Testing and revising a harmonised questionnaire
Lead partner : Anthony Arundel - University of Maastricht - Netherlands
Second : Daniele Archibugi - National Research Council - Italy
The objective of the Workpackage 7 is field testing employer and employee level questionnaires based on questions developed from the core sets of employer and employee-level indicators. The questions will be field tested for both the private and the public sectors. The field test results will feed back into each related Workpackage and lead to revisions in the definitions and measures, as required.
The field tests will use cognitive testing methods, based on face-to-face interviews with a selected group of 10 firm managers and 20 employees from the private sector and from a selected group of 3 firm managers and 6 employees from public sector organisations in each of the eight participating countries, giving a total of 312 interviews. The managers will be drawn from firms and public sector organisations that represent a variety of sectors and sizes in order to capture a range of organisational structures. The selection process will stress the participation of a diversity of firms, rather than using a random sample that would result in an excess of interviews among small firms in a limited number of sectors. When possible, interviewed employees will be selected from interviewed organisations. Two employees will be interviewed in order to grasp the within organisation diversity of work while keeping a good measure of the diversity of organisations. If, in some countries, the matching of firms and employees is difficult to implement in the testing phase, the interviewed employees will be drawn from a similar diverse range of firms and public sector organisations.
The cognitive testing will focus on structured survey questions and definitions, translated from English into each national language and then back-translated by an independent translator into the original questionnaire version in English. The back-translation process is an essential step for identifying linguistic differences that could reduce international comparability. All field tests will be conducted in the national language. Possible translation problems (partly identified through the back-translations) will be carefully queried.
The cognitive testing will focus on the ability of the definitions and survey questions to meet the following six goals :
1) face validity (the questionnaire addresses the right issues from the perspective of the respondent),
2) content validity (the responses measure what the researchers want to measure),
3) reliability (inter-rater or intra-rater similarity of responses),
4) reliability (including both sensitivity or few false negatives and specificity or few false positives),
5) the ability to measure changes over time (memory telescope effects) and
6) social desirability and other forms of bias that could particularly influence questions on employee responsibilities.
The results of the field tests will be used to adjust the definitions and measures developed in previous coordination activities and a synthesis report will be summarized at the meeting with representatives from the network comprising the European Statistical System (ESS) to be held in December 2009.