfaction with respect from supervisors. From the results of the study, authors found that management-employee relationships are less satisfactory in the large firms than in the small firms. Job satisfaction levels are lower in large firms. Less satisfactory management-employee relationships in the large firms may be a major source of the observed lower level of job satisfaction in them. Based on those findings, authors recommended that improving the management-employee relations in large firms will increase employee satisfaction in many respects as well as increase productivity and reduce turnover.

Causal impact of employee work perceptions on the bottom line of organizations

Harter, J. K., Asplund, L., Schnidt, F. L., & Agrawal, S. (2010). Causal impact of employee work perceptions on the bottom line of organizations

Perceptions of work conditions have proven to be important to the well-being of workers. However, customer loyalty, employee retention, revenue, sales, and profit are essential to the success of any business. It is known that these outcomes are correlated with employee attitudes and perceptions of work conditions, but the research into direction of causality has been inconclusive. Using a massive longitudinal database that included 2,178 business units in 10 large organizations, the authors found evidence supporting the causal impact of employee perceptions on these bottom-line measures; reverse causality of bottom-line measures on employee perceptions existed but was weaker.

Results of this study provide support for the proposition that employee perceptions of work cause future organizational out- comes such as employee retention, customer loyalty, and financial performance. Specific workplace conditions such as role clarity, feeling appreciated, coworker relationships, and opportunities to learn appear to be causal antecedents of various organizational performance outcomes. One implication is that changes in management practices that improve employee perceptions of specific work situation variables will increase business-unit outcomes, including financial outcomes. The findings also indicate that improving financial performance appears to increase general satisfaction and some specific work perceptions. Finally, this study found a great deal of consistency in the direction and magnitude of causal paths across the specific work perceptions tested.

Using employee surveys to attract and retain the best talent

Kate Pritchard (2014) Using employee surveys to attract and retain the best talent.

The paper combines finding from a global survey with case study content to help employers to understand how to improve engagement and retention of staff through effective use of regular employee surveys. The findings of this study is to identify advanced analysis of employee surveys which can predict how employees are feeling to help organizations retain their most valuable staff.
The main purpose of the study is to seek for demonstration of the importance of organizations understanding how they are perceived externally as an employer, and how regularly tracking the opinions of staff can ensure the best talent are engaged and stay with an organization. In the study, the author stated that employees must understand perception of brand within the organization.
From the employee survey, there are values which are identified that leavers were less positive about the following aspects of the job: performance improvement as a result of skills developed over the past year, felling valued, equality and diversity, work life balance, commitment to health and wellbeing, and feeling motivated and inspired to be more effective at work. Through analysis from employees’ survey, real insight can be gained to predict how employees are feeling and help organizations retain most valuable people.

Identified Employee Surveys: Potential Promise, Perils, and Professional Practice Guidelines

Saari, L. M., Scherbaum, C. A. (2011). Identified Employee Surveys: Potential Promise, Perils, and Professional Practice Guidelines. Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 4(2011), 435-448.

Over the 5 decades employee surveys have become a pertinent part of organizations of any size. Organizations use this from of testing to diagnose critical aspect of organizational functioning such as assessing employee engagement, employee opinions, cultural assessment, Training assessments and new hire and exit surveys to name a few. As employees surveys have expanded and evolved in their use the practice of surveys have evolved as well, one area that exemplifies these changes is Identified employee surveys.

This article examines the use of Identified surveys from three aspects, when to use identified surveys, response behavior and lastly ethical concerns associated with this method of survey. Organizations use Identified surveys when they want to understand the longitudinal implications of certain issues. One of the primary concerns with identified surveys is that removing anonymity may impact response behaviors. Research suggests that identification can result in reduced response rate; it can influence the integrity of the answers and it can lead to socially desirable answers.

Lastly, as it relates to ethical considerations it is absolutely imperative that organizations develop policies for the collection and protection of individually identifiable data and their privacy. Participants must be clearly informed about the nature and method of the survey. This article covers wide range topics as it relates to surveys, but as identified surveys gain popularity it becomes important for organizations to consider all aspects of this survey method before using it.

Employee Surveys – Strategic aid or hand-grenade for organizational and cultural change?

Hartley, J. (2001). Employee surveys-Strategic aid or hand-grenade for organizational and cultural change?. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 14(3), 184-204.

The use of employee attitude surveys is becoming more popular within organizations human resource management as a method of research and a practical technique. While there are many articles, books and manuals on the technical aspects of conducting employee surveys and how to carry out such surveys, there is a little theory about why public service organizations conduct surveys.

This article examines the use of employee surveys in some local authorities and how these surveys contributed to strategic organizational change. The research examines the links between employee surveys and organizational change. The author focuses on corporate surveys that mostly have links with the strategic aspects of organizational and cultural change. The research was conducted out in the public sector, specifically local government. Twelve authorities were selected for more detailed qualitative research, in each authority the employee survey coordinator was interviewed by a member of the research team.

This research paper does an excellent job in presenting new insights into how employee surveys are carried out, used and demonstrated within organizational settings and how they contribute to organizational and cultural change. The author has shown that employee surveys are not neutral technical aspect to collect information, as some academics and practitioners believe. Furthermore, academic researchers have the responsibility to carry out surveys fairly and professionally. If you are looking to conduct an employee survey within your organization, then this article is for you!

Predicting Business Unit Performance Using Employee Surveys: Monitoring HRM Related Changes

Van De Voorde, K., Paauwe, J., & Van Veldhoven, M. (2010). Predicting business unit performance using employee surveys: monitoring HRM‐related changes. Human Resource Management Journal, 20(1), 44-63.

Due to the volatile market climate that organizations face, this authors articulates that it is imperative for organizations to create and strengthen a competitive advantage in their business. The answer that many firms are finding to address this challenge is in human resource and employee surveys. One of the main objectives of this study is to express the differences between branches within an organization based on employee surveys relating to human resource related change processes.

This authors discusses employee surveys and the potential for these surveys to be used to forecast a business’s performance. The authors go into extensive detail regarding testing their hypothesis. The authors detail what types of questions are asked in employee surveys. The questions asked regard employees perception of various categories regarding their job. Categories such as pay satisfaction, job security, training/development, information sharing, goal effectiveness and quality orientation were analyzed. These categories were then compared with productivity to determine if there is a relationship between the two.

The testing indicated that it is possible to forecast a business’s performance using employee surveys (Voorde, K., Paauwe, J. and Veldhoven, M., 2009). The authors of this study chose a very large institution to study and the period of time analyzed was through a longitudinal study of over 6 years, making for a comprehensive analysis.

استطلاعات الموظفين
(Employee Surveys)بسبب تقلب العوامل التى تواجه الشركات، توضح المقالة أنه لابد للمنظمات من إيجاد وتعزيز الميزة التنافسية في أعمالهم. العديد من الشركات تواجه هذا التحدي في الموارد البشرية واستطلاعات الموظفين. واحدة من الأهداف الرئيسية لهذه الدراسة هو توضيح الاختلافات بين الفروع داخل الشركة على أساس استطلاعات الموظفين المتعلقة بالموارد البشرية والمتعلقة بعمليات التغير
تناقش هذه المقالة استطلاعات الموظفين واحتمالية استخدام هذه الاستطلاعات للتنبؤ بأداء الشركة. توضح المقالة بتفاصيل أختبار المقالة الخاصة بها. وإيضا توضح المقالة أنواع الإسئلة التي يمكن استخدامها في استطلاعات الموظفين. تطرح الأسئلة التصور المختلف للموظفين فيما يتعلق بعملهم. وقد تم تحليل الأمور المتعلقة برضا عن الأجر، الأمن الوظيفي، التدريب والتطوير، تبادل المعلومات، الأهداف والجودة. ثم تمت مقارنة هذه الفئات مع الإنتاجية لتحديد ما إذا كان هناك علاقة بين الإثنين. أشار الإختيار أنه من الممكن التنبؤ بأداء الشركة باستخدام استطلاعات الموظفين. اعتمد هذا الإختبار على دراسة شاملة وطويلة تصل مدتها إلى ٦ سنوات مما يجعل منه تحليل شاملا متعلق باستطلاعات الموظفين وأداء الشركة

Employee Surveys: A Powerful Driver for Positive Organizational Change

Roberts, D., and Levine, E., (2014). Employee Surveys: A Powerful Driver for Positive Organizational Change. Wiley Online Library.

