• We thank Gary Barrett for his assistance with this research. We are also grateful for the helpful suggestions offered by Michael Rumsey, Jim Smither, and two anonymous reviewers.

  • The first, second, and third authors are affiliated with Army Research Institute through the Consortium Research Fellows Program. This investigation was funded in part by Army Research Institute. Throughout the article, the terms “study” and “research” are used interchangeably. The usage of the word “study” is not meant to imply that the investigation drew upon any particular source of funding within or outside of the organization. Furthermore, the views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the research sponsors.

  • Portions of this manuscript were presented at the 17th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Toronto, Ontario, April, 2002.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Lori Foster Thompson, Department of Psychology, 104 Rawl Building, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353;


Practitioners are not adequately prepared to handle concerns related to the acceptability of the online survey medium from the worker's viewpoint because the literature has only begun to address this issue. This study assessed reactions to Web-based questionnaires while moving an organization's climate survey online. Initial questions, posed via a paper-and-pencil instrument, gathered opinions concerning online surveys (n= 437). A Web-based climate survey was then created and piloted (n = 98). Afterwards, die finalized instrument was administered (n= 403), and a follow-up questionnaire was disseminated (n= 175) to further gauge workers' reactions. Despite some initial anonymity concerns, most personnel were amenable to online surveying, and the Web-based medium did not appear to discourage participation from any subgroup (based on gender, race, military versus civilian classification, and workgroup size comparisons). This article, which is intended for practitioners considering the transition to Web-based surveys as well as those interested in evaluating and improving current Web-based survey processes, outlines issues regarding online survey implementation, offers a tool for evaluating survey software, and concludes with lessons learned and avenues for future research/practice.