The handling of nonresponse error



This study was designed to describe and explore how nonresponse in Human Resource Development Quarterly (HRDQ) historically has been handled. All feature and article manuscripts (n = 158) published in HRDQ during the years 1990 through 1999 were analyzed using content analysis techniques. Study findings show that not mentioning nonresponse error as a threat to external validity of a study, not attempting to control for nonresponse error, or not providing a reference to the literature were unfortunately the norm and not the exception. Four recommendations for handling nonresponse error are comparison of early to late respondents, using “days to respond” as a regression variable, comparing respondents to nonrespondents, and comparing respondents on characteristics known a priori.