The handling of nonresponse error

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Abstract

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.

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