Achieving content representativeness in organizational diagnosis: Use of action groups for successful organizational change

K. Nathan Moates, Achilles A. Armenakis, Brian T Gregory, David Albritton, Hubert S. Feild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


An organizational diagnosis provides analysts with information on which to base and plan an appropriate intervention to improve an organization's functioning. In many instances, the data collected are from a sample of an organization's population. However, the information collected must be considered representative of the whole organization. In this article, we discuss the importance of response rate in organizational surveys and non-response bias in achieving the necessary representativeness. We describe an action research project in which we involved members of a high-tech organization. Our data were collected through interviews and an anonymous web survey representing 42 percent of the organization's population. We describe how we employed action groups to determine the content representativeness of our data. This step was deemed necessary before initiating the action planning step. We propose a guideline for action researchers to apply during organizational diagnoses requiring respondent anonymity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-416
Number of pages14
JournalAction Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005



  • action groups
  • action research
  • organizational change
  • organizational diagnoses
  • representativeness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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