Structured Questionnaire Method is a method for research and were constituted by Emile Durkheim. They fall under the category of quantitative research. Also known as closed questionnaire - they are positivist research method. In such questionnaires, there exists low level of involvement of the person who is conducting the questionnaire and high level of involvement of the person who is answering the questionnaire.
Structured questionnaires ask direct and close questions. If structured appropriately, they can accumulate large amounts of valuable data that gives deep insight into the minds of the large number of people who answer those questions. Usually they are used for market research or social research questions. Closed answers are fixed and rigid and have no scope of confusion. Upon analysing these results and applying them on various established theories - statements can be made about the subject groups. These results can be extrapolated and later on be used for making important business decisions. Incorrect questions, their incorrect sequence or incorrect scales given to them can give convoluted results.
Types of Questions:
Contingency Questions - These questions are in relation to a previously asked question. For example, if someone has ticked on Female across gender, then the questionnaire should not have any questions related to male issues. For example the monthly consumption of shaving cream.
Matrix Questions - Questions with identical response are placed together. This is done to save the respondent's time page space.
Closed Ended Questions - These are yes/no type questions. Questions will either/or answers.
Types of Structured Questionnaires:
Personally Administered Questionnaire
Advantages of Structured Questionnaire
a. They can cover a huge number of subjects or respondents
b. The results can be extrapolated to make empirical statements that help in decision making
c. Questions are easy to gauge and ensure that the answers too can be used quantitatively
Disadvantages of Structured Questionnaire
a. The respondent is forced to choose between two alternative answer. This is will compromise with the actual results of the entire group and the final result analysis.
b. These questions cannot account for the difference in attitudes, values and opinions of the respondent.
c. In case of face to face interview - the interviewer has to stick to the given set questions even though there is room for interesting enquiry between questions.