This article does an excellent job of giving a comprehensive overview of the importance that surveys in an organization hold for both the employee and employer. This literature emphasizes that surveys are a powerful diagnostic tool that allows for organizations to have an accurate assessment of where they stand and how they can most effectively improve.

The author illustrates how surveys can also be used to assess particular organizational functions, such as communications, rewards, human resources functions, and merger and acquisitions. Survey data can help in assessing the importance and performance of various functions in organizations. In addition, the article explores other approaches to employee surveys and defines each one in terms of outcomes and impacts on employees.

This enlightening and straightforward article goes on to discuss the different survey options that are available for an organization to participate in and adopt such as employee engagement, drivers of engagement, 360-degree feedback, assessment of organizational functions and conjoint trade-off surveys. The article goes in depth about how each of these surveys can be used to benefit a business and also gives a practical case study of a Fortune 500 company, Graybar that utilizes and has grown tremendously from the practice of employee surveys. If you’re looking to gain a more comprehensive knowledge about surveys and employee engagement, this article is for you!

استطلاعات الموظفين(Employee Surveys)استطلاعات الموظفين: محرك إداري من أجل تغير إيجابيتعطي هذه الدراسة نظرة شاملة عن أهمية الإستطلاعات في الشركات لكل من الموظفين والمدراء. وتؤكد هذه الدراسة على أن الدراسات الإستقصائية عبارة عن أداة فعالة تسمح للشركات على تشخيص وتدقيق عمل الموظفين وكيف يمكن تطوير أدائهم. وتوضح هذه الدراسة خيارات الإستطلاعات المختلفة التي تتوفر للشركات للمشاركة والتبني، من هذه الإستطلاعات: إستطلاع مشاركة الموظفين، الإستطلاع المسمى ٣٦٠ المتعلق بردود الفعل، وتقيم الوظائف الإدارية وإستطلاعات المفاضلة الموحدة. ثم توضح هذه الدراسة طرق إستخدام هذه الإستطلاعات لصالح الشركات وتشير إلى دراسة متعلقة بإحدى كبرى الشركات التي استخدمت وتطورت من تطبيق الإستطلاعات المتعلقة بالموظفين. إذا كنت تبحث لاكتساب معرفة أكثر شمولا بهذا الموضوع فعليك الخوض في هذه الدراسة

Write-in comments in employee surveys

Borg, I., & Zuell, C. (2010). Write-in comments in employee surveys. International Journal of Manpower, 33(2), 206-220.

The authors state that there is limited research on open-ended comments on employee surveys. Comments were analyzed by frequency, wordiness and tone. Comments are used to provide more information to close ended questions. It also provides evidence that the respondent answered the closed question accurately because the open comments builds on the prevous question. It was hypothesized and confirmed that negative comments are more frequent than positive comments and negative comments are wordier than the positive comments.

The survey elicited an 80% response rate that totaled 27,333 employees. All open-ended comments appeared in a separate section that was titled “Things I like to say in addition…” It was found that 40% respondents who completed online surveys provided written comments. Those who provided comments did so with a negative tone and those comments that increased in wordiness were also negative. The authors also found that dissatisfied employees and wrote more negative comments.

The study provides an expectation when open ended responses are elicited. It also provides a methodology to analyze tone in written comments.

Tracking Surveys Anonymously: An Alternative to Identified Employee Surveys

Hausdorf, P. A. (2011). Tracking Surveys Anonymously: An Alternative to Identified Employee Surveys. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 4, 482.483.

Surveys that identify the participant can be linked at the individual level with other organizational criteria such as individual performance metrics, customer satisfaction metrics, and financial outcomes. This article talks about a solution that allows participants to remain anonymous but still have the ability to link to data. This is called anonymously tracked surveys. Anonymously tracked surveys use employee generated passwords as a link to employee survey data over time or with other outcomes. Employees are instructed to provide a password that they can remember and that they can use for future survey administrations. In addition, employees are instructed to create a question that will help them recall the password if they were to forget it.

Anonymously tracked surveys can also provide more accurate comparisons across different survey administrations because employees with two passwords can be distinguished from only one password (joined after the first administration). Also, this approach can link participant survey data with withdrawal because data will cease when participants are too disengaged to participate in the survey.

Employee Surveys: A Powerful Driver for Positive Organizational Change.

Roberts, D. R., & Levine, E. (2013). Employment Relations Today (Wiley), 40(4), 39-45. doi:10.1002/ert.21432

Employee surveys are extremely popular and are a powerful diagnostic and improvement tool especially when survey responses are confidential. This article talks about employee engagement surveys as a specific metric to assess performance. However, the article also talks about other approaches to employee surveys that one may not think to consider. Specifically safety and the link between employee attitudes and safety.

Another area is rewards, where organizations can combine survey results as is beneficial because organizational change of a large scale can often have a negative impact and tracking employee views while addressing them head on is essential for long term success. The article also discusses specific surveys such as a conjoint trade-off survey and special purpose surveys.

Achieving change through a best practice employee survey

Strategic HR Review, 2012, Vol.11(5), p.265-271

This paper directs leaders on the most effective and efficient way to conduct surveys by illustrating and exploring findings from a case study.

31 HR practitioners who manage employee surveys within their organizations were surveyed for this study in early 2010. The participating companies are large organizations headquartered primarily in the UK, Germany and the USA. They represent a diverse set of industries including banking and financial services, consumer products, information technology, manufacturing, natural resources, telecommunication/utility services and retail.

Findings –Senior leaders are a key barrier and that metrics of survey effectiveness often lack organizational focus. It offers insights and practical recommendations for HR practitioners. In particular, it shows how organizations can improve their survey feedback and action-planning processesnd other HR metrics to optimize their rewards programs. Mergers and acquisitions are further areas where employee surveys can be designed to assess cultural fit within the organization.

Response in Employee Attitude Surveys: A Group-Level Analysis
Fauth, Thorsten ; Hattrup, Kate ; Mueller, Karsten ; Roberts, Brandon

Journal of Business and Psychology, March, 2013, Vol.28(1), p.1(16)

Given the common practice of using employee attitude surveys as a group-level intervention, this study used a group-level approach to examine the relationship between group satisfaction and group nonresponse. Design/Methodology/Approach Samples from four large organizations enabled job satisfaction scores to be aggregated to the work group level and correlated with group-level response rates. Additional regression analysis was conducted to control for a number of confounding variables at the group level. Findings Aggregate job satisfaction showed significant associations with group-level response rates across each of the samples examined. Work groups with higher aggregate job satisfaction had significantly higher response rates. Regression analyses showed that, in addition to job satisfaction, work group size, heterogeneity in tenure, and heterogeneity in gender composition all had significant effects on response rates. Implications Social influence processes may operate at the group level to increase homogeneity of job-relevant attitudes and similarity in survey response behavior. Future research should be designed to investigate the effects of group-level variables on nonresponse. Originality/Value The current study adds to the literature by demonstrating that work group variables may play an important role in explaining nonresponse in employee attitude surveys. Because the processes underlying survey response are likely to be different at different levels of analysis, the investigation of nonresponse as a group-level phenomenon creates new opportunities for research and practice.

