Prior research involving response rates in Web-based surveys has not adequately addressed the effect of the reputation of a sponsoring corporation that contracts with a survey provider. This study investigates the effect of two factors, namely, the reputation of a survey’s provider and the reputation of a survey’s sponsoring corporation, on the willingness of potential respondents to participate in a Web survey. Results of an experimental design with these two factors reveal that the sponsoring corporation’s and the survey provider’s strong reputations can induce potential respondents to participate in a Web survey. A sponsoring corporation’s reputation has a greater effect on the participation willingness of potential respondents of a Web survey than the reputation of the survey provider. A sponsoring corporation with a weak reputation who contracts with a survey provider having a strong reputation results in increased participation willingness from potential respondents if the identity of the sponsoring corporation is disguised in a survey. This study identifies the most effective strategy to increase participation willingness for a Web-based survey by considering both the reputations of the sponsoring corporation and survey provider and whether to reveal their identities.
Fang, Jiaming; Wen, Chao; and Pavur, Robert, "Participation Willingness in Web Surveys: Exploring Effect of Sponsoring Corporation’s and Survey Provider’s Reputation" (2012). Faculty Research & Creative Activity. Paper 4.