The data collection phase plays a key role in the overall research quality and pilot tests are highly encouraged, especially in quantitative, survey-based research. The context of this study is an investigation about critical factors for the survival of Italian SMEs and the evaluation of these factors is highly dependent on how surveys are administered to entrepreneurs. The aim of this research method paper is to present the results of an initial pilot survey sample of 37 Italian SMEs to understand and discuss what is necessary to change for the final survey, and how. In particular, validity and reliability issues are addressed, in order to stress the importance of having a pilot survey to improve research quality. From the analysis of the results the major criticalities of the questionnaire will emerge, and some specific orientation and advices will be underlined. The study will show a list of items included in the pilot version of the questionnaire that: could be dropped, could be added and have to be further discussed with a sample of respondents. Moreover, some consideration on the clarity of language and ambiguity of words such as clarity of instructions will emerge. Findings of the pilot study will be useful to refine survey items for further steps of the research, which will investigate other Italian regions and compare results with other European and non-European countries.

(2018). From a Pilot Survey to Improve the Quality of a Research: The Case of the SMEs Survival Research Project in Italy . Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/227666

From a Pilot Survey to Improve the Quality of a Research: The Case of the SMEs Survival Research Project in Italy

Baratta, Rossella;
2018

Abstract

The data collection phase plays a key role in the overall research quality and pilot tests are highly encouraged, especially in quantitative, survey-based research. The context of this study is an investigation about critical factors for the survival of Italian SMEs and the evaluation of these factors is highly dependent on how surveys are administered to entrepreneurs. The aim of this research method paper is to present the results of an initial pilot survey sample of 37 Italian SMEs to understand and discuss what is necessary to change for the final survey, and how. In particular, validity and reliability issues are addressed, in order to stress the importance of having a pilot survey to improve research quality. From the analysis of the results the major criticalities of the questionnaire will emerge, and some specific orientation and advices will be underlined. The study will show a list of items included in the pilot version of the questionnaire that: could be dropped, could be added and have to be further discussed with a sample of respondents. Moreover, some consideration on the clarity of language and ambiguity of words such as clarity of instructions will emerge. Findings of the pilot study will be useful to refine survey items for further steps of the research, which will investigate other Italian regions and compare results with other European and non-European countries.
Simeoni, Francesca; Baratta, Rossella; Rossato, Chiara; Castellani, Paola
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10446/227666
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