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Questionnaire on Employee Job Satisfaction in Software Industry

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									Data Collection Methods

         CHAPTER 8

Chapter Objectives
   Know the difference between primary and
    secondary data and their sources.
   Know the advantages and disadvantages of each
    data collection method.
   Make logical decisions as to the appropriate
    data collection methods for specific study.
   Be able to demonstrate your skills in
    interviewing others, and to design
Sources of Data
   Primary data: information obtained firsthand by the
    researcher on the variables of interest for the specific
    purpose of the study.

   Examples: individuals, focus groups, panels

   Secondary data: information gathered from sources
    already existing.

   Examples: company records or archives, government
    publications, industry analyses offered by the media,
    web sites, the Internet, and so on.

Sources of Data
1. Primary sources: Refer to information
  obtained firsthand by the researcher on the
  variables of interest for the specific purpose
  of the study. Examples of sources of Primary
  data are individuals, focus groups, the
  internet could also serve as a primary data
  source when questionnaires are administered
  over it.

Sources of Data
 2. Secondary sources: Refer to
 information gathered from sources
 already existing from several sources.
 As for example, company records,
 government publications, industry
 analyses offered by the media, web
 sites, the internet, and so on.

Data collection Methods
   Data collection Methods are an
    integral part of research design. There
    are several data collection methods,
    each with its own advantages and

Data collection Methods
   Data collection methods include three
    main methods:
    1- Interviewing: It could be unstructured or
    structured interviews.
    2- Questionnaires
    3- Other Methods of Data Collection

Principles of Questionnaire


 The unstructured and structured
  interviews    have several forms:
     Interviews Face-to-face
     Telephone interviews
     Computer-assisted interviews
     Electronic media interviews

Unstructured Interviews
   Unstructured Interviews are so labeled
    because the interviewer does not enter the
    interview setting with a planned sequence of
    questions to be asked of the respondent.
   The objective of the unstructured
    interview is to bring some preliminary issues
    to the surface so that the researcher can
    determine what variables need further in-
    depth investigation.
Structured Interviews
   Structured Interviews are those conducted when
    it is known at the outset what information is needed.
   The interviewer has a list of predetermined
    questions to be asked of the respondents either
    personally, through the telephone or through the
    medium of a PC.
   The questions are likely to focus on factors that
    had surfaced during the unstructured
    interviews and are considered relevant to the

   The Questioning Technique
        Funneling
         In the beginning of an unstructured interview, it
        is advisable to ask open-ended questions to get
        a broad idea and form some impressions about
        the situation. For example a question that could
        be asked, would be:
        “what are some of your feelings about working for
        this organization?”

   The Questioning Technique
     Unbiased Questions
       It is important to ask questions in a way
      that would ensure the least bias in the
      response. For example:
       “Tell me how you experience your job”
     this question is better than,
       “The work you do must be really boring;
      let me hear how you experience it”
   The Questioning Technique
         Clarifying Issues
        To make sure that the researcher understands issues as the
          respondent intends to represent them, it is advisable to
          restate or rephrase important information given by the
          respondent. For example, if the interviewee says,
         “There is an unfair promotion policy in this organization;
          seniority does not count at all. It is the juniors who always
          get promoted”.
         The researcher might interject and ask,
          “So you are saying that juniors always get promoted over
          the heads of even capable seniors.”

   The Questioning Technique
      Helping the Respondent to Think Through Issues.

        If the respondent is not able to verbalize his
       perceptions, or replies, “I don’t know,” the
       researcher should ask the question in a simpler
       way or rephrase it. For example, the respondent
       might be asked which task he would prefer to do:
       serve a customer or do some filing work. If the
       answer is “serve the customer,” the researcher
       might use another aspect of the respondent’s job
       and ask the paired-choice question again. The
       respondent can sort out which aspects of the job
       he likes better than others.

   The Questioning Technique
       Taking Notes
        when conducting interviews, it is important that
        the researcher makes written notes as the
        interviews are taking place, or as soon as the
        interview is terminated. The interviewer should
        not rely on memory. Information based solely on
        recall introduces bias into the research.
       The interviews can be recorded on tape if the
        respondent has no objections.

