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Designing and using research questionnaires

Rowley, J (2014) Designing and using research questionnaires. Management Research Review, 37. ISSN 2040-8269


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Purpose – This article aims to draw on experience in supervising new researchers, and the advice of other writers to offer novice researchers such as those engaged in study for a thesis, or in another small-scale research project, a pragmatic introduction to designing and using research questionnaires. Design/methodology/approach – After a brief introduction, this article is organized into three main sections: designing questionnaires, distributing questionnaires, and analysing and presenting questionnaire data. Within these sections, ten questions often asked by novice researchers are posed and answered. Findings – This article is designed to give novice researchers advice and support to help them to design good questionnaires, to maximise their response rate, and to undertake appropriate data analysis. Originality/value – Other research methods texts offer advice on questionnaire design and use, but their advice is not specifically tailored to new researchers. They tend to offer options, but provide limited guidance on making crucial decisions in questionnaire design, distribution and data analysis and presentation.

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