A study was conducted to explore what could and should be a reasonable response rate in academic studies. One hundred and forty-one papers which included 175 different studies were examined. They were published in the Academy of Management Journal, Human Relations, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Journal of International Business Studies in the years 1975, 1985, and 1995, covering about 200,000 respondents. The average response rate was 55.6 with a standard deviation of 19.7. Variations among the journals such as the year of publication and other variables were discussed. Most notable is the decline through the years (average 48.4, standard deviation of 20.1, in 1995), the lower level found in studies involving top management or organizational representatives (average 36.1, standard deviation of 13.3), and the predominance of North American studies. It is suggested that the average and standard deviation found in this study should be used as a norm for future studies, bearing in mind the specific reference group. It is also recommended that a distinction is made between surveys directed at individual participants and those targeting organizational representatives.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below