Personal Interview

   Advantages
       Can clarify doubts about questionnaire
       Can pick up non-verbal cues
       Relatively high response/cooperation
       Special visual aids and scoring devises can be used

   Disadvantages
       High costs and time intensive
       Geographical limitations
       Response bias / Confidentiality difficult to be assured
       Some respondents are unwilling to talk to strangers
       Trained interviewers

Telephone Interview

     Advantages
         Discomfort of face to face is avoided
         Faster / Number of calls per day could be high
         Lower cost

     Disadvantages
         Interview length must be limited
         Low response rate
         No facial expressions

Tips for Interviews

Data collection Methods
Administering Questionnaires
     Personally administered.
     Sent through the mail.
     Electronically administered.
     Other techniques.
       (see Figure 8.2)

Questionnaire Design

   Definition
       A questionnaire is a pre-formulated, written set of
       questions to which the respondent records his answers

   Steps
      1.    Determine the content of the questionnaire
      2.    Determine the form of response
      3.    Determine the wording of the questions
      4.    Determine the question sequence
      5.    Write cover letter

Question Wording

   Avoid double-barreled questions

   Avoid ambiguous questions and words

   Use of ordinary words

   Avoid leading or biasing questions

   Social desirability

   Avoid recall depended questions

Question Wording

   Use positive and negative statements
       Dresdner delivers high quality banking service
        Dresdner has poor customer operational support
       Avoid double negatives

   Limit the length of the questions
    Rules of thumb:
     < 20 words

     < one full line in print

Question Sequence

              Personal and sensitive data at the end
Guidelines for Questionnaire
   Classification Data or Personal
    Personal information elicit such
    information as age, educational level,
    marital status, and income.
   Unless absolutely necessary, it is best not to
    ask for the name of the respondent.
   It is a matter of choice for the researcher to
    let the personal information appears in the
    beginning or at the end of the questionnaire.

Guidelines for Questionnaire
   Classification Data or Personal
     It is a wise policy to ask for the
    personal information by providing a
    range of response options, rather than
    asking exact figures. For example, the
    variables can be tapped as shown
Guidelines for Questionnaire
   Example 1
       Age (years)     Annual Income
        Under 20    □ Less than $20,000
       20 – 30      □ $20,000-30,000
       31 – 40      □ $30,001-40,000
       41 – 50      □ $40,001-50,000
       51 – 60      □ $50,001-70,000
       Over 60      □ $ Over 70,000

Principles of Measurement
   There are some principles of
    measurement to be followed to ensure that
    the data collected are appropriate to test our
   These refer to the scales and scaling
    techniques used in measuring concepts, as
    well as the assessment of reliability and
    validity or the measures used, which were
    all discussed before.
Principles of Measurement
   Appropriate scales have to be used depending on
    the type of data that need to be obtained.
   Wherever possible, the interval and ratio scales
    should be used in preference to nominal or ordinal
   Once data are obtained, the “goodness of data” is
    assessed through tests of validity and reliability.
    Validity establishes how well a technique,
    instrument, or process measures a particular
    concept, and reliability indicates how stably and
    consistently the instrument taps the variable.

General Appearance of the
   It is necessary to pay attention to how the
    questionnaire looks. An attractive and neat
    questionnaire have the following elements:
     A good introduction
     Organizing questions

     Giving instructions and guidance

     Good alignment

    These elements are briefly discussed with examples.

Cover Letter

   The cover letter is the introductory page
    of the questionnaire
   It includes:
       Identification of the researcher
       Motivation for respondents to fill it in
       Confidentiality
       Thanking of the respondent
General Appearance of the
   Example 2
    A production manager wants to assess the reactions
    of the blue-collar workers in his department to the
    introduction of computer-integrated manufacturing
    (CIM) systems. He is particularly interested to know
    how they would perceive the effects of CIM on:
        a. their future jobs
        b. additional training that they will have to
        c. future job advancement.
   Design a questionnaire for the production

