Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 1–16

Nonresponse in Employee Attitude Surveys: A Group-Level Analysis

  • Thorsten Fauth
  • Kate Hattrup
  • Karsten Mueller
  • Brandon Roberts



Given the common practice of using employee attitude surveys as a group-level intervention, this study used a group-level approach to examine the relationship between group satisfaction and group nonresponse.


Samples from four large organizations enabled job satisfaction scores to be aggregated to the work group level and correlated with group-level response rates. Additional regression analysis was conducted to control for a number of confounding variables at the group level.


Aggregate job satisfaction showed significant associations with group-level response rates across each of the samples examined. Work groups with higher aggregate job satisfaction had significantly higher response rates. Regression analyses showed that, in addition to job satisfaction, work group size, heterogeneity in tenure, and heterogeneity in gender composition all had significant effects on response rates.


Social influence processes may operate at the group level to increase homogeneity of job-relevant attitudes and similarity in survey response behavior. Future research should be designed to investigate the effects of group-level variables on nonresponse.


The current study adds to the literature by demonstrating that work group variables may play an important role in explaining nonresponse in employee attitude surveys. Because the processes underlying survey response are likely to be different at different levels of analysis, the investigation of nonresponse as a group-level phenomenon creates new opportunities for research and practice.


Survey nonresponse Organizational survey Group level Job satisfaction Organizational attitudes Survey feedback 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thorsten Fauth
    • 1
  • Kate Hattrup
    • 2
  • Karsten Mueller
    • 4
  • Brandon Roberts
    • 3
  1. 1.University of MannheimMannheimGermany
  2. 2.San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Qualcomm Inc.San DiegoUSA
  4. 4.University of OsnabrueckOsnabrueckGermany

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