You Want to Do an Interview? You Know What I Am Doing – I Am Working! Mixed Mode and Nonresponse in Organizational Surveys in German and British Hairdressing and Barbering Markets

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: 416
Oral Presentation
Nina BAUR , Department of Sociology, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Linda HERING , Technical University Berlin, Germany
Anna Laura RASCHKE , Institute of Sociology, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
For many research questions especially in organizational and economic sociology, the unit of analysis is not an individual person but the organization (i.e. the individual business). When analysing organizations, one very often thinks of large international companies with a highly educated personnel who are proficient in English and use email and the internet in their daily work.

However, one should not forget that in many businesses, employees and even the shop owner are neither highly educated nor necessarily proficient in any language apart from their own native language nor do they necessarily use the new media in their daily work.

How does this influence nonresponse? How do reasons for nonresponse differ from survey of the general population or organizational surveys in large companies? Which is the appropriate survey mode in order to minimize nonresponse? What other measures can be used in order to maximize response rates.

Using the hairdressing and barbering markets in four European cities (Birmingham and Glasgow in the UK, Dortmund and Frankfurt in Germany) as an example, we discuss these questions.

The aim of the study was to sample the whole population of hairdressing and barbering businesses in each of these cities, and we had mailing addresses and telephone numbers of all businesses and email addresses of part of the cities. Starting from this, we used a mixed-mode design (online, postal and telephone survey), experimenting among others with different questionnaire lengths and interviewer types.