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When Begging Is Not Enough: Detecting and Dealing With Nonresponse Bias to Organizational Surveys

Steven Rogelberg, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Jeffrey Stanton, Syracuse University

 

Surveys are potentially powerful assessment, monitoring, and evaluation tools available to organizational practitioners and researchers. In the great majority of applications, survey nonresponse occurs. Although rules of thumb exist concerning satisfactory response rates, the important underlying issue is whether the nonresponse has led to bias in the results. In this interactive seminar, we will discuss typical survey response rates, nonresponse, and nonresponse bias. Then, we will share and discuss the nonresponse bias impact assessment strategy known as N-BIAS. The N-BIAS approach is a series of techniques that when used in combination provide evidence about a study’s susceptibility to bias and its external validity. The N-BIAS techniques stem from a review of extant research and theory. We will include some discussion of response facilitation techniques, although this topic will receive less attention than the assessment of nonresponse bias and its impact on substantive findings.
 
Individuals who complete the seminar will have the capability to: 

• Summarize typical response rates for organizational and academic survey efforts
• Describe conditions under which survey nonresponse translates to bias and when it does not
• Use one or more systematic techniques to analyze if nonresponse bias is present in a survey data set using the N-BIAS strategies described in the seminar
• Describe to organizational stakeholders the importance of response facilitation, detecting nonresponse bias, and analyzing the substantive importance of detected bias
 

Presenters:
 
Steven Rogelberg is a professor and director of organizational science at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He has over 50 publications and nearly 50 invited addresses/colloquiums addressing issues such as team effectiveness, health and employee well-being, meetings at work, organizational research methods, and organizational development. He is the editor of the Journal of Business and Psychology, the Talent Management Essentials book series, and serves(ed) as a special feature guest editor for Organizational Research Methods and Small Group Research. He served as editor-in-chief of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2006) and the Handbook of Research Methods in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2002, 2004). Key professional leadership roles have included serving as Program chair for the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), chair of the SIOP Education and Training Committee, and chair of SIOP’s Katrina Relief and Assistance effort. Awards and honors include receiving the SIOP Distinguished Service Award, Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Psi Chi Professor of the Year Award, Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and the BGSU Master Teacher Award. Dr. Rogelberg has received over $350,000 of external grant funding. He has been a visiting scholar at The University of Sheffield (England), The University of Tel Aviv (Israel), Technion University (Israel), Concordia University (Canada), the University of Mannheim (Germany), and Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). His research has been profiled on public television, radio (e.g., NPR, CBC, CBS), newspapers (e.g., Chicago Tribune; LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post London Guardian) and magazines (e.g., National Geographic, Scientific American Mind). Some of the companies for whom he has provided consulting services include IBM, Grace Cocoa, Vulcan Materials, Proctor & Gamble, Brush Wellman, Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Mid-American Information Services, and Marshall-Qualtec.
 
Jeffrey M. Stanton, PhD, is associate dean for Research and Doctoral Studies in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Dr. Stanton’s research focuses on organizational behavior and technology, with his most recent projects examining how behavior affects information security and privacy in organizations. He is the author with Dr. Kathryn Stam of the book The Visible Employee: Using Workplace Monitoring and Surveillance to Protect Information Assets—Without Compromising Employee Privacy or Trust (2006, Information Today, ISBN: 0910965749). He is also the author of a forthcoming book iNation: Educating the Next Generation of Information Professionals, with Dr. Indira Guzman and Dr. Kathryn Stam. Stanton has published many scholarly articles in peer-reviewed behavioral science journals, such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Human Performance. His articles also appear in Computers and Security, Communications of the ACM, Computers in Human Behavior, the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, Information Technology and People, the Journal of Information Systems Education, the Journal of Digital Information, Surveillance and Society, as well as Behaviour & Information Technology. He also has published several book chapters on privacy, research methods, and program evaluation. Dr. Stanton’s methodological expertise is in psychometrics with published works on the measurement of job satisfaction and job stress, as well as research on creating abridged versions of scales and conducting survey research on the Internet; he is on the editorial board of Organizational Research Methods, the premier methodological journal in the field of management. Dr. Stanton is also an associate editor at the journal Human Resource Management. Dr. Stanton's research has been supported through 15 grants and supplements including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award.
 
Coordinator: Liu-Qin Yang, Portland State University