General Appearance of the
                   Jordan Software Enterprises
                          P.O.Box 2231
Dear Employee,
   As we had discussed in our meetings, Computer Integrated
 Manufacturing (CIM) will form a part of our operations in the future.
 We would like to know how you visualize certain aspects of the future
 environment as we introduce the changes.
 Please take a few minutes to complete this short questionnaire and
 return it to the locked box in the headquarter office.
 Thank you for responding within the next five days.
 Ahmad Rasheed
 Production Manager

General Appearance of the
1. Personal information ( place a mark on
   the appropriate place)
Job Status           Number of years
                     Worked in the Department
--Machinist           -- Less than 1
--Inspector           -- 1-2--
--Forman               -- 3-5
--Surveyor             -- 5-10
-- Other               -- Over 10 years

General Appearance of the
2. Your Opinion regarding the following.
  Please circle the appropriate number for each of   the
    following items using the scale below.
Strongly                 Neither Agree                  Strongly
Agree         Agree     Nor Disagree      Disagree     Disagree
  1              2             3              4             5
1. I will need additional training      1 2 3        4    5
  to work in the changed
2. The new system will offer me         1 2 3        4     5
   better opportunities for
3. The opportunities for training        1 2 3       4     5
   will have to be enhanced with

General Appearance of the
4. I am not sure if CIM will need         1   2   3   4   5
   all the people we now have in
   this department.
5. I feel that most of us may not         1   2   3   4   5
   have better opportunities for future
  promotions in the new manufacturing
6. Most of us will need special           1   2   3   4   5
   training to work with CIM.
7. I am sure the future looks bright      1   2   3   4   5
   for most of us here.

General Appearance of the
   Items 4 and 7 measure opinion about
    their future jobs.
   1, 3, and 6 measure perceived training
   2, and 5 measure job advancement.

General Appearance of the
 Example 3
 The president of Mideast Co. suspects that
  most of the 500 male and female employees
  of the organization are somewhat alienated
  from work.
  He is also of the view that those who are
  more involved (less alienated) are also the
  ones who experience greater satisfaction with
  their work lives.
 Design a questionnaire the president
  could use to test his hypothesis.
General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3

Before we can design a questionnaire,
 we need to list the variables to be
 tapped and operationally define the
 more abstract concepts. The following
 variables are mentioned in the study:
1. Involvement (or the other end,
2. Satisfaction with work life.

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
   The following demographic variables might be of
    interest to the study:
      3. Gender
      4. Tenure (number of years in the organization)
      5. Job level
      6. Age
      7. Education
   These demographic variables help to describe the
    sample, also, they might have an influence on the
    involvement (or alienation) of the employees, their
    level of satisfaction, and the relationship between
    the two.

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
    Operational Definition of Involvement would include the
     dimensions of the job being of central interest to individuals,
     and the major happiness being derived from the job. Low
     involvement can be considered as alienation.
    Items that measure involvement are:
    1. The major happiness of my life is derived from my job.
    2. Time at work flies by quickly.
    3. Working here is boring.
    4. Nothing in life is as important as work.
    5. I live, eat, and breathe my job.
    6. My work helps me establish who I am.

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
     Operational Definition of Satisfaction would
      include dimensions of satisfactions with various
      aspects of the work environment such as with pay,
      supervision, promotion, and the like.
     Questions that describe satisfaction at work
      place are:
     To what extent would you agree with the
      following statements?
1.        My work is fascinating.
2.        My work gives me a sense of accomplishment.
3.        My supervisor praises good work.

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
4.      My pay is barely adequate to take care of my
5.       My co-workers are very stimulating.
6.       The opportunities for advancement are very
      good here.
7.       I get a lot of cooperation at the workplace.
8.       People can live comfortably with their pay in this
9.       My supervisor is not very capable.
10.     The promotion policies here are very unfair.

