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Publication Date

January 2012


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.


This article is available in CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING, Volume 15, Number 4, 2012. Copyright of CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking is the property of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

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