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Survey Research: Learning About the Decision-Making Strategies of Local Policy Makers

By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Survey research methods are appropriate for learning about knowledge, attitudes, and values, which are often important to policy makers, community leaders, and politicians. Survey research is a very common approach for social science research. This case study provides an example of a faculty–student research collaboration using survey research to understand the sources of information that policy makers use to make decisions. I examine the nuances of the research process within the context of a university setting where the faculty researcher has limited time to dedicate to research, but is committed to including students in the research process. This case study offers specific examples of the research development process, the development of survey questions, ethical considerations, and an understanding of the context within which these types of studies are created. The case study critically examines opportunities for improvement of study design and for student researchers to partner with faculty researchers.

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