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The purposive nature of business research is the underpinning of the decision making process of managers. In order to make the right decision, the business manager seeks to reduce uncertainty. To that end the decision maker may be informed by descriptive research which identifies the nature of the decision context and may even identify and analyse decision options.

Both qualitative and quantitative research can be helpful in informing the decision maker. The Case Study Method is an example of the former while the Survey Method is common in the latter typically administered via mail-out or the internet.

It is the veritable ubiquity of the Survey Method in business research that is addressed here. We are a group of researchers currently researching in the field of IT Outsourcing. In our review of the literature in this field we were struck with failings either in the reporting or in the analysis of surveys and even by both failings occurring in the one article.

This paper, in documenting these failings, seeks to improve the use of the Survey Method – one of the most common research methods in business research – so as to improve the overall quality of business research.

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Conference Paper

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