Using Single Respondents in Strategy Research



A survey of empirical papers has revealed a number of studies that have used single respondents, usually the CEO or a top management team member, to make inferences about certain strategic dimensions of their business. In this note, we highlight some of the problems in using this approach. We base our comments on a study of 76 businesses where multiple respondents were accessed. We conclude that, because of often wide variations in responses between members of the same top team (measured by Cronbach alpha), the use of single respondents in this type of strategy research is probably unreliable.