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Survey Design for Sensitive Information in Organizations
Initial registration date
February 25, 2021
February 25, 2021 8:50 AM EST
Ben Gurion University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Columbia Business School
Additional Trial Information
This research studies how survey design affects information transmission of sensitive issues within organizations. We conduct a mobile-based survey experiment with workers at two garment factories in Bangladesh to study how survey design affects employees’ willingness to report instances of misbehavior by managers, including threats, physical harassment, sexual harassment and gender-based violence. We also aim to calculate policy-relevant statistics for this setting, including the proportion of managers that misbehave, the share of workers that experienced different types of misbehavior and the number of people that know of an instance of misbehavior.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome variables are: reporting of different types of labor issues, including threats, physical harassment, sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
We also aim to calculate policy-relevant statistics for this setting, including the proportion of managers that misbehave, the share of workers that experienced misbehavior and the number of workers that know of a single instance of misbehavior.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Additionally, as secondary outcomes, we study the types of deterrents to reporting sensitive issues, and the number and types of harassment cases to other workers witnessed by other team members.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We experimentally vary direct and indirect survey methods to ask sensitive questions on management misbehavior, as well as the extent to which the enumerator builds rapport or trust with the surveyed individual, and the level of identifiability of a surveyed worker through demographic questions.
In the survey, we also elicit workers’ primary deterrents to reporting, and use demographic and other less sensitive survey measures to predict their probability of being victimized.
Experimental Design Details
The randomization is done by a computer.
The unit of randomization is a worker, stratified by factory-production team, gender and type of position in the production line.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 2,000 workers.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
400 workers per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
University of Washington
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number