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A few strategies:

(1) if you have money, pay participants (this is effective with students,
counterproductive in other settings).

(2) relentless (and polite) follow up.  i usually have to do 4-5 rounds of
follow up, each with a letter/e-mail explaining why i need a high response
rate.  i usually state what the target reponse rate is, and  i typically
start reporting the overall response rate to date once it is over 50%.

(3) indicate what "public good" (if any) might come out of your research.
this has to be done in a generic fashion so as to not contaminate  your
results (e.g., this will help in the future organization of these
exercises, etc)

(4) throw yourself on their mercy-- i am a poor doctoral student, and i
need your help, etc.




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                      09/05/2003 05:01
                      PM
                      Please respond
                      to jcomas






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Hello Netters,

After some great advice from many of you on how to word some network
surveys, I am underway.  I don't have a network expert on my committee, so
I am coming back to this (deep) well.

The research context:  I am studying how network formation and knowledge
creation co-evolve in four companies of around 32 members.  These companies
are formed by undergraduates as part of a management class.  They go from
nothing to full operations (and usually generate 1-2k profit) in 15
weeks.  They are very comparable because students or fairly randomly
distributed in companies and they are all in similar institutional
environments.  I am planning on doing three rounds of networks surveys
asking about information flows, advice seeking, and friendship.  At the
same time, I have a variety of qualitative data sources to identify and
track their progress in developing new ideas and then implementing those
ideas as various forms of collective action (routine sin Organizational
Learning literature).

After Round 1, in which I was given 15 minutes in class to hand out surveys
and consent forms, I had the following response rates:


A  67.74%  21/31
B  51.61%  16/31
C  38.24%  13/34
D  64.52%  20/31

I am working with the professors of the class to figure out some ways to
boost participation.

Any ideas from you all?

Are there other ways to handle incomplete data? (I know there are some
references, but if there is anything creative that can be done while I am
collecting data, that will be helpful too).

What have others done?

Thanks!

Jordi Comas



Jordi Comas
Visiting Assistant Professor
Management
Bucknell University
570 577-3161
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"There is nothing so practical as a good theory."  Kurt Lewin

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