Analysing the 'Black Box' of HRM: Uncovering HR Goals, Mediators, and Outcomes in a Standardized Service Environment

Boxall, P., Ang, S., & Bartram, T. (2011). Journal Of Management Studies, 48, 1504-1532. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.2010.00973.x

This multi-level study analyses the 'black box' of HRM in an Australian cinema chain, a standardized service environment. Management's espoused goals for the casual workers who run the cinema service include attempts to build customer-oriented behavior, both directly and via empowerment, and also efforts to ensure compliance with company policies and to enhance employee commitment. Our analysis of an employeesurvey and supervisory performance ratings shows that it is compliance that is positively associated with rated performance rather than customer-oriented behavior. While customer service is an important value, it is willing engagement with a highly scripted, efficiency-oriented work process that makes it happen, not a more empowering form of work design. On the other hand, the management process also fosters a level of employee commitment, which has some value in a tight labour market. The study demonstrates the way in which actual models of HRM can contain a complex and 'contradictory' set of messages, consistent with critical accounts of the labour process and suggesting that notions of 'internal fit' need to recognize such tensions. It underlines the importance of identifying the multiple goals in management's espoused theories of HRM and then assessing their links via managerial behavior and employee responses to performance outcomes.

Achieving Change Through a Best Practice Employee Survey.

Wiley, J. (2012). Achieving change through a best practice employee survey. Strategic HR Review, 11(5), 265-271. doi:10.1108/14754391211248675

Employee engagement surveys are extremely popular among organizations in order to drive change and improve retention rates, however, managing the change created is difficult. 31 HR practitioners were surveyed in early 2010. These HR practitioners managed employee surveys within their organization and worked for companies located in the UK, Germany, and in the USA. The organizational industries include banking, consumer products, manufacturing, information technology, natural resources, and utility services.

Results from the survey provided five barriers to program effectiveness for survey practitioners. These barriers are execution, importance, resources associated with action planning after the survey is completed, prioritization, accountability and tracking action. Furthermore, the best practices outlined were collaboration, execution, and follow-up with regard to creating an effective process.

This article also talks also about key challenges and best practices with regard communication, accountability, and executive sponsorship for engagement surveys to be successful. A clear direction for creating best practices is also provided.

Identified Employee Surveys: Potential Promise, Perils, and Professional Practice Guidelines

Saari, L. M., & Scherbaum, C. a. (2011). Identified Employee Surveys: Potential Promise, Perils, and Professional Practice Guidelines. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 4(4), 435–448. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9434.2011.01369.x

In order to understand how surveys can be beneficial to organizations the article illustrates the proper process of surveying employees. Starting with, when are identified surveys uniquely beneficial? When talking about identified surveys, we are focusing on individual-level behavior, attitudes, or decisions, which is the method preferred by human resources professionals to collect and maintain employee data. Moreover, these types of analyses can provide evidence to support human resources decisions and recommendations. Then do identified surveys impact employee perceptions and response behavior? Studies from a number of fields have found that when survey participants perceive less anonymity, their survey ratings become more positive, more socially desirable, less honest, and/or of lower quality.

What are the ethical and privacy/regulatory considerations for identified surveys? Respect for individuals who participate in the research, give adequate information about the research without deception. An informed consent form should be provided to participants, which includes detailed information about the study, ensuring comprehension, and voluntariness, and privacy about data security, and clarifying how long the data will be retained. What are the professional practice guidelines? You must develop policies, give clearly information, do not force, protect their identity, use the data responsibly, and let them know in what situations you would allow their information to be released.

Six Things You Need to Know About Strategic Employee Surveys

Wiley, B. J. W. (n.d.). Six Things You Need to Know Employee Surveys.

Six things you need to know about strategic employee surveys by Wiley, B. J. W. (n.d.) states that in the world’s 12 largest economies, more than 50 percent of organizations with 100 plus employees are surveying them. When it comes to the largest companies— those with 10,000 plus employees —it increases to 66 percent. With their use growing, the discussion is no longer whether to take on employee surveys, but how to maximize their value. Yet employee surveying alone will not improve performance metrics of an organization, but by measuring and aiming improvements for both the essential constructs depicted in the HPEM — performance excellence and employee engagement — companies can positively affect individual and department productivity, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and financial outcomes. Every organization is unique, with detailed strategic goals and requirements. Tailoring survey content to measure those precise objectives, and being clear with employees about the goals, leads to surveys that are easier to conduct and results that are significantly valuable.
The four principal survey types — starting from the defensive and progressing to the offensive end of the continuum— are those used as warning indicators, surveys as program evaluation measures, surveys as measures of “employer of choice” and surveys as leading indicators of business success.

The research by Wiley, B. J. W. (n.d.) has identified the five elements that most influence an employee’s decision to stay or leave:

1. Employee confidence in the organization’s future success
2. Satisfaction with recognition received for a job well done
3. The perception of growth and career development opportunities at the organization
4. Believing the work itself matches well with one’s skills and abilities
5. Organizational support for employees to achieve balance in work and life responsibilities

A common rule of thumb in the world of employee surveys is that 80 percent of the effort is spent during the follow-up period. While subjective, this underlines how critical the follow-up process is. Feasibly the biggest problem to effective survey feedback and action planning is the failure to isolate a short list of priorities- areas for action planning. A proven technique for both holding managers responsible for survey follow-up and for increasing employee engagement is the Behavior Change Index (BCI) - were the results of the survey communicated to my group? Lastly, taking survey results and turning them into business outcomes can be challenging, yet there is a set of characteristics that characterize teams that do it remarkably well. Three of these characteristics are critical. As stated in (Becker and Gerhart, 1996) these teams have a clearly articulated vision, mission and value system. Also, organizations measure what is important and share the results with their employee. Finally, they are persistent.

Emotional Job Resources and Emotional Support Seeking as Moderators of the Relation between Emotional Job Demands and emotional Exhaustion: A Two-Wave Panel Study
Van de Ven, B., van den Tooren, M., and Vlerick, P. (2013). Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(1), 1-8.

De Ven et al., (2013) sought to evaluate the extent to which emotional job demands impact emotional exhaustion among Belgian employees employed in the technology sector. The researchers hypothesized that employees who are provided with emotional job resources would experience lower levels of emotional exhaustion.

Survey instruments were sent to participants using a two-wave panel with a 1-year time lag: at Time 1 (4,912 employees, with the response rate of 31.2%) and at Time 2 (4,622 employees with the response rate of 27.1%). The final sample included 237 French- and 474 Dutch-speaking employees. The following variables were measured in the present study: (a) emotional job demands, (b) emotional job resources (DISC Questionnaire), (c) emotional support-seeking (Proactive Coping Inventory), and (d) emotional exhaustion (Maslach Burnout Inventory).
The researchers documented that employees who scored high on emotional job demands scored high on emotional exhaustion (H1). Although the relationship between emotional job demands and emotional job resources was statistically insignificant (H2), the relationship between emotional job demands, emotional job resources, and emotional exhaustion was moderated by emotional support seeking (H3). Remarkably, van de Ven et al. (2013) found that there was a statistically significant interaction between emotional job demands and emotional support seeking.

In conclusion, the researchers suggest that employees in the technology sector may benefit from those job-redesign interventions that include not only the availability of emotional job resources but also resources that stimulate their emotional need for social interaction with colleagues and supervisors.

The Risks and Rewards of Speaking up: Managerial Responses to Employee Voice

Burris, E. (2012). Academy of Management Journal, 55, 851-875.

This article discusses manager’s perception of employees who speak up using two distinct types of voice - a challenging or supportive. Burris (2012) hypothesized that managers perceive employees with a more challenging ways of speaking as less effective performers, less loyal, and more threatening than those employees speaking in a supportive way. The researcher also hypothesized that managers rarely endorse the ideas of employees speaking with a challenging voice.

Burris (2012) conducted 3 series of studies inviting managers, MBA and undergraduate students as participants. Store managers from 281 corporation-owned stores responded to questionnaire items which evaluated the type of voice they used when responding to their supervisors. In addition, the managers’ supervisors were asked to rate performance of managers who reported to them.A type of voice (challenging or supportive) was measured by 6 questions which asked the respondents to indicate how often they engage in a specific behavior while communicating to their supervisors. Each supervisor filled out an overall evaluation of the managers’ performance.

