CHAPTER 10. Organization and carrying out of field works
Field work, i.e. the actual survey or other data collection performed outside the office is the most important stage of the research. Bad fieldwork during the survey can, firstly, distort the arbitrarily well-constructed sample (for example, if during the selection of respondents the interviewers will admit deviations from the instructions or if the share of those who agree to give an interview is too low). Secondly, it can collect incorrect information about the opinions of respondents in the survey (for example, when interviewers prompt "correct" answers). Using the terminology introduced in Subsection 5.5, we can say that the quality of field work depends on the amount of errors not related to sampling, both as errors due to lack of answers and errors of answers.
In order for the fieldwork to be of high quality, you must carefully perform all its elements:
o selection of people involved in data collection ( selecting );
o training (training) of these people ( training );
o managing their work ( supervising );
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o quality control of field works ( validating );
o evaluation of field workers ( evaluating ).
An illustration of this work can serve as a study, commissioned by one of the supermarkets . In field work at one stage - a poll at the place of residence of respondents - interviewers and supervisors were university students and graduates who studied marketing research. Beforehand, detailed instructions were delivered to each interviewer. First of all, the students selected for work passed the training process. To do this, each of them first acted as a respondent and filled in the questionnaire himself, and then interviewed several students who did not participate in the project on this questionnaire. The work was managed by graduates, who day after day controlled the activities of interviewers. With each interviewee contacted by phone, made sure that he was interviewed, and thanked for participating in the study. Thus, 100% quality control of field work was carried out. As a result, the work of each field worker was appropriately assessed.
The main part of the field work - the actual data collection - is done by interviewers. Accordingly, the first step in the field work is their selection. First, we must decide on what qualities the required people should possess and, consequently, who should be personally. At the same time, we need to take a decision on a number of issues.
First of all, you need to choose the socio-demographic and other characteristics of the interviewers. Sex, age, education, opinions on certain issues, the style of perception, expectations - all this can influence the results of the research. In addition, it is very important that the interviewer himself considers socially acceptable and what is not. It is established that the more general the interviewer and the respondent have, the better the interview is. For example, relatively older interviewers are better at finding a common language with elderly respondents. In the United States, it is noted that the interviewer is easier to establish a trustworthy relationship with the respondent, if they both belong to the same race.
However, it is almost impossible to select special interviewers for interviewing individual groups of respondents, therefore interviewers must meet certain general requirements:
o enjoy good health, because field work is hard work
o be communicative, be able to put people to themselves;
o be self-confident and psychologically stable;
o be able to speak well and listen carefully;
o have an attractive, disposable, but not too prominent appearance - otherwise there may be biases in the answers of the respondents;
o be able to read and write well;
o have experience in interviewing, since inexperienced interviewers are more likely to make mistakes, have difficulty carrying out quota assignments; they are more often refused to give interviews and answer some questions.
Experience shows that a typical interviewer is a married woman aged 35-54 years (more often after 50) with a somewhat higher education and family income on a general background. Young men working as interviewers are often afraid to let in an apartment.
From the point of view of psychological characteristics and motivation of work interviewers are different. American studies have shown that there are four types of interviewers .
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o "Devoted to the Debbie's Deed". For her, conducting an interview is not just a job, but something much more important. This activity gives her real pleasure.
o & quot; Independent Ines & quot ;. Interviewing work suits her, because in this work contains an element of freedom: you can take work when you want.
o & quot; Sarah's Public. & quot ;. Like Debbie, she gets pleasure from work, but not because she considers the interview an important matter, but because she appreciates communication, meeting with interesting people.
o & quot; Professional Pat & quot ;. Supposes to make a career in the field of marketing research. In the interviewer's work, she appreciates primarily intellectuality.
Often people who arrange to work as interviewers have another - the main thing - the place of work. It should be remembered that you can not hire interviewers to work for those who by virtue of their professional activities have access to the lists of names, addresses and telephone numbers of residents of the city (district), i. employees of local self-government bodies, libraries, etc. It happens that the interviewer tries to use for personal purposes the situation that arose as a result of interviewing a certain respondent, for example, asking him for advice, offering to buy some goods, etc. When selecting interviewers, you need to clearly explain to them that such situations are absolutely unacceptable [12, p. 6].
Knowledge of the psychological characteristics and socio-demographic characteristics of interviewers helps in their selection.
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