Questionnaire Communication in Business Surveys
This chapter provides guidelines for designing business surveys questionnaires. We use the term questionnaire communication instead of questionnaire design in the title to indicate that the request for business information is communicated by the questionnaire. In fact, one of the main arguments in this chapter is that business questionnaires can be improved by replacing series of one-way information on paper with a more dynamic two-way communication in electronic questionnaires. Chapter 9 continues this approach by using the term survey communication to describe the communication between the surveyor and the businesses about the questionnaire prior to, during, and after data collection. These two kinds of communication, together with a sampling plan, form the core of the data collection design.
In Chapter 3 we tried to identify the main quality challenges encountered in business surveys, and in Chapter 7 we described development and testing methods for learning more about these challenges in a specific survey. In Chapter 3 we also identified the main aspects of a survey instrument; the text elements, the visual elements, and the functional elements. In this chapter we discuss how these instrument elements can be used to address the quality challenges in business surveys. Chapter 9 focuses on how these same challenges are addressed by the survey communication strategy.
8.1 Communication Modes