Employing multilevel analyses, Burris (2012) found the supportive voice was positively associated with performance while the challenging voice was negatively related to performance. Supervisors gave “low” performance rating to employees with a challenging voice and “high” performance ratings to those managers who used supportive voice. In the second study with the MBA students, Burris identified similar results suggesting that supervisors tend to perceive managers with supportive voice as loyal and well performing job duties. In the third study with the undergraduate students, the researcher found that experts who spoke with a challenging voice were perceived as less favorable than those experts who engaged in a supportive voice.

Burris (2012) strongly recommends that supervisors should receive training on how to react to a challenging voice of their employees and learn to perceive it as an opportunity and not as a threat. Similarly, the researcher encourages rewarding not only those employees who provide suggestions but also those who act upon those suggestions.

Employee Empowerment, Employee Attitudes, and Performance: Testing a Casual Model

Fernandez, S., & Moldogazlev, T. (2013). Public Administration Review, 73, 490-506.

The focus of this study was employee empowerment and its effect on performance, job satisfaction, and innovativeness. Fernandez and Moldogazley (2013) hypothesized that there would be a positive effect of employee empowerment on performance, innovativeness, and job satisfaction; positive effect of innovativeness on performance; negative effect of performance on innovativeness; and positive effect of job satisfaction on performance.

Over 500,000 surveys were sent via the Internet to federal employees performing managerial and non-managerial functions in years 2008, 2010, and 2011. Final analyses were reduced from about 200,000 individual observations (those who filled out surveys) to 228 observations representing subagencies. Fernandez and Moldogazley (2013) measured employee empowerment through four practices: sharing job-related information, rewarding a desirable performance, making job related knowledge and skills available, and enabling others to change work processes. The researchers measured performance through work unit performance and agency performance; job satisfaction through satisfaction with job and satisfaction with organization; and innovativeness through encouragement to innovate and innovation behavior.

The results of structural equation models showed that employee empowerment has a direct positive effect on performance, job satisfaction, and innovativeness; job satisfaction has a positive effect on performance; and innovativeness has a positive effect on performance.

Fernandez and Moldogazley (2013) listed some limitations of their study including lack of data on employee self-efficacy, organizational commitment, and public service motivation as well as limited ability to compare this study’s perceptual and internal measure of performance with other available performance measurements.

The Study of the Antecedents and Outcomes of Attitude toward Organizational Change

Chih, W. H., Yang, F. H., & Chang, C. K. (2012). Public Personnel Management, 41, 597-617.

This research sought to find out whether or not job satisfaction and organizational commitment influence attitude toward organizational change and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Chih, Yang, and Chang (2012) hypothesized that job satisfaction positively influences organizational commitment (H1), attitude toward organizational change (H2), and organizational citizen behavior (H3); that organizational commitment positively influences attitudes toward organizational change (H4) and organizational citizenship behavior (H5); that organizational change significantly influences OCB (H6).

Out of 200 invitations sent to randomly selected volunteer officers in the R.O.C. Air Force Command Headquarters, 135 (67.50%) were returned. Researchers adopted various questionnaires and conducted two pretests to ensure test reliability and appropriateness of questionaries’ items. Overall, 389 surveys were returned and 345 (76.67%) were used for statistical analysis.

Participants responded to a 15-item survey measuring job satisfaction, a 24-item scale assessing organizational commitment, an 18-item scale measuring three dimensions (cognitive, affective, behavioral) of attitude toward organizational change, and a 21-item scale measuring organizational citizenship behavior.

Overall, the study results showed that job satisfaction positively influenced organizational commitment (H1), attitude toward organizational change (H2), and OCB (H3). There also was a significant positive relationship between organizational commitment and attitudes toward organizational change (H4) and between attitude toward organizational change and OCB (H6). Researchers did not find enough evidence to support significant relationship between attitude toward organizational commitment and OCB (H5).

According to Chih, Yang, and Chang (2012), the study’s limitations include the use of a 7-point Likert scale and the similar background of research participants. For future research, the researchers suggest identifying key characteristics of OCB, selecting different types of armed forces, and adopting a longitudinal method for collecting data.

Employees Don't Have Time for Wellness Initiatives - REPORT

Strauss, K. (2013). Forbes.Com

The article describes the findings of the surveys conducted by Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) that examined the issues in employee wellness program. The survey results indicated that 86% of employees do not participate in wellness program because they do not have time. This problem suggests poor integration of the program. In other words, the employees do not have time for wellness program because the program is not given officially allocated time slots in a part of the employees’ working schedule. Another problem is that although 99% of the surveyed organizations reported medium to high importance for fun in the program to facilitate the employee morale, only 10% reports that they actually achieve high levels of fun. The article suggests this may be due to poor integration, budget constraint, and insufficient resources. Finally, the report indicates that the wellness program tend to attract same employees across time, and fail to attract people who can benefit the most.

Identified employee surveys: potential promise, perils, and professional practice guidelines

Saari, L. M., & Scherbaum, C. A. (2010). Industrial Organizational Psychology, 4, 435-448.

Employee attitudes as measured by employee surveys are often related to other important data. Investigating the patterns of the relationship between the attitudes and the other variables requires individually unique identifier of each participant to see which survey data links to which data from other measures. However, the identified survey has issues with impacts on the participants’ response behavior, and privacy and anonymity. The paper closed with the guidelines for the use of the identified survey as follows;

  • Develop policies for the collection, use, and protection of individually identifiable data.
  • Clearly inform what is being collected, how it will be used, how the participants’ information will be protected, and whether it will be transferred to a third party.
  • Do not coerce.
  • Protect identity by separating the identifying information from the survey data, using non-identifiable codes and keeping the codes with identifying information in a protected file.
  • Use data responsibly and avoid using identifying information if the research design does not require it.
  • Define duty to warn a third party in certain circumstances; e.g., where an open ended response indicates that a third party may encounter a life threatening situation.

Social technologies: Crossing the next threshold.

Bughin, J., & Chui, M. (2013). Mckinsey Quarterly, (1), 76-77.

Several organizations are experiencing the next threshold of crossroads with social technologies. According to the Mckinsey survey executives expect organizational change could spur further benefits over a brief period, since social technologies have expanded. Due to the growth of social technologies they are discovering limited experiments at the edge of some corporate practices to what’s now mainstreaming. This is placing corporations at the crossroads; “if they want to capture a new wave of benefits, they’ll need to change the ways they manage and organize themselves, according to our sixth annual survey of global executives on the business use of these technologies” (para. 1). The Mckinsey survey, surveyed over 3,500 executives around the world, in order to represent a full range of industries, company sizes, and functions. According to the survey:
  • 83% of respondents reported that their companies utilize at least one social technology
  • More than half of those surveyed use social networks double the level in 2009
  • 4 in 10 companies use blogs, video-sharing sites, and quarter them have adopted wikis, podcasts, and microblogs (such as Twitter) to facilitate communication
  • 90% of the executives reported an improvement on their benefits from the social tools
  • 70% respondents state technologies speed access to knowledge

This data shows that social technology assist organizations in achieving their objectives as well as improve their employee satisfaction. “The ranks of these fully networked enterprises have jumped from only 3 percent of respondents in 2011 to about 10 percent in 2012” (para. 2). Although, these enterprises have improved with social technology they have hit a plateau. Bughin states executives are optimistic about the next leg of social technology. Even though they “recognize the new open environment’s risks, particularly the leakage of confidential information and intellectual property, staff postings that reflect negatively on companies, and everyday distractions from employees’ core tasks” (para. 4). Therefore, over half of the respondents believe “the potential benefits outweigh the risks” (para. 5). With this sentiment these respondents are going to accelerate these changes and stress the importance on driving social media skills throughout their organizations.

