eePulse, Inc.

Leader Attitudes Toward Surveys: Are They Evil?

eePulse, Michigan Ross Business School Leadership Pulse Study discovers what leaders think about surveys


Ann Arbor, MI -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/30/2006 --Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne of eePulse, Inc.,, and the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, today announced the current Leadership PulseT study results. In this Pulse Dialogue, the focus was on what leaders think about surveys. A total of six questions asked participants to rate the degree to which they thought surveys were evil and to respond to the value of surveys.

"We find that surveys are being used more and more within organizations given the onslaught of free and low-cost web-based tools, and at the same time, we are hearing from employees that they are frustrated by the number of surveys, poor question quality, and lack of action associated with these tools," states Welbourne. "In order to explore the topic in more depth, we asked the leaders who generally budget for, approve and use surveys to share their opinions on the topic."

Based on a scale where 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree, 307 respondents indicated average ratings of:

1.95 I believe annual employee surveys are evil.
2.17 I believe customer surveys are evil.
2.87 The annual survey we use at my company is something all employees
2.88 There is a definite and high ROI from our annual employee survey.
2.89 When I receive a customer service survey, I feel much better about
the company.
3.23 I experience high value from participating in customer surveys.

Within the job-function sub-groups, the following were most likely to think employee surveys are evil:

. 23% Research and Development (not information technology or IT) . 22% Engineering . 20% Finance and Accounting . 19% Marketing . 17% Manufacturing

Extreme questions on surveys being evil were included to add some "lightness" to the study as a survey was used to ask about surveys). "Not surprising, most respondents did not consider either employee or customer surveys to be "evil," but we did not anticipate the degree of ambiguity and general dislike of surveys expressed by most in the respondent population," states Welbourne. "Even those who responded with relatively positive numbers had negative comments about the process."

Noting that none of the scores are high at all, Dr. Welbourne suggests that the way surveys are used is in need of a dramatic overhaul. "Surveys need to be transformed from their current state of score taking and disengaging employees, managers, and customers to a process that adds high value through intense dialogue and learning," she states.

Since June of 2003, over 4,000 executives worldwide have joined the Leadership Pulse DialogueT where they receive Pulse DialoguesT (or surveys), online reports and executive summaries every two months related to current business trends and firm performance. For more information about the Leadership Pulse or the Pulse Dialogue process overall, contact Dr. Welbourne at 1-877-377-8573 or write to To learn more about the Leadership Pulse research study, see If you want to join the Leadership Pulse study and receive free reports, sign up at

About eePulse, Inc.
eePulse, Inc. delivers technology and research-consulting services that support Data and Dialogue Driven LeadershipT processes. Using eePulse's proprietary, web-based enterprise-wide software suite called MeasurecomT (measurement and communication); organizations and leaders immediately improve their performance. Productivity enhancement comes from action taken in response to real-time stakeholder information. For additional information, please call 877-377-8573 or visit

About Executive Education at the Ross School of Business Executive Education at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan is made up of world-class educators and researchers renowned for their skill in creating and integrating knowledge with practical application. They offer a wide array of choices for executive and organizational development. For additional information, please contact Executive Education at the Ross School of Business at, 734-763-1000.

Media Contact: Melanie Rembrandt,, 734-996-2321