What incentives are being used by international business researchers in their surveys? a review

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


Following a number of studies on the factors that might affect response rates in cross-national research, this work examines the types of incentives mentioned by international business scholars in mail surveys as well as how the use of such incentives affects the response rate. This work uses a content analysis of articles published in four leading international business journals in the period of 2000-2009. The results show that out of 217 studies under examination only 42 mentioned any type of incentives for enhancing the response rate. The most common incentives used by authors are confidentiality and anonymity, followed by a business reply envelope and a free report. Generally speaking, the results demonstrate that studies reporting incentives achieve, on average, a lower response rate from those that do not report them.

Bibliographic note

William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 1086 Suggested citation: Chidlow, Agnieszka and Ghauri, Pervez, What Incentives are Being Used by International Business Researchers in Their Surveys? A Review (December 6, 2015). William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 1086. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2561534 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2561534


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2015

Publication series

NameWilliam Davidson Institute Working Paper


  • Incentives, International business research, Mail survey, Response rate, Content analysis