Relationships between daily affect and pro-environmental behavior at work: The moderating role of pro-environmental attitude

Bissing-Olson, M. J., Aarti, I., Fielding, K. S., & Hannes, Z. (2013). Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34, 156-175. doi:10.1002/job.1788

Are you interested in promoting “green” efforts in your organization? Then, it is important to know who is inclined to put efforts on environmentally friendly ways of work. The study focused on individual “green” efforts in the workplace rather than organizational efforts. Fifty-six workers from a wide range of jobs participated in survey questionnaire for pro-environmental attitude and daily diary about their levels of daily affect and pro-environmental behavior (Male = 18, Female = 38, Age = 19 to 64; M (SD) = 38.5 (13.3), Tenure = 2 months to 24 years; M (SD) = 5.2 (6.2)).

Specifically, the first goal of the researchers was to examine relationship between daily positive affect (which change over time and thus, a differentiating variable within-person) and daily pro-environmental behavior in the workplace. The daily positive affect was classified into two types; unactivated (e.g., relaxed, at ease, and calm) and activated (e.g., excited, happy, and euphoric). The negative affect was not examined since the study is based on the broaden-and-build theory, which argues that the negative affect would narrow individual thoughts and actions, and do not expand the resources beyond what is currently available; thus, the negative affect would not influence pro-environmental behavior. The researcher hypothesized that both daily unactivated and activated positive affect is positively related to daily task-related pro-environmental behavior. The results did not support the hypotheses.

Secondly, they examined relationship between pro-environmental attitude (which is a between-person variable) and daily pro-environmental behavior. The researchers hypothesized that pro-environmental attitude positively predicts both task-related and proactive daily pro-environmental behavior in the workplace. The results supported the both hypotheses.

Thirdly, they examined the interaction of the above three variables (within-person and between-person variables, and pro-environmental behavior). Three hypotheses were proposed regarding the moderating effects of pro-environmental attitude, interacting with the relationship between the unactivated versus activated affects and task-related versus proactive pro-environmental behavior. The results only supported the moderating effects of pro-environemental attitude on the relationship between activated positive affect and proactive pro-environmental attitude. Specifically, the relationship was stronger when the pro-environmental attitude was less positive while the relationship was weaker when the pro-environmental attitude was more positive. This implicates the importance of activated positive affect to increase the likelihood of pro-environmental behavior especially when an individual is not generally concerned with “green” environment.

In sum, the results suggest that the pro-environmental attitude is the most consistent predictor of pro-environmental behavior among the variables of the current study both in task-related and proactive ways. Creating organizational climate that supports environmental protection to promote individual pro-environmental attitudes may be helpful to facilitate workplace “green” behavior. Also, through the job design and positive work events, positive affect may be promoted to increase the likelihood of the proactive “green” behavior.

Selection Practices in Canadian Firms: An empirical investigation

Mann, S. L., & Chowhan, J. (2011). International Journal Of Selection & Assessment, 19, 435-437. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2389.2011.00571.x

This study used the data collected for seven years from 1999 to 2005 via the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey (WES) to examine the types of selection tools used with 23,639 employees in 6,693 Canadian firms for selection practice. The criterion included the use of job-related knowledge test, personality test, and interview (regardless of structured or unstructured). Four to twenty-four employees were surveyed within each firm via telephone interviews.

Only 10% of the employees were given a knowledge test and 9% were given a personality test, while 79% were given an interview. Those having in-house HR department tended to use all three selection tools. Size of the organization did not predict the types of selection tools. Non-profit organizations tended to use interview while for-profit organizations tended to use a personality test. Service industry tended to use interview, and unionized positions predicted the use of knowledge tests and a personality test. Wage predicted the use of a personality test. Professional occupations tended to use knowledge tests, and managerial occupations were less likely to use interviews. Those who use computer tended to use a personality test and interview. Permanent positions both in full-time and part-time tended to use interview. Note, however, only 2 % of variances by knowledge-based tests, 4% of variances by personality test, and 5% of variances by interview are explained. In other words, large variances are unaccounted for by the use of selection tools. Meaning, many Canadian firms examined in this study do not practice evidence-based selection processes that are recommended in scientific research.

Starbucks Develops Survey to Better Understand Employee Performance.

(2012). HR Focus, 89(10), 15. .

The article discusses an employee performance survey developed by the restaurant Starbucks Corp. According to Melissa Graves, director of Starbucks’ Organization Insights and Analytics, HR department reinvented the employee survey platform. This reinvented employee survey uses an analytic measure to create a better understanding instead of the long ridiculous “30- minute survey conducted online and on company time”(para. 2).
In this survey they asked personal questions to which employees’ answered anonymously, which resulted in over “800,000 individual responses which were reviewed by a psychology students Starbucks hired” (para. 3). Based on this information they discovered they had five different types of employees:

the social student (36 percent of the hourly workforce), a young single student for whom
flexibility is about making sure school comes first and who sees the job as having fun with
the practical individualist (10 percent), an artist or creative type who views the position as
more of a job and values the scheduling flexibility to do other things, like go snowboarding;
the transitioning college grad (12 percent),who is single with no kids, for whom it is just
a job;
the community builder (23 percent), an oftentimes married, older worker getting back in
the workforce, who is attracted to company’s community activities and looking for flexibility
for his or her kids’ sake; and
the career enthusiasts (19 percent), the lifelong Starbucks employee and fan.

Based on this survey, it showed Starbucks the benefits of having a variety of workers by increasing their tuition reimbursement program and how accurate this type of employee survey is compared to the old scorecards.

The impact of moral stress compared to others stressors on employee fatigue, job satisfaction, and turnover: An empirical investigation.

DeTienne, K., Agle, B., Phillips, J., & Ingerson, M. (2012). Journal Of Business Ethics, 110(3), 377-391. doi:10.1007/s10551-011-1197-y

The workplace environment with business ethics can be extremely stressful. In this study the authors compare “the impact of moral stress with other job stressors on three important employee variables-fatigue, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions-by utilizing survey data from 305 customer-contact employees of a financial institution’s call center” (para. 1). So, the authors used several concepts to help them to understand the causes and effects of business ethics in the workplace. They implied Kohlberg (1984) cognitive moral development, “locus of control (Rotter 1966), obedience to authority (Milgram 1974), moral disengagement (Bandura 1996), moral awareness (Rest 1986), and ethical climate (Victor and Cullen 1987)”, as examples of the causes. Then as for effects they included “ethical/unethical behavior (Trevino 1986), corporate crime (Hill et al. 1992), and firm attractiveness to potential employees (Turban and Greening 1997), and corporate social performance (Wood 1991).”(para. 2) to support their data.

In this study the authors have analyzed the impact of moral stress on employees and managers. Some of employees have suffered daily attacks of job stressors, such as lack of supervision, co-worker support and family conflicts that are brought to the workplace. All of these stressors have been treated equal since there are few studies that have conducted the stress disparities in the ethical values and behavior of employees’. For example, healthcare employees deal with stress that involves human suffering, life or death situations’. With this example this indicates that moral distress intensity concerns the level of stress one would feel if faced with certain types of situations, while moral distress frequency deals with how often someone faces such situations. This cognitive reaction is equal to environmental stress.

Based on the statistical analysis on the interaction of moral stress and employee variables-fatigue, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions revealed that higher levels of moral stress leads to higher levels of turnover intentions. Therefore, moral stress is harmful to organizations, which makes it difficult to manage. If organizations encourage discussions of moral-related issues in the workplace, this can increase employees’ perceptions of a more ethical culture to help reduce moral stress. Since “Ethic matters” organizations should conduct a survey to address stressors because moral stress leads to greater fatigue, lower job satisfaction, and high turnover intentions in the workplace.

Interpreting organizational survey results: A critical application of the self-serving bias

Hausdorf, P. A., Risavy, S. D. & Stanley, D. J. (2011). Organizational Management Journal, 8, 71-85. doi:10.1057/omj.2011.11

Two studies were conducted to examine the self-serving bias in organizational survey. If employees engage in impression management to present themselves in a positive light in survey, they may inflate scores of the items focused on self and deflate the items focused on others. This may distort the survey results. Such biases could attenuate the effectiveness of survey, and accuracy of diagnosis.

