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The repertory grid in action: How to use it to conduct an attitude survey

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 1 November 1979



The Repertory Grid Technique [Repgrid] is an excellent way of discovering people's attitudes or beliefs. In this article I shall show you how to use the technique to conduct an attitude survey. I have used it scores of times in this way to conduct surveys on a small and large scale. The particular survey I am going to recount in this article was a medium sized one with 73 people taking part. I have chosen to use this as an example because • this particular survey was designed to establish management training needs rather than for any other purpose. If I can show you how to use the Repgrid in this context it may be extra helpful in getting you started. • the 73 Repgrids were processed manually. I have conducted larger surveys and had the results processed by computer. In this case I was especially interested to discover how feasible manual processing was. I therefore kept records of how long different stages took and will include this information in this article. Just a bit of background. The survey was commissioned by a successful manufacturing organisation who were interested in moving from autocratic to more consultative/participative ways of managing. There was some previous history of in‐company management training, particularly at foreman and supervisory levels, but none aimed specifically at developing people skills. The organisation, some four thousand strong, had a reputation for putting people under pressure but paying them over the odds. They had tight control procedures with daily reporting systems. Managers right up to the top were expected to know in detail exactly what was happening on their patch. After the usual exploratory meetings it was agreed that I should conduct a survey amongst a sample of their management levels (from foremen upwards) to • Find out what development needs people had in connection with the management of people. • Find out what current attitudes were most closely associated with effectiveness and ineffectiveness when managing people.


HONEY, P. (1979), "The repertory grid in action: How to use it to conduct an attitude survey", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 11 No. 11, pp. 452-459.




Copyright © 1979, MCB UP Limited

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