- Questionnaire method:
This method of data collection is quite popular particularly in case of big inquiries. It is being adopted by private individuals, research workers, private and public organisations and even by governments. A questionnaire consists of a number printed or typed in a particular order on a form or set of forms.
The method of collecting data by mailing the questionnaire to respondents is most extensively employed in various economic and business surveys.
- There is low cost even when universe is large and is widely spread.
- It is free from the bias of the interviewer as the respondents’ answer in their own words.
- Respondents have adequate time to give well thought out answer.
- Respondents, who are not easily approachable, can also be reached conveniently.
- Large samples can be used making the results more dependable and reliable.
- Low rate of return on duly filled questionnaires; bias rising due to response is often indeterminate.
- It can be used only respondents are educated and cooperating.
- The control over questionnaire may be lost once it is sent.
- There is inflexibility because of the difficulty of amending the approach once questionnaire has been dispatched.
- There is possibility of ambiguous or omission of replies altogether to certain questions; interpretation of omissions is difficult.
- It is difficult to know whether willing respondents are truly representative.
- It method is likely to be slowest of all.