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The Development of a Holistic and Quantitative Tool for the Assessment and Improvement of Survey Quality.

Chen, Tao


Tao Chen


There are a variety of guidelines and methods available to measure and assess survey quality. Most of these are based on qualitative descriptions. In practice, they are not easy to implement and it is very difficult to make comparisons between surveys. Hence there is a theoretical and pragmatic demand to develop a mainly quantitative based survey assessment tool. This research aimed to meet this need and make contributions to the evaluation and improvement of survey quality.

Acknowledging the critical importance of measurement issues in survey research, this thesis starts with a comprehensive introduction to measurement theory and identifies the types of measurement errors associated with measurement procedures through three experiments. Then it moves on to describe concepts, guidelines and methods available for measuring and assessing survey quality. Combining these with measurement principles leads to the development of a quantitative based statistical holistic tool to measure and assess survey quality. The criteria, weights and subweights for the assessment tool are determined using Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) and a survey questionnaire based on the Delphi method. Finally the model is applied to a database of surveys which was constructed to develop methods of classification, assessment and improvement of survey quality.

The model developed in this thesis enables survey researchers and/or commissioners to make a holistic assessment of the value of the particular survey(s). This model is an Excel based audit which takes a holistic approach, following all stages of the survey from inception, to design, construction, execution, analysis and dissemination. At each stage a set of criteria are applied to assess quality. Scores attained against these assessments are weighted by the importance of the criteria and summed to give an overall assessment of the stage. The total score for a survey can be obtained by a combination of the scores for every stage weighted again by the importance of each stage. The advantage of this is to construct a means of survey assessment which can be used in a diagnostic manner to assess and improve survey quality.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date May 16, 2011
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Survey quality; assessment; measurement theory; Multi Criteria Decision Making;
Public URL
Award Date Apr 26, 2011


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