Exploring Organizational Cultures through Virtual Survey Research

Exploring Organizational Cultures through Virtual Survey Research

Eletra S. Gilchrist (The University of Alabama – Huntsville, USA) and Pavica Sheldon (The University of Alabama – Huntsville, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0963-1.ch011


The survey is regarded as the most commonly used methodological tool in gathering information. There are many types of surveys, but this chapter discusses how to conduct and analyze quantitative and qualitative survey research in virtual environments via online or computer-administered surveys. Corporations are increasingly relying on virtual surveys to acquire knowledge about their employees’ morale, satisfaction, and productivity. Hence, this chapter is intended as a tutorial guide for exploring organizational cultures through virtual survey research. This chapter explains in detail how to design survey questionnaires, sample subjects, analyze data both quantitatively and qualitatively, and finally how to interpret survey results. Strengths and limitations associated with using virtual surveys are highlighted. The chapter also considers future directions for understanding employees’ needs through virtual survey research.
Chapter Preview


Psychologist James Cattell (1860-1944) is one of the pioneers of survey research. Cattell started using mental measures to examine college students and, thus, established psychology as a legitimate science. According to Reinard (2008), the term survey involves “the process of looking at something in its entirety” in order to scrutinize “the complete scope of something” (p. 346). Wrench, Thomas-Maddox, Richmond, and McCroskey (2008) add that a survey is “a social scientific method for gathering quantifiable information about a specific group of people…” (p. 214). However, in social scientific research, the terms survey and questionnaire are often used interchangeable and refer to the use of questions for the purpose of discovering descriptive characteristics about phenomena (Reinard, 2008). More specifically, a questionnaire is “a form containing a series of questions and mental measures that is given to a group of people in an attempt to gain statistical information about the group as part of a survey” (Wrench, et al., 2008, p. 215). This chapter uses the terms survey and questionnaire to refer to the tools used in survey research.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: