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Posted on May 2nd, 2014, by


Questionnaires represent a structured technique for gathering primary data (Beiske, 2007:3). A standard questionnaire involves a series of questions which should be answered by the respondents. The simplest approach to the definition of questionnaire is recording the answers to the questions. Other explanations of questionnaire involve a technique of research that presupposes asking various people the same set of questions. Oppenheim as cited in Beiske (2007:3) emphasizes that a questionnaire should be well designed to motivate the respondents to give accurate and compete information. A questionnaire can be used as an inductive method. It may help to formulate a theory. Open-ended questions may be useful in exploring a substantive area. This type of research may be applied for gathering reliable data for testing a theory that already exists. In this way questionnaire represents a deductive approach. It is possible to combine deductive and inductive approach in this type of research.

QuickMBA as cited in Beiske (2007:3) identifies three major types of questionnaires. They involve open-ended ones which offer a wide range of responses helping to avoid influencing the answer by ”˜pre-determining possible responses’. However, this type of questionnaires often tends to provide answers that are difficult to be evaluated and vary in their clarity in depth. Dichotomous questionnaires presuppose only two possible opposite answers. Peterson (2000) claims that such type of questionnaires is not recommended in case of collecting data related to preferences, opinions, attitudes or psychological characteristics as dichotomous questionnaires may provide oversimplified or even forced answers in such situations. Closed-end questionnaires offer more information than dichotomous questionnaires do. This type of questionnaires are easier to administered and require les efforts from the responds contrasted to open-ended questionnaires. Thus, less people tend to refuse answering the questions.

Depending on a research questions and the approaches to the survey questionnaires Monsen and Van Horn (2007:177) identify qualitative, semi-qualitative and quantitative questionnaires in their nature.

Face-to-Face Interview

Face-to-Face interviews represent ”˜synchronous communication in time and place’. The advantage of this method of research is that is can provide additional information based on voice, intonation, tone or body language (Opdenakker, 2006:3). The value of this information depends on the purpose of study. In case the interviewer is a subject and the source of information concerning the attitude to some phenomenon or even then such information is very important. When the interviewer is not connected with the subject (is not an expert) then this kind of information is les important. One of the disadvantages of this method of research is that the interviewer is able to influence the interviewee. However, this effect may be minimized by using an interview protocol and the interview controlling his behaviour while working with the interviewee.  The peculiarity of the method is that there is no time delay in the process of responding to the questions. Both participants are able to react at one on what each of the m says. The advantage of the method is that the answer is more spontaneous as the interviewee usually has no time to reflect (Opdenakker, 2006:3). However, the interviewer must control the process and concentrate on asking and answering the questions. The formulation of the questions may vary depending on the character of communication. The interviewer should keep in mind the needs of the research to direct the interview correctly. Such interview may be recorded with the permission of the interviewee. Both recording and making notes are necessary for effective research. Another advantage of face-to-face interview is that the interviewer is able to create a good atmosphere; still it may require a lot of time and costs. The termination of such interview is easy to be controlled and it may be seen as one more advantage of the method.

Most studies identify semi-structured, in-depth and structured interviews depending on the character of the questionnaire.

The strategy of effective interview should involve three main steps involving establishing rapport with the interviewee, gathering information and closing.

Shuy as cited in Knox and Burkard (2009) emphasizes that face-to-face interview can be more effective than other type of interview as both the researcher and the interviewee share the same space and are able to disclose their experience freely.

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