A Critical Exploration of Collected Data in Business Research: Is Data Trustworthy? A Comparison of a Survey and Interviews

  •  TorBjörn Nilsson    
  •  Diana Chronéer    


Despite its crucial role within a research community, trustworthiness in data collecting has received surprisinglylittle scientific attention in research articles. Therefore, the overall purpose of this paper is to explore and discusstrustworthiness in collected data through both interview and questionnaire methods. The results of these methodsare reported as a methodological experiment. The answers from the questionnaires and the interviews werecompared and illustrated using a “Divergence Index,” which illustrates the coherence (trustworthiness) of the twodata-collection methods. The two data-collection methods tested in the study provided different results and hencepresent different factors of importance for SMEs. The present paper concludes that (1) there are few reflections onthe trustworthiness of collected data in prior research, and (2) the responses for two data collection methods showgreat divergence, which can have consequences on CEOs’ and other decision-makers decisions based on collecteddata.

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