Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal
Chapter 37: Survey Research in B2B Marketing: Current Challenges and Emerging Opportunities
Aric Rindfleisch and Kersi D. Antia Surveys are extensions of our natural tendencies to seek information by means of questioning and learning about wholes by selecting parts. (Schuman 1982, p. 21) Survey research often provides answers to the questions B2B scholars commonly ask. For example, knowledge of the topics covered in this handbook, including sales force performance (Ahearne and Lam 2012), agency theory (Banerjee et al. 2012), buyer–seller relationships (Bowman 2012) and interorganizational trust (Scheer 2012), has largely been obtained through managerial surveys. As a further testament, survey research has been the primary means of inquiry for every empirical article that has won the American Marketing Association’s prestigious Louis W. Stern Award, including Anderson and Weitz (1992), Cannon and Homburg (2001), Jap and Ganesan (2000), Lusch and Brown (1996) and Mohr et al. (1996). Survey research also provides essential inputs to several leading economic indicators of the business environment, including unemployment estimates, new business formation projections and gross domestic product statistics (Landefeld et al. 2008). Thus, in addition to being commonly employed, surveys are capable of providing exceptional insights into B2B activity. Despite its ubiquity and utility, many academics seem skeptical of survey research, and editors and reviews tend to scrutinize this technique heavily. This skepticism and scrutiny is not undeserved, as the limitations of survey research are well documented. For example, responses to survey items can be tainted by a variety of biases, including non-response bias, social desirability bias, acquiescence bias, extreme response bias and common method variance...
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