Response Preference in Organizational Behavior Research: Do Respondents to Classical and Internet Surveys Possess Different Psychological Characteristics?
Vlerick Leuven Gent Working Paper Series No. 2003/1
19 Pages Posted: 23 May 2003
Date Written: January 2003
The Internet has become a widespread tool for conducting research in organizational behavior. Little is known, however, of the psychological characteristics of Internet users. In the present study, differences in motivation, satisfaction, behavioral patterns and work outcomes are examined among respondents who had the choice of either filling in an online or a traditional pen-and-paper version of a large-scale Flemish survey (N=5853). Participants in both groups were mostly professional workers. After controlling for demographic variables, our results suggest that those who responded over the Internet place higher importance on opportunities for self-development and on assuming responsibility than those who opted for the pen-and-paper version. Moreover, Internet respondents appeared to be less satisfied with the content of their jobs and with their bosses. They also reported a significantly higher intention to leave the organization. Finally, the Internet group reported less compulsive work addiction, fewer health complaints, and less work-to-family conflict. The results allow us to conclude that Internet respondents more closely represent the image of the modern professional workforce, as often characterized in terms of shifting psychological contracts, values and career expectations.
Keywords: Internet Surveys, Organizational Behavior
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