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The Response Process in Organizational Surveys - a Sociological Perspective
*Alexia Meyermann, Bielefeld University 

Keywords: response process, organizational surveys, Organization studies, sociological theory, action theory,

The understanding of the survey response process is crucial to achieving high data quality. This holds with regard to either the prevention of errors based on the implementation of special design features or the reduction of errors based on the application of special statistical methods. When it comes to surveys of organizations too little is known about the actual response process and its mechanisms yet, that could be used to ensure data quality. The current state of research lacks a systematic review of response process features and their relationships to data quality. Although the different response process features have been studied thoroughly and various response process models give good descriptions of the relevant factors that are in place, findings so far are limited because they are mostly based on qualitative studies, government surveys and large organizations only. This paper addresses the current limitations by taking a sociological perspective, looking at the organizational response as a special type of individual action which is framed by the specific organizational context. Besides Theories of Individual Action, findings from Organizational Studies will be applied.