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Multiple Informant Methodology: A Critical Review and Recommendations


  • Stephan M. Wagner

    (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland,

  • Christian Rau

    (WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany)

  • Eckhard Lindemann

    (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)


The value of multiple informant methodology for improving the validity in determining organizational properties has been increasingly recognized. However, the majority of empirical research still relies on single (key) informants. This is partly due to the lack of comprehensive methodological narratives and precise recommendations on the application of this important methodology. Therefore, the authors have developed a critical review and derived clear recommendations for the key challenges that researchers face in using multiple informants: (1) Which and how many informants should be considered? (2) How should the consensus among the informants be judged? (3) How are multiple responses combined into a single, organizational response to conduct further data analyses?

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan M. Wagner & Christian Rau & Eckhard Lindemann, 2010. "Multiple Informant Methodology: A Critical Review and Recommendations," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 38(4), pages 582-618, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:somere:v:38:y:2010:i:4:p:582-618
    DOI: 10.1177/0049124110366231

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    2. Azadegan, Arash & Wagner, Stephan M., 2011. "Industrial upgrading, exploitative innovations and explorative innovations," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 54-65, March.
    3. Wagner, Stephan M. & Grosse-Ruyken, Pan Theo & Erhun, Feryal, 2018. "Determinants of sourcing flexibility and its impact on performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 205(C), pages 329-341.

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