In the study 1, it was hypothesized that there will be a positive relationship between self-focused items and the employees’ positive endorsement of the items. A sample of 1290 unionized professional and middle management employees from four Canadian health organizations took a 35-item online organizational survey to assess readiness to organizational development initiative. The expert rating of self/other focus was positively correlated with the item scores, supporting the hypothesis.

In the study 2, two hypotheses were proposed: 1) items that employees identified as Organizational Strength will contain more self-focused items than other-focused items; and 2) items that employees identified as Areas of Improvement will contain more other-focused items than self-focused items. Unlike study 1 where expert raters were aware of the purpose of the study, the study 2 employed psychology faculty and students who were blind to the purpose of the study sorted items into self-other focus to minimize experimenter bias. A sample of 594 unionized, professional, and middle management employees from a medium sized Canadian consumer packaged goods company took a 32 item survey on employee engagement. Both of the hypotheses were supported.

In both studies, the self-serving biases played a role in influencing diagnosis. Further studies are required to explore how to improve accuracy of diagnosis based on survey.

Set in great store

Clegg, A., & Kesteven, S. (2012). People Management, 36-39.

This article “focuses on Human Resource (HR) and Retail director Sarah Andrews' efforts to reorganize retailer Harrods' HR department and reduce employee turnover” (Clegg & Kesteven, 2012). Since the HR department was aware of their high turnover rate, Andrews decided she wanted to stop the revolving door, because it was costing the organization a lot of money.

The way she approached her goal in stopping the revolving door is by establishing better communication between the senior management and the shop floor. This led to an employee survey, to determine why their employees are unhappy. The feedback results were a wakeup call for Harrolds. “The biggest issues that came out from the survey was employees were unsatisfied with the “staff toilets and the staff restaurant” (p.37). With this feedback she was able to make makeover the staff facilities and adjust the employees’ benefits to accommodate the employees’ which improved the morale within the organization. She discovered when the employees are happy they would be more productive and excelled in their positions.

Measuring Employee Engagement During a Financial Downturn: Business Imperative or Nuisance?

Van Rooy, D., Whitman, D., Hart, D., & Caleo, S. (2011). Journal of Business Psychology:, 26, 147-152.

In a recent article, researchers demonstrate the imperativeness in business in measuring workplace attitudes-including during an economic downturn or crisis. Researchers comb through and review large quantities of data of employee engagement using real world examples, and argue for the business value of engaged employees. The authors offer practical applications for HR managers, including providing guidance on the types of questions that should be asked in an employee survey and focusing on those that result in the most actionable feedback. The article concludes by laying out an agenda for future research aimed at bridging the gap between the academic and practical.

Identified employee surveys: Lessons learned

Biga, A., McCance, A., & Massman, A. J. (2011). Industrial And Organizational Psychology: Perspectives On Science And Practice, 4(4), 449-451.

Employee surveys are quite often the medium of choice for organizations to test the “heart-beat” of their organizations. In a recent case study by Proctor and Gamble on their own employee survey process, they developed simple yet very practical lessons learned. Outlined are 6 recommendations or best practices from the over 80 core items that measure various topics from employee attitudes to engagement. Proctor and Gamble have delivered their surveys to over 100,000 employees in 80 different countries across 20 different languages. These recommendations are aimed to bridge the gap between scientific methodology and practical application.

Psychological contracts and counterproductive work behaviors: Employee responses to transactional and relational breach

Jensen, J. M., Opland, R. A. & Ryan, A. M. (2010). Journal of Business and Psychology, 555-568. doi:10.1007/s10869-009-9148-7

Purpose This study extends the research on counterproductive work behavior (CWB) by examining the psychological contract breaches that trigger employee CWB. Specifically, we explored the relationship between transactional and relational contract breach and five forms of CWB (abuse, production deviance, sabotage, theft, and withdrawal). Further, we considered the role of situational and individual factors that mitigate CWB engagement and examined the moderating effects of organizational policies meant to deter CWB and personality (conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability).
Design/Methodology/Approach A total of 357 employees responded to surveys of transactional and relational psychological contract breach, CWB, knowledge of organizational policies, and personality. Relationships were examined via hierarchical linear regression.
Findings Findings generally supported the notion that transactional and relational breach has differential effects on CWB. However, there was limited support for the moderating effects of policies and individual differences on these relationships.
Implications Given the consequences of CWB for organizations and individuals, it is important for organizations to understand how transactional and relational contract breach relates to different forms of CWB. In addition, it is important to recognize the limited role that organizational policies and personality have in diminishing CWB.
Originality/Value Our contribution to this area of study is the parsing of the effects of distinct elements of the psychological contract to specific forms of CWB, so that organizations can achieve a better understanding of which aspects of the psychological contract affect CWB and implement targeted interventions” (Abstract).

Multisource feedback: Lessons learned and implications for practice

Atwater, L. E., Brett, J. F., & Charles, A. C. (2007). Human Resources Management, 46, 285-307. doi:10.1002/hrm.20161

A three-year research was conducted to investigate the implementations of multisource feedback (MSF) in two organizations. The study indicated that human resources professionals must pay attention to how they implement MSF since trust between the raters, ratees, and the facilitators, the attitudes, personality traits, and organizational context considerably affect the reactions to the feedback. Moreover, reactions to negative feedback influence subsequent behavior, and thus, should not be ignored or treated lightly. The findings indicate that extra care must be given to how to facilitate MSF and subsequent developmental activities.

Designing, Administering, and Utilizing an Employee Attitude Survey

Knapp, P. R., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2010). Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, 31-14.

Regarding Employee Attitude Survey or Organizational Climate Survey, the article discussed the following questions and answers.

“1. What is an Organizational Climate Survey?
Answer - An Organizational Climate Survey can be seen as an employee opinion survey designed to ascertain the opinions/suggestions regarding current topics/issues relevant to the Human Resources Department or of the issuing manager/department.
2. What are the benefits to an organization to adopt the use of such a Survey?
Answer - The inclusion of employee’s ideas/suggestions to assist in dealing with current organizational/departmental issues/concerns.
3. Who should choose the pilot department/unit?
Answer - The Human Resource Department in conjunction with department management requesting the survey.
4. How should the introduction of the use of the Survey be done and by whom?
Answer - The Human Resource Manager, the Department / Unit Manager, the Team Leader, and/or the Program Leader in conjunction with either of the two aforementioned.
5. Who should choose the Program Leader?
Answer - The Human Resource Manager/the Department/Unit Manager.
6. What criteria of competency should be used in selecting a Program Leader?
Answer - The Program Leader should be respected as competent, articulate, having excellent organizational skills, and the ability to keep a group focused.
7. Should the Survey be given in a group setting, led by the Program Leader, or online?
Answer –Both avenues have their advantages but the authors recommend that the survey administration be led by the Program Leader, especially if this is the first survey given by the human resources department or organization. This approach is more personal and allows for questions and answers.
8. To whom should the completed Survey be returned to?
Answer – If online administration is chosen, the completed surveys should be returned to the person who sent the Survey. If a Program Leader is chosen, the completed surveys should be returned to that person.
9. If using an online administration format, how much time should be allowed for completion and submission?
Answer – That may best be determined by a pilot of the Survey, via online, to several groups of employees” (p. 7 – 8).

Web versus mail: The influence of survey distribution mode on employees’ response

M. N. K. Saunders (2012). Field Methods, 24, 56-73. doi:10.1177/1525822X11419104

Saunders compared response rates of mail-based surveys (MBS) and web-based surveys (WBS). The research questions are: 1) How much difference is there in employees’ response rates between WBS and MBS? ; 2) How much difference is there in employees’ nonresponse for crucial and for demographic questions between WBS and MBS?; and 3) How much difference is there in employees’ responses to crucial questions between WBS and MBS? The survey with approximately a 20-minute completion time on average was administered to 3,338 employees in a large U.K. public sector organization. The contents included 10 sections for 121 Likert-type scale items, an additional section with 10 closed demographic questions, and the final open question for optional comment about concerned issues. Through systematic random sampling, the MBS was distributed to 50% (1,669) of the sample while a Web link was e-mailed to the remaining half.