                   Mideast Company, Inc.
                           P.O.Box 2345

December 4, 2006

Dear Employee,
As the president of your company, I am interested in conducting a
mini survey on your reactions to working in this organization. Your
responses would give me an indication of any changes that may be
necessary for offering you a better quality of work life. Your honest
and straightforward answers will aid me to help you. I do not need
your names- only truthful answers. Suggestions from you will be
implemented by a Committee if considered suitable.
Thank you for responding within a week’s time.
My best wishes
Mohammad Al-Farouki, President

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
Please check the blanks most appropriate for the items
1. Personal Data
Department in which you are working:-------------
i. Age (years)      ii. Education         iii. Sex
   - under 25           - high school          -F
   - 25-35              - college              -M
   - 36-45              - bachelor’s degree
   - 46-55              - master’s degree
   - over 55            - doctoral degree
                        - other

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3

iv. Job Level            v. Number of years in this
   -   manager               - less than 1
   -   supervisor            - 1-3
   -   clerk                 - 4-8
   -   secretary              - 9-15
   -   technician             - over 15 years
   -   other (specify)
General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3

2.Here are some questions that ask you to tell us how
experience your work life in general. Please circle the
appropriate number of the scales below.

On a scale of 1 to 5, (1) denoting very low agreement
and (5) denoting very high agreement, to what extent
would you agree with the following statements?

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
                               Very               Very
                               Low                High
1. The major happiness
   Of my life is derived
    From my job.               1      2   3   4     5
2. Time at work flies by
   Quickly.                    1      2   3   4     5
3. Working here is boring      1      2   3   4     5
4. Nothing in life is more
   important than work.         1     2   3   4     5
5. I live, eat , and breathe
   my job.                      1     2   3   4     5

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
6. My work helps me
   establish who I am.       1   2   3   4   5
7. My work is fascinating.   1   2   3   4   5
8. My work gives me a
   sense of accomplishment   1   2   3   4   5
9. My supervisor praises
  good work.                 1   2   3   4   5
10.My pay is not adequate    1   2   3   4   5
    to take care of my
11.My co-workers are
    very stimulating.        1   2   3   4   5

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
12.The opportunity for
    advancement is very
    good here.                 1   2   3       4       5
13.I get a lot of co-
    operation at the
    workplace.                 1   2   3       4       5
14.People can live comfortably
   with their pay in this
   organization.               1   2       3       4   5

General Appearance of the Questionnaire:
Example 3
15.My supervisor is not
   much capable.                           1      2       3       4       5
16.The promotion policies
are very unfair.                           1       2      3       4       5
  In the space provided below, please make any comments you
   wish regarding any aspect of the work or organization. Your
   suggestions for improvement will be very much appreciated.

                Thank you

Data collection Methods: Other
Methods of Data Collection
Observational Surveys.
    It is possible to gather data without asking questions
    of respondents. People can be observed in their
    natural work environment or in the lab setting, and
    their activities and behaviors can be noted and

   People movements, work habits, their facial
    expressions of joy, anger, and other emotions , and
    body language can be observed.

Structured Observations

   Recording pre-specified behavioral patterns of
    people, objects and events in a systematic
   Quantitative in nature

   Different types
       Personal observation

       Electronic observation

Observational Surveys

   The researcher can play one of two
    roles while gathering field
    observational data:
       Nonparticipant-Observer
       Participant-Observer

   The researcher may collect the needed data
    without becoming an integral part of the
    organizational system.
   For example, the researcher might sit in the
    corner of an office and watch and record how
    the manager spends his time.
   Observation of all the activities of managers,
    over a period of several days, will allow the
    researcher to make some generalizations on
    how managers spend their time.
   The researcher may play the role of the
    participant-observer. The researcher
    enters the organization or the research
    setting, and becomes a part of the work
   For instance, if a researcher wants to study
    group dynamics in work organization, then he
    may join the organization as an employee
    and observe the dynamics in groups while
    being a part of the work groups.
Structured Versus Unstructured
Observational Studies

   Structured Observational Studies
      Both the nonparticipant-observer and
    participant-observer could be either
    structured or unstructured.

Structured Versus Unstructured
Observational Studies
   Structured Observational Studies
    The observer has a predetermined
    set of categories of activities or
    phenomena planned to be studied.
     People can be observed in their
    natural work environment and their
    normal activities and behaviors, and can
    be noted and recorded.

