Step 3: Setting up a Questionnaire
In order to set up a survey you can either design a questionnaire yourself or use a template as a starting point for the study. You can find links to the templates in the following section introducing various studies. It is also possible to create and share your own templates within Socilyzer. All templates can be changed before being sent. The module for designing questionnaires is built into Socilyzer and questions are easily added from the submenu:
Questions to Outline Social Networks
The purpose of your study is to collect relational data, that is: data about how people interact or do not interact at work. Such data is collected with rating questions or relationship question. With a rating question the respondent can indicate the intensity of a relationships whereas a relationship question only lets the respondent indicate if there is a connection or not.
Normally, such questions indicate a specific type of interaction (e.g. face-to-face meeting or knowledge sharing) and sometimes they also set the context for the interaction. The context can be a scenario such as “sharing customer stories” or “appraising performance”.
The more detailed the question is, the easier it is to answer and to act upon after the collected data has been analyzed.
A rating question has six different answer options. These options always begin with the “Don’t know this person”-option, which is for the non-existing ties that will not be visualized. With the remaining five answer options the respondent can report how often the interaction occur or how intensive it is. More concrete answer options such as “Several times a day” and “Once a day” are less ambiguous than answer options like “Very often” and “Often” and will therefore help improve the quality of the study.
The example below shows how a rating question appear to the respondents:
A relationship question does not offer any answer options instead it can be restricted to a predetermined number of relationships that can be indicated. This feature allows the researcher to ask the respondents to identify the one person they find most helpful, for instance.
In the questionnaire, a relationship question limited to one answer looks like this:
An unlimited relationship question looks like this:
Traditional Survey Components
Socilyzer can also collect traditional survey data such as answers to scale and multiple-choice questions. These questions can, for instance, be used to measure the general job satisfaction and for respondents to indicate their seniority or department.
Answers can be studied on their own or they can be used to put the social networks into perspective. Socilyzer allows you to study groups identified by the answers to these traditional survey questions (e.g. group by department) in the network and to color the social network by these answers. This feature can be used to reveal whether there is a connection between how people collaborate and communicate and other factors such as department, job satisfaction or seniority - or vice versa.
This type of question lets the respondent indicate one or more items. A question could be "Which department are you aligned to?" and the items would be the relevant departments in the organization. The question can either be limited to a certain number of items (in the department-example it would be limited to one item) or unlimited.
The question appears like this in the questionnaire:
A scale question lets a respondent indicate their answer on a 5-point scale usually with two extremes. An example of this would be the question "How satisfied are you with your job?" with the answer options ranging from "Very unsatisfied" to "Very satisfied". This type of question is particularly good for measuring attitudes.
The researcher can ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are questions that the respondent can provide a text answer for. Often, they serve as clarifying questions in regard to the preceding rating or relationship question. The open-ended questions can also be useful when requesting input and remarks. A final use is to ask for any other people with whom they also interact but were not included in the study. It can easily be the case that people who seem to have few ties actually have a number of connections outside the network being studied. One example would be employees in sales that naturally have a large number of external relations.
Finally, if scenarios need to be described for the respondent to understand the question, or if the researcher wants to inform the respondent about other things, an information block can be inserted. It is always a good idea to make sure the respondents know why the study is being carried out and what it will be used for. Information blocks can also be helpful for ensuring the respondents that it is okay not to report any connections if the question does not apply to their situation.