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Study, Organizational, and Operational Structure



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Cross Cultural Survey Guidelines Copyright 2010 Do not distribute or reprint without permission I Study Organizational and Operational Structure Rachel A Orlowski and Christopher Antoun Introduction The following guidelines outline a number of study organizational and operational considerations which arise when structuring a cross cultural survey or any survey involving multiple countries regions or languages Several factors will influence how the overall study is designed and later implemented including the source s and flow of funding the availability of human and technical resources the best way of contacting and collecting data from respondents and the research infrastructure All of these will vary from country to country and culture to culture Yet before much time is spent determining the study structure it is critical to clearly define a study purpose because it drives all subsequent decisions especially if conflicts between cross cultural and local interests arise Cross cultural surveys are organized in many different ways and each has its advantages and disadvantages These guidelines predominately address a structure with a coordinating center that designs the overall study and assumes the central organizational responsibility to the contracted survey organizations in each country where the study will be carried out This type of organizing structure is often used in large scale cross cultural surveys Although not described here there are situations where the coordinating center is also responsible for data collection in some or all countries A coordinating center should include people from different countries institutions and affiliations Given this focus this chapter s primary audience is members of a coordinating center With this organizational structure the coordinating center will specify the operational structure of the survey for each country to follow It should determine what elements will be standardized across countries and what elements will be



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