Leaving our comfort zone: Integrating established practices with unique adaptations to conduct survey-based strategy research in nontraditional contexts


  • The authors contributed equally to this paper and are listed alphabetically.


Accepted practices for survey research in medium and large firms in developed economies are well established. However, as scholars explore fine-grained phenomena in nontraditional contexts, sampling, survey design, and administration tasks may need adjusting. Through three case studies and an analysis of a decade of published work, we find that sample frame creation and survey administration require the greatest degree of adaptation, while survey instrument creation most closely follows established practices. We recommend using context-specific sampling frames and administration techniques, though established survey instruments and scales may be used. The conclusions highlight the importance of overlaying unique adaptations onto established practices to achieve acceptable response rates, obtain accurate and robust data, and provide the basis for subsequent meaningful analysis. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.