Survey or Questionnaire?

Birthday cake
Image by Sami Malallah via Flickr

I was asked by one of the blog readers about the difference between surveys and questionnaire. We can easily get confused because they are doing almost the same thing. Surveys are more popular because most of the researchers use them to collect information from large population. But surveys need statistical calculations to analyse and interpret. Surveys are mostly used for quantitative researches. The surveys are usual printed on few pages and distributed in classrooms, shopping centers or social gatherings. Recently, most of the surveys are conducted online thought free survey services like Zoomerang or SurveyMonky who can collect and analyse the data for competitive prices.  Questionnaires are used for qualitative researches and usually conducted in a face-to-face setting.

Survey is a set of questions prepared with answers to choose from. For example the question can be “what is your favorite sweet after a good meal?” the answer can be: 1) cheese cake 2) chocolate cake 3) fruit salad 4) fresh apple. The survey participant will choose one answer. Questionnaires are set of questions to ask open-ended questions to get the participants perception or experience on the studied subject. Question can be “What do you like to eat after you main meal when you dine in a restaurant?”

Communication Channels

Organizations have different communications channels to send strategies, objectives, instructions, and feedbacks to its employees. The same channels are available for upward communications like problems, results, suggestions, questions and workers’ needs (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). Different communications channels are needed for different communications richness. Communication richness materialize in the content of the communication. General information like the morning weather condition can have different richness. A note with the expected morning temperatures wind speed has low message richness. But detailed hourly weather report updated on your computer screen is considered a rich report. Some organizations find written memo as the main communication method. Face-to-face communications is the considered the second best communications channel because of the advancement in the video and audio communication through the Internet. Face-to-face communications is two-way communications channel which is preferred for its richness but not desired because of it’s relatively slowness to reach most workers in the organization.value face-to-face communication is rich but slow when compared with e-mails and electronic bulletins (Schermerhorn et al., 2008). So the choice of communication channel depends on the desired richness and speed of distribution to have the desired effectiveness and efficiency. Effective communications is achieved when the intended meaning of the message equal the perceived meaning. The efficient communications is reached when the intended meaning reaches the intended receivers at the lowest cost by using the available resources (Schermerhorn et al., 2008). A good example of and efficient way of communicating an effective message is by connecting a live weather report on the company’s intranet portal. The workers will read the report when they need a weather update from the computer screed on in the convince of their offices.


Schermerhorn, J. R., Hunt, J. G., & Osborn, R. N. (2008). Organizational Behavior (10 ed.). NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Sami MalallahThe average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 132 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 144 posts. There were 179 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 376mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 17th with 135 views. The most popular post that day was Relationship Marketing – Coca-Cola in India.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for problem statement, Acer SWOT analysis, whistle blowing, daily routine, and supply chain.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Relationship Marketing – Coca-Cola in India March 2010


Acer SWOT Analysis June 2010


Leadership Styles January 2010


Quantitative or Qualitative January 2010


Research Overview February 2010

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