The results indicated that overall response rate of the WBS was better than the MBS. However, effect size of each scale was small. Furthermore, the WBS had more partial responses and abandonment than the MBS. The open question, on the other hand, showed that the WBS received longer responses than the MBS with a medium effect size. The author provided five recommendations for the use of WBS: 1) WBS should be considered for the organizations with IT literate respondents and Internet access in their work; 2) the design should enable assessment of non-response bias; 3) inclusion of questions directly related to WBS and associated technologies should be cautioned unless assessment for response bias is incorporated; 4) aggregation of the WBS responses directly related to the means for survey administration with the other administration means should be cautioned; and 5) aggregation of the WBS open responses with other modes of responses must be cautioned.

The measurement and interpretation of organizational climate

F. J. Thumin, & L. J. Thumin

When we speak of surveys, assessments, and scales, we are actually very fussy with tiny details. Some people think we are overzealously pretending to be scientific about something not measurable. Maybe so, but the surveys created by trained professionals with psychology background are still more valid and reliable than intuitive judgment. That is because we follow through exhausting process, and run rigorous tests to make sure the instrument will do a good job. The paper describes the development of a new organizational climate survey. Methodological and conceptual gaps between organizational climate and organizational culture were addressed.

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Organizational climate, occupational stress, and employee mental health: Mediating effects of organizational efficiency

B. B. Arnetz, T. Lucas, & J. E. Arnetz

No time for soft human touch? Making money should be the ultimate goal, it is right. But are you sure you are really doing a good job when you don’t take care of your workers’ well-being? Arnetz and the colleagues investigated the mediating effects of organizational efficiency between organizational climate, occupational stress, and mental health.

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Identified Employee Surveys: Potential Promise, Perils, and Professional Practice Guidelines

L.M. Saari & C. A. Scherbaum

Have you asked consultants to disclose personally identifying information of survey respondents before? Or have you asked consultants to make the survey identifiable? We, consultants, tend to say no to such requests. There are good reasons for that. The reasons may be rooted in professional ethics. But we are concerned about faking in the responses too. Sometimes, knowing the dangers, we still have to make survey responses identifiable. The article explores our perspectives on such practice, benefits, risks, and guidelines for the use of identified employee surveys.

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A penny for your thoughts: Monetary incentives improve response rates for company-sponsored employee surveys

D.S. Rose, S.D. Sidle, and K.H. Griffith

It may not be surprising to an employer that offering an incentive to complete a survey will likely raise the response rate. What may come as a shock is what type of incentives are more likely to increase the number of respondents. In this article, data on the affect of monetary incentives are collected to help contribute to our understanding about what motivates individuals to participate in the survey effort.

Find out what incentives are more helpful in the full article here:

Predicting business unit performance using employee surveys: monitoring HRM-related changes

K. Van De Voorde, J. Paauwe, & M. Van Veldhoven

This longitudinal study investigated the appropriate indicators of business unit performance, using an employee survey. The survey included the following dimensions; performance orientation, development, pay satisfaction, and job security. All but development dimensions predicted profit at some point of the study. Especially, performance orientation showed the most robust predictive ability with high reliability.

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If you treat me right, I reciprocate: Examining the role of exchange in organizational survey response

C. Spitzmuller, D. M. Glenn, C. D. Barr, S. G. Rogelberg, & P. Daniel

Think you’re doing everything you can to increase your employee survey response rates? Think again. By looking further into individual’s differences in personality and organizational citizenship behaviors, you may find better ways to make the most of your survey efforts. This article by Spitzmuller et al. provides a framework for understanding what is at the root of low response rates so you can attack the source of these difficulties.

Find out more about nonrespondents in the full article here:

The ‘dark side’ of leadership personality and transformational leadership: An exploratory study

H. S. Khoo & G. S. J. Burch

Personality of effective leaders is of growing interests. In particular, popular interests are drawn to personality of transformational leaders, who enhances motivation and morale of the followers as opposed to simply handling day-to-day managerial leading roles. However, few empirical studies have been conducted on relationship between ‘dark side’ of personality dysfunctional to workplace and transformational leadership. Horgan Development Survey (HDS) is one of the hottest survey instruments particularly designed to examine the ‘dark side’ of personality. Khoo and Burch used HDS and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire to tap into ‘dark side’ of transformational leaders’ personality.

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Causal Impact of Employee Work Perceptions on the Bottom Line of Organizations

J. K. Harter, F. L. Schmidt, J. W. Asplund, E. A. Killham, & S. Agrawal

It's well understood that employee well-being should be nurtured to allow your business to thrive. How does one go about scaling the dynamic impact that favorable employee perceptions have on the bottom line? This study makes a measurable connection between employee surveys and the bottom line through a collection of factors. Uncover some dimensions of your organization that could be affecting your profit margin.
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A Meta-Analytic Study of Social Desirability Distortion in Computer-Administered Questionnaires, Traditional Questionnaires, and Interviews

W. L. Richman, S. Kiesler, S. Weisband, & F. Drasgow

Social desirability responding is a term that describes response in a manner that is intended to be viewed favorably by others. It creates biases in the obtained data. Richman, Kiesler, Weisband, and Drasgow conducted a meta-analysis of social desirability distortion, and compared computer questionnaires with paper-and-pencil questionnaires and face-to-face interviews in 61 studies that were conducted from 1967 to 1997. When computerized instruments were used instead of face-to-face interviews, social desirability biases were found less than they were in face-to-face interviews. Biases seem to be relatively small particularly when respondents are allowed to be alone, anonymous, and could backtrack to revise the answers. This difference tends to be more prevalent when the items pertain to personally sensitive matters.

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Measuring Organizational Climate and Employee Engagement: Evidence for a 7 Ps Model of Work Practices and Outcomes

P. Langford

In order to implement the measurement of employee tests one must have a company or corporation that intends to conduct a job analysis to recognize the need of an employee test. After conducting the foundation (job analysis) of any development or intervention one can identify the needed change. Data collection consists of 13729 employees and 1279 mangers, followed by 1279 business units. Two surveys were employed, one titled Management Survey and the other titled Voice Climate Survey. Many variables were assessed and the sample was large enough were the authors had the ability analyze both at the individual level and the organizational level. The paper also details in full form the questions posed and how factor analysis proved that the survey itself was valid and reliable. The resulting evidence speaks about practices and outcomes of behavior.

The title speaks about the seven p’s of a model directed at work practices. Specific information as to what the seven p’s are and how they are related to each of the surveys, the work and the outcomes can be found by reading this article. A table provides for quick transfer of information and that is on page 193.

The discussion speaks about the climate survey (specifically the construct of employee engagement) and how factor analysis provided information that the survey was reliable and valid.

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Organized Change Consultancy has delivered numerous presentations on this very topic, Employee surveys. He is skilled at climate surveys, employee surveys, satisfaction survey and has a publication titled “Master of All You Survey” In addition, the company invests in a survey system that can be customized and tailored to your specific industry. Organizations and the products or services they provide are inherently different and thus using a off-the shelf test with interpretation not grounded in theory and practice may deliver short term success when scoring and thus producing generalized recommendations for implementation and action planning. A unique survey designed to fit the resulting gaps of performance can produce a strategic map of performance measures that get at the root of the problem rather than provide a temporary solution.