Structured Versus Unstructured
Observational Studies

   Unstructured Observational
    If the observer has no definite ideas of
    the particular aspects that need focus,
    he could record everything that is

Mechanical Observation

   Machines can provide data by
    recording the events of interest as they
    occur, without a researcher being
    physically present. Films and electronic
    recording devices such as video
    cameras can be used to record data.
    Such mechanically observed data are
Advantages of Observational Studies
1. The data are more reliable and free from respondent
2. It is easier to note the effects of environmental
   influences on specific outcomes.
3. It is easier to observe certain groups of individuals
   whom are unable to give information
    ( like small children).
4. It captures the attitudes, facial expressions and other
   nonverbal behaviors, but cannot capture the thought
   of the individuals.
5. Observer have to be trained in what and how to
   observe, and ways to avoid observer bias.

Disadvantages of Observational
1. It is necessary for the observer to be
  physically present over a long period of time
  (unless a camera or another mechanical
  system can capture the events of interest).
2. It is slow, tedious, and expensive.

Advantages and Disadvantages of
Summary of Observational Studies

Mulimethods of Data Collection

Ethics and the Researcher
   Several ethical issues should be
    addressed while collecting data. These
    pertain to:
    those who sponsor the research
    those who collect the data
    and those who offer them.

Ethics and the Sponsors
1.   The sponsors should ask for the study to be done
     to better the purpose of the organization, and not
     for any other self-serving reason.
2.   They should respect the confidentiality of the data
     obtained by the researcher, and not ask for the
     individual or group responses to be disclosed to
     them, or ask to see the questionnaires.
3.   They should have an open mind in accepting the
     results and recommendations in the report
     presented by the researcher.

Ethics and the Researcher
1.   Treating the information given by the
     respondent as strictly confidential and
     guarding his privacy is one of the primary
     responsibilities of the researcher.
2.   The researcher should not misrepresent the
     nature of the study to subjects, especially in
     lab experiments. The purpose of the
     research must be explained to them.

Ethics and the Researcher
3.   Personal information should not be solicited,
     and if it is absolutely necessary for the
     project, it should be tapped with high
     sensitivity to the respondent, offering
     specific reasons therefore.
4.   Whatever be the nature of data collection
     method, the self-esteem and self-respect of
     the subjects should never be violated.

Ethics and the Researcher
5.   No one should be forced to respond to the
     survey .
6.   Nonparticipant-observers should be as
     nonintrusive as possible. His personal
     values could easily bias the data.
7.   Subjects should never be exposed to
     situations where they could be subject to
     physical or mental harm.
8.   There should be absolutely no
     misrepresentation or distortion in reporting
     the data collected during the study.
Ethical Behavior of the Respondents
1.   The subject, once having exercised the
     choice to participate in a study, should
     cooperate fully in the tasks ahead, such as
     responding to a survey or taking part in an
2.   The respondent also has an obligation to be
     truthful and honest in the responses.
     Misrepresentation or giving information,
     knowing it to be untrue, should be avoided.
Practice Exercise on Good and Bad
 Comment on each of the following questions
  stating whether they are good or bad and the
  reasons for your answer. Do not worry about
  their scaling.
1. If you have been in the company for over 15
  years, please indicate the date of your joining
  this company.
2. My boss is good but excitable in his dealing
  with others.
3. Working women should opt not to have
Practice Exercise on Good and Bad
4. Investment in children’s future should
  be an important goal of the
5. This job uses a lot of the skills that I
6. If this country is to remain competitive,
  should we not be spending more on

1. Bad question: recall dependent.
2. Bad: Double-barreled.
3. Bad: Loaded question; an emotional
  issue for women.
4. Bad: Social desirability.
5. Good question. No problem with
6. Bad question: Leading question.
Practice Exercise on Data Collection
  What data collection methods would most
   appropriately be used for the following and
a. A study of audience reactions to a political speaker.

    Answer: Both observation and unstructured
b. A study of students’ reactions to how the University
   is run.
      Answer: Probably a short questionnaire, with
        an open-ended question at the end.

Practice Exercise on Data Collection
c. A study of the student parking problems in Yarmouk
   University area.
     Answer: unstructured interviews in the beginning,
   and later, a short questionnaire.
d. A study of the performance of Yarmouk U. graduates
   in their jobs.
     Answer: A questionnaire to the employers.
e. A study by the university head seeking the student
   opinions about the quality of education in their
      Answer: In the beginning, unstructured interviews
   and later, a questionnaire.


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