Organizational Surveys: The Diagnosis and Betterment of Organizations through Their Members

Organizational Surveys: The Diagnosis and Betterment of Organizations through Their Members

Organizational Surveys: The Diagnosis and Betterment of Organizations through Their Members

Organizational Surveys: The Diagnosis and Betterment of Organizations through Their Members

Synopsis

Surveys conducted within organizations have become an important aspect of human resource management and organizational functioning. This book by Frank Smith-a leader in this field-offers a unique perspective on organizational surveys. It emphasizes the experience of developing, carrying out, and interpreting surveys on a wider variety of organizational issues in a very diverse set of organizations. The book is intended to acquaint managers, students, and potential survey users with a broad understanding of the kind of information surveys can provide and how they have been applied in a wide variety of organizational settings. Through many examples, the book emphasizes the close and necessary link between the continual development of a survey program and the parallel body of research in organizational behavior. This book is of interest to survey practitioners, students, and instructors in human resource management and organizational behavior, and anyone looking for first-hand examples or survey approaches and the links to research and psychometric theory.

Excerpt

This book is about experiences with a survey program that has guided management decisions and actions in a wide array of industrial settings. I did give serious thought to calling it Confessions of a One Method Man, for during the last 40 years, surveys have been the focus of my approach to organizational studies. After more sober thought, and realizing that this one method has involved me in almost every aspect of organizational psychology as well as organizational life, I chose a less defensive title.

The 40 years were divided into two almost equal periods—20 years within corporate life at Sears, Roebuck and Company and 20 years as an outside consultant (although I continued to administer the Sears program for another 10 years after leaving the company). The experiences related here come from both periods and in them are lessons gained from very successful efforts, as well as from failures; from major survey projects, as well as one-shot efforts; some from long ago and some from only yesterday. Whatever their vintage, one common goal of the surveys reported has been to provide managers with a reliable idea of what their employees were thinking.

In preparing this book, I have tried to keep in mind a criticism of an earlier survey text that Randy Dunham and I wrote 20 years ago. It was said the book lacked “personal experiences. ” Of course, at the time my whole experience had been within Sears and could not be published—for ethical reasons as well as for my own job security. So, while seething over this criticism for 20 years, I did manage to gain some outside experience along with an OK from Sears to publish.

Several experiences reported here occurred some time ago and their delayed reporting is out of respect for both the institutions and people in-

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