Social desirability bias in survey research on sustainable development in small firms: an exploratory analysis of survey mode effect

Roxas, Banjo and Lindsay, Val (2012) Social desirability bias in survey research on sustainable development in small firms: an exploratory analysis of survey mode effect. Business Strategy and the Environment, 21 (4). pp. 223-235. ISSN 0964-4733


Survey methodology has become an increasingly popular weapon of choice in conducting research on the topic of environmental sustainability in the small firm context. However, conventional application of survey research in many empirical studies tends to ignore the inherent issues associated with the mode of administration of survey questionnaires. One of these issues is social desirability bias (SDB) arising from survey modes such as face to face, the assisted type of survey questionnaire administration and mailed or purely self-administered survey. This study is an analysis of survey data generated by two modes: purely self-administered and survey enumerator assisted. The paper argues that the presence of an enumerator in the workplace or actual site of the business to administer the survey will motivate the respondents to provide more accurate information about the firms' environmental sustainability knowledge and practices. The article offers suggestions to address SDB in carrying out surveys about environmental sustainability in small firms.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2012 04:36
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2014 23:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: environmental sustainability; research methods; small and medium enterprises; small firms; social desirability bias; survey modes; survey research; sustainable development
Fields of Research : 01 Mathematical Sciences > 0104 Statistics > 010401 Applied Statistics
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150314 Small Business Management
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220303 Environmental Philosophy
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910499 Management and Productivity not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/bse.730

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