Web Survey Bibliography
If the concept of bounded rationality is accepted then there is a clear need to attempt to record the complex and often non-rational behaviour of decision makers. To address this challenge there has been renewed interest in the application of ‘mixed methods’ to evaluate socioeconomic policies. However, it is widely recognised that the normal ‘mixed method’ approaches – using standard quantitative survey techniques supported by qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews – often fail to measure or investigate issues ‘outside of the fence’. The aim of this paper is to consider whether these challenges can, in part, be addressed by including projective techniques within the ‘mixed methods’ approach. Projective techniques have been used in psychology for many years and have more recently been adapted for use in market research. However their use as a qualitative survey tool in general socio-economic research has been extremely limited. This could be due to a number of reasons including: substantial overheads, scepticism about the general validity of the techniques and the possible ambiguities in the interpretation of the responses. In this paper the results of an international pilot study into their use in assisting the evaluation of policies is outlined. The study concerned the response of small businesses to governments’ policies aimed at encouraging the adoption of ICT. The lessons learnt from this pilot study about the use of projective techniques as part of a ‘mixed method’ survey methodology are then explored. In particular the paper considers how ICT might be used to reduce the overheads involved in implementing the technique. For example, is it feasible and appropriate to use the web to deliver the instruments? The paper concludes by proposing a research agenda that needs to be addressed before projective techniques might become part of the standard qualitative survey toolkit in general socio-economic research.
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