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IMT-N-III-2010 Business Research Methods Session VIII

Chapter 15, BRM, William G Zikmund, pp- 329-365

Session 8 : Learning Objectives:

Questionnaire Design
1. What Questions should be asked?
2. How should questions be Phrased? 3. In what Sequence to arrange questions?

4. Which Layout suits questionnaire?

5. How should the Pretesting be done ?

8.1 What Questions should be asked?

Problem definition & Clear objectives Determines flow of questions Sources/Types of information Experts/ layman- masses- consumers Medium of communication Personal/telephone interview, mail, e-mail Data Analysis Closed/open ended, scales, statistical analysis

Questionnaire essentials
Relevancy & Accuracy

Questionnaire: Essentials

Just necessary information collected
Information necessary to solve problem is

obtained Do not omit necessary information Be specific about data needs Have rationale for each item

Questionnaire: Essentials

Information collected is reliable & valid
Ensured with Interest in research topic Short & well designed questionnaire Simple & clear procedure followed

8.2 How should questions be Phrased?

Phrasing questions
Open ended/ closed ended Medium of communication Avoidable Avoid complex words Avoid leading/ loaded questions Avoid ambiguity Avoid double barreled questions Avoid making assumptions Avoid burdensome questions

8.2 Phrasing Questions

Open/ Closed ended questions

Open ended Best for interviews- supplementary questions Exploratory studies- responses unknown Language assessment of respondent Expensive in analysis Interviewer bias- asking questions & recording responses Closed ended Easy for respondent & interviewer Take less time Easy to record & analyze Responses must be known to design closed question Prompts respondent to select socially acceptable response

8.2 Phrasing Questions

Medium of communication
Personal Interview, Telephonic Interview, Self

Administered- mail & e-mail surveys Complexity/depth

Can be high at personal interviews

Telephone & self admn.- Should be less complex

Composition style Interview & telephone- conversational style Self administered - descriptive style

Avoidable: Complexity
Use simple/conversational language Avoid jargons & technical terms Respondent may be from different areas Borrowed scales- back translation

Example Do you think that what we want today is zero

toxicity: no effluents? Yes / No

Avoidable :Leading & Loaded questions

Leading Questions
Suggests or implies certain answers Questions beginning with- dont you think /agree /believe
Ex- Mobile phones have gained prominence in last decade,

What effect has use of landline phone seen? Used less/ no change / used more

Loaded Questions
Are emotionally charged or suggest socially desirable

Ex- Viewing the farmers suicide cases, should the

government waive all loans taken by farmers? Yes / No

Avoidable: Ambiguity
Be as specific as possible Avoid indefinite words like- often, occasionally, usually, frequently

Ex- Which one of these media do you rely on most?

Television / Radio / Internet / Newspaper

Avoidable: Double barreled questions

A question may induce bias because it covers two issues at once Ex- Do you understand & like companys new hiring policy? Yes / No

Avoidable: Assumptions

Phrasing of the question should be free from implicit assumptions Ex- Should Dominos continue its successful 30 minutes or free program ?
Yes/ No

Avoidable : Burdensome questions

Some questions tax respondents memory Respondents may have difficulty recalling facts Dont force them to respond Simplify things by aided recall

Ex- Do you recall any commercials seen during the program?

8.3 In what Sequence to arrange questions?

Warm up questions ease respondents Easy to difficult
Funnel technique General to specific Pleasing to embarrassing Order bias Position of
Answer in sequence of answers Question in sequence of questions

8.4 Questionnaire Layout

Appropriate Title for the questionnaire

Study of Internet Usage
Survey among Top Executives

Page layout of questionnaire

Margins Neatly arranged & formatted Number of pages

Tables/ Multiple grid layout

Interview/ Internet questionnaires

8.5 Questionnaire Pretesting

First draft of questionnaire needs pretesting Tried on samples at convenience Checks respondent difficulty in

Understanding the questionnaire Requests for clarifications- noted Ambiguous/ biased questions Rearranging & reframing done

Preliminary tabulation for pretesting

Ensures construct validity