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Using Electronic Surveys in Organizational/Employee Communication Research: A Study at GE's Global Research Center

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2 Author(s)
Joe R. Downing ; Commun. Arts & Sci., York ; Russell S. Clark

This study explores methodological issues that communication scholars and practitioners face when administering electronic surveys within for-profit organizations. In 2000, the researchers conducted a series of three cross-sectional studies within General Electric's (GE) Global Research Center. The Center is located in Niskayuna, NY. An equivalent version of a communication survey was administered electronically to a random stratified sample of GE employees three times that year. Each employee sample was subject to a different survey intervention: no intervention, follow-up reminder email only, and leader pre-announcement email plus a follow-up reminder. The researchers also recorded how long it took respondents to return their surveys. The highest response rate (41%) occurred in the third intervention. Across the three administrations, 465 GE employees completed the surveys; 98% of respondents returned their surveys electronically rather than printing out their responses and sending them to the researcher by postal mail. The article concludes with implications and suggestions for those who administer electronic surveys within organizations.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 3 )