IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Attitudes of demographic item non-respondents in employee surveys


  • Ingwer Borg
  • Michael Braun
  • Miriam K. Baumgärtner


Purpose - The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the participants in an employee survey who do not answer one or more demographic items differ systematically from those who fill out all demographic items. Design/methodology/approach - Logistic regression, with affective commitment, job satisfaction, and attitude towards leadership as predictors of responding to demographic items is used to analyze the data of an employee survey in a German company. Findings - Survey participants with low commitment, poor job satisfaction, and negative attitudes towards leadership are more likely not to provide demographic information, while highly committed participants tend to answer all demographic items. Non-respondents are also more concerned that their skills become obsolete, and they feel that employees do not have enough say. Research limitations/implications - The paper does not distinguish among demographic item non-respondents on the basis of how many and which items are omitted. Future research should take a closer look at the different sensitivity of the demographic items. Practical implications - Managers should be aware that it is likely that the results of an employee survey for their organizational subunits tend to be biased and show a picture that is too optimistic as compared to company-wide results. Originality/value - The value of the paper lies in demonstrating a systematic and practically important bias in employee survey statistics that has been overlooked so far.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingwer Borg & Michael Braun & Miriam K. Baumgärtner, 2008. "Attitudes of demographic item non-respondents in employee surveys," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(2), pages 146-160, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:29:y:2008:i:2:p:146-160

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xin Meng & Dominique Meurs, 2009. "Intermarriage, language, and economic assimilation process: A case study of France," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 127-144, March.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, January.
    3. Cutler, David M. & Glaeser, Edward L. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2008. "When are ghettos bad? Lessons from immigrant segregation in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 759-774, May.
    4. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
    5. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1019-1055.
    6. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038.
    7. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-176, February.
    8. Barry R. Chiswick & Yinon Cohen & Tzippi Zach, 1997. "The Labor Market Status of Immigrants: Effects of the Unemployment Rate at Arrival and Duration of Residence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 289-303, January.
    9. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
    10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:29:y:2008:i:2:p:146-160. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.