Document Type


Publication Date

January 2013


An increasing proportion of information technology (IT)/information system adoption research collects data using online surveys. However, a paucity of research assesses the equivalence of paper-based versus Internet-based surveys in collectivistic cultures. Furthermore, no theoretical or empirical research investigates how cultural differences between collectivistic and individualistic cultures influence the measurement equivalence (ME) of these survey modes. To explore these issues, online and paper-based surveys with comparable samples were carried out in both an individualistic (the USA) and a collectivistic culture (China). Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to examine the ME across both survey modes in these different cultures. Results indicate that the relatively larger satisficing discrepancy between paper and online surveys causes respondents in collectivistic cultures to have an increased likelihood of providing responses that vary as compared to respondents in individualistic cultures. The disparate responses, in turn, result in increased measurement variance between the two survey modes. The findings of this study bridge a gap in the literature and address the question of how culture influences online satisficing behaviour and how that behaviour causes measurement invariance across survey modes. This study also explains the possible underlying mechanisms by which different national cultures exert their influence on survey results. The findings provide important implications for IT researchers, especially those in collectivistic cultures or those who need to collect data in collectivistic cultures using online surveys or mixed-mode surveys that include an online survey mode.


Published in Behaviour & Information Technology, available at DOI:10.1080/0144929X.2012.751621

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