Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Writing Surveys is Hard

Especially writing two of them; one for management to determine level of formal compliance with the FMLA, one for employees to determine perceptions and attitudes towards taking leave. The first will assess bare compliance/over-compliance, the latter actual use/under-compliance.

Using binary variables and scaled variables gives this project the potential of statistical analysis--at least a simple regression. However, some of hte questions/responses do not lend themselves to being coded. This project is indeed empirical, but will likely remain qualitative. Plus, the sample size is so small. I'm still trying to get more organizations in the area to consent to taking the survey. In this respect, I'm glad I'm writing such short surveys, and that the one for the management gives the appearance of assessing over-compliance rather than legal liability for under compliance. Not that the one for employees asks pointedly (I am sure there will be fear of retribution) whether they are being discriminated against for taking leave. But it does assess general attitudes towards work and whether the employees feel like they can take leave. The employee survey is much trickier to write and get responses.

Basic idea:

Organizational Culture/Industry Culture/Org Composition/Org Values (Independent Variables)

--->

Compliance (Dependent Variable) => Over or Under

--> Operationalized Variables: How the law is promulgated (Formal Policies/Documents); how the law is complied with: leave-granting, compliance, illegal retribution

--> Range of Outcomes for Promulgation :

-No documents
-Obscure manual
-Poster informing employees of rights
-Employee training sessions re rights
-Management compliance training

--> Range of Outcomes for Compliance:

-Formal procedures for leave-asking, granting, taking, up to 12 weeks for employees who have worked over one year for the organization

(Must work on typology of formal procedures)

-Informal procedures for leave-asking, granting, taking, up to 12 weeks for employees who have worked over one year for the organization

(Again, must work on this typology).


Yes, still a lot of work to be done.

Sigh.

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