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Mail survey reliability through follow‐up mailings: the case of auditor changes

Kimberly A. Dunn (School of Accounting, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)
H. Fenwick Huss (J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



Two of the possible problems that may arise from gathering data by mail questionnaire are: survey recipients fail to respond, or they respond but provide unreliable data. Extant research has examined the effects of pressure to respond on increasing response rates; however, efforts to achieve a high response rate may produce unreliable data. The analysis presented in this paper examines the effects of increased pressure to respond to mail surveys on the reliability of survey responses. Our findings suggest that increased pressure to respond, decreased the reliability of information obtained. In addition, we show that personalization of the survey increases the reliability of responses. However, the conclusions concerning information suppression are not clear. The type of auditor change was a significant determinate of response reliability, but companies with greater financial distress were no more likely to give unreliable responses concerning the independent auditor changes.



Dunn, K.A. and Fenwick Huss, H. (2004), "Mail survey reliability through follow‐up mailings: the case of auditor changes", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 19 No. 8, pp. 1048-1054.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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