Romancing the Phone: Increasing Executive Response Rates in Strategic Management Research

Padraic Regan


Empirical research requires some form of data collection or evidence in order to test a hypothesis. Conducting research in the area of strategic management invariably necessitates data collection from an organisation’s most senior executives but such activity is becoming increasingly difficult. So how can researchers improve their prospects of accessing these most valuable of resources? This paper is based on a particular research study which required responses from executives involved in a specific area of the international services sector. The results show that a combination of techniques had to be deployed in order to attain the targeted sample, including customised ‘gentle reminder’ phone calls. Moreover, the techniques selected must be tailored to the characteristics of the respondent in question. Management researchers may well benefit in their empirical endeavours by following the recommendations put forward. Limitations and future research recommendations are also outlined.

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