Online Program

International Generalizability of Organizational Surveys
*Sangeeta Agrawal, Gallup 
James K Harter, Gallup 
Yongwei Yang, Gallup 

Keywords: organizational, surveys, international

Authors: Sangeeta Agrawal and Yongwei Yang, PhD, and James K. Harter, PhD, Gallup

Organizational surveys are now widely used by multi-national organizations to measure constructs such as employee satisfaction and engagement. At the same time, questions have been constantly raised regarding their generalizability to multi-country, multi-language, and multi-culture settings. Using Gallup’s workplace research data gathered from a large number of countries and across thousands of workgroups, we explore the international generalizability of an organizational survey from two angles. Specifically, we address the issue of measurement equivalence – the international comparability with respect to the relationships between survey items and the intended constructs. More importantly, because organizational survey outcomes are typically interpreted and used at the business unit level, our investigations focus on the practical impacts of possible measurement inequivalence at the aggregate (business unit level). Finally, we also discuss the generalizability of the relationship between the survey outcomes and criterion measures (also at the business unit level), using existing meta-analytic results.