Predicting Business Unit Performance using Employee Surveys: Monitoring HRM-related challenges

K. Van De Voorde, J. Paauwe & M. Van Veldhoven
Predicting business unit performance of a large financial organization with members exceeding nine million can be difficult to assess. Empirical research investigates longitudinal relationships between employee surveys and branch supervisors. Employee dimensions consisted of 1) quality orientation 2) goal effectiveness 3) information sharing 4) pay satisfaction 5) job security and 6) job development. Profit per-time equivalents of financial branches created the performance measure. Results showed decreasing and increasing of areas performance. What are the exact effects between survey dimensions and performance?
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Drivers of job satisfaction as related to work performance in Macao casino hotels

Z. Gu & R. Chi Sen Siu

An employee survey was conducted at Macao casino hotels to collect information on work performance and job satisfaction. Results indicate that interpersonal skills are weak and that this is a major gap in training. A customer-above-all mindset is suggested as a key objective of training initiatives. With regards to job satisfaction salary and benefits are the most important contributors. Knowing that an organization cannot continuously provide higher and better benefits there are two additional drivers of job satisfaction. What are they? Read the article and find out the answer to this question on page 14.

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Globalization, Human Resource Practices and Innovation: Recent Evidence from the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey

S. Walsworth & A. Verma

A recent study surveyed employees and found that employee knowledge and employer international engagement are associated with positive outcomes; namely:

1. Higher Efficiency;
2. Entrance/Expansion into new and bigger markets;
3. Increase innovation, and
4. Higher levels of employee commitment

With a number of companies striving to expand and have an international presence read on to find out how you might secure your companies stake in the international market by defining your unique niche. The authors offer tips on how to make your HRM work for you and solidify your international presence by customizing innovation.

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Predicting Business Unit Performance using Employee Surveys: Monitoring HRM-related Changes

K. Van De Voorde, J. Paauwe, and M.Van Veldhoven

171 branches of a large financial institutions was studied to determine a predictor of financial performance, specifically at the branch level. Employee surveys were shown to predict an increase in financial performance by 17.9 percent of the total yearly profits. To find out the details of this study read the full article.

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Globalization, Human Resource Practices and Innovation:Recent Evidence from the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey

S. Walsworth & A. Verma

This article talks about standard Human resource practices that encourage innovation among the international business environment. The authors also speak about two specific aspects innovation is understood to incorporate. Find out what these two aspects are by reading the full article.

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Using mobile phones for survey research

P. Vicente, E. Reis & M. Santos

A national survey was conducted on national regarding internet and cultural practices. There were significant differences between mobile phone respondents and land line phone respondents (fixed phones). Completion times, response rate, and omitions were areas that created the most interesting findings. What were the findings?

Read the article to find out.

Measuring Organizational Responsiveness: The Development of a Validated Survey Instrument

J. Hoyt, F. Huqh & P. Kreiser

There are few surveys in the literature that measure organizational responsiveness. This article discusses proposed enablers of organizational effectiveness and empirically tests them to create a survey that can be generalized to three industries. To find out if these industries are relative to yours and if their survey produced a product that can meet your needs read the full article.

To read the full article please click here .

Understanding and Dealing with Organizational Survey Nonresponse

Steven G. Rogelberg & Jeffrey M. Stanton

This article discusses the nonresponse bias impact assessment strategy (N-BIAS). A survey can be a useful tool for organizations. However, in many cases, there is the issue of nonresponse. N-BIAS examines the study’s extent of bias and external validitiy, given nonresponse to survey questions. Future research is discussed.
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Employee surveys: guidance to facilitate effective action

Kathryn Joan Fraser, Desmond J Leach & Professor Sue Webb

University of Sheffield

This article explores employee surveys and gives examples of the increased use of employee surveys and explain the main facilitators for action.
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Employee Attitude Surveys: Examining the Attitudes of Noncompliant Employees

Steven G. Rogelberg, Alexandra Luong, Matthew E. Sederburg, and Dean S. Cristol

Bowling Green State University

When administering employee surveys not all employees are compliant. This article investigates the attitudes of non-compliant employees and the origin and nature of attitudes of such employees by reviewing such variables as organizational commitment, work satisfaction, pay satisfaction, promotion satisfaction, supervisor satisfaction, satisfaction with the job in general, intentions to quit, and work-related demographics.

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Employee Surveys Administered Online: Attitudes Toward the Medium, Nonresponse, and Data Representativeness

Lori Foster Thompson & Eric A. Surface

It is known that the advances of technology has made survey administration a popular form of data collection. What is not known is the attitudes this particular form of data collection has on those who take the survey and those who do not. What is interesting is the active nonresponse of the participants who consciously decide not to answer the survey. This study explores that issue and more.

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The Influence of Organsation's Corporate Values on Employee Personal Buying Behaviour

Jesus Cambra-Fierro, Yolanda Polo-Redondo & Alan Wilson

This study address the influence of organisional values of supervisors upon their subordinates. The interaction between individual professional values and level of power are explored.

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A Comment on Employee Surveys: Negativity Bias in Open-Ended Responses

Reanna M. Poncheri, Jennifer T. Lindberg, Lori Foster Thompson & Eric A. Surface

How many times have you asked yourself whether or not to include open-ended question on en employee survey; how many open-ended question should you include; what added value with the questions provide? Well wonder no more and read on. Learn about who answer and why; and whether or not the information acquired offers a benefit to the organization.

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How to Make the Most of Employee Surveys

L. Carlson

The purpose of employee surveys is to provide feedback to the organization. It also builds trust between employers and employees because employees feel that they are heard. This article provides tips on how to conduct surveys.

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Design, Validity, and Use of Strategically Focused Employee Attitude Surveys

B. Schneider, S. Ashworth, C.A. Higgs, & L. Carr

These researchers found that organizational effectiveness was linked to the use of employee surveys. They found that feedback from employees were valid and served to be important diagnostic tools to how organizations can use this feedback to achieve its goal.

To read more click on Design, Validity, and Use of Strategically Focused Employee Attitude Surveys

Getting Feedback You Can Depend On

C. Garvey

Many employee surveys do not tap into the true worker’s experience, which will not provide useful information to the employer. This author recommends several steps to which employers can avoid this problem.

To read more click on Getting Feedback You Can Depend On.

Employee Surveys Taking the Pulse of Worker Satisfaction

R. Brown

Surveys are effective tools to gauge employee satisfaction. In this article, Brown recommends some dos and don’ts of employee surveys.

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Diagnosing Organizations: Open System Models

L. Barat and V. Barrera

PowerPoint Presentation on the Open Systems (OS) model including inputs, outputs, organizational processes, structure, culture and system dynamics.

To view PowerPoint Presentation click here .

Recession Proof your Organization through the use of Employee Surveys

Elaine Strothers

While many organizations are cutting departments and trimming expenses it should be noted that one expense that should stand the test of economic transition is the cost of implementing employee surveys. This white paper states five reasons why employee surveys can recession proof your organization.

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A Comment on Employee Surveys: Negativity Bias in Open-Ended Responses

R. Poncherry, J. Lindberg, L. Thompson, E. Surface

This article reveals a tendency for organizational climate survey respondents to provide more negative comments in the qualitative sections.

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Self-Other Agreement in Job Performance Ratings: A Meta-Analytic Test of a Process Model

H. Heidemeier & K. Moser

Self-ratings of performance are sometimes used during, or as part of, the evaluation process. This meta-analysis reveals a low-to-moderate relationship between performance ratings given by oneself versus someone else.

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Computerizing Organizational Attitude Surveys: An Investigation of the Measurement Equivalence of a Multifaceted Job Satisfaction Measure

K. Mueller, C. Liebig, & K. Hattrup

The following study investigates whether computerized surveys measure the same job satisfaction outcomes as paper-and-pencil surveys. The study reveals that the forms are essentially equivalent and offer real-world implications of this finding.

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Attitudes of Demographic Item Non-respondents in Employee Surveys

I. Borg, M. Braun & M.K. Baumgartner

When completing surveys, many respondents elect not to answer certain demographic questions. The self-selection to omit answers on a survey stimulates thought and provokes the question 'Why?' The authors of this article try to discern whether those who elect not to respond are providing the researcher with red flags right from the start. What are those red flags? Low commitment and poor job satisfaction are just two of the potential reasons why respondents do not provide answers.

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