Advantages of questionnaire
Use of questionnaire in field research offers the following advantages
1. The questionnaire has great potentialities when it is properly used.
2. It is an economical way of accumulating information of significance from international marketer.
3. When the respondents are scattered far and wide, it will be a better tool as compared to the tools like interview or observation. It permits even international coverage. It makes possible contact with many who could not otherwise be reached.
4. It permits group administration and is adaptable to any objectives. It can cover a large group at the same time.
5. It is easy to plan, construct and administer.
6. Once it has been constructed skilfully, the person investigating the study may ask anybody to administer on his behalf.
7. It is generally regarded as dependable when used to obtain statements of facts.
8. Information of a personal nature often may be obtained more readily through questionnaires if replies of respondents are regarded confidential.
9. It places less pressure on the subject for immediate response. He can answer it at leisure whereas interview and observations demand specific fixation of time and situation.
10. It helps in focusing the respondent’s attention on all the significant items. As it is given in a written form, recording of response from the respondents ensures uniformity.
11. It may be used as a preliminary tool for conducting an in-depth study later on by any other method.
12. The responses given by the subjects are available in their own language and versions.
Disadvantages or Limitations of questionnaires
Questionnaires suffer from the following limitations:
1. Its reliability and validity are low. It gives secondary information when primary evidence is at hand.
2. Sometimes, questionnaires become simply a pooling of ignorance. It is compilation of the opinions of many persons who may not know the correct answer.
3. It gives a biased sample. The matter of non-response is always a big question mark.
4. The respondents who return the questionnaire may not constitute a representative section of the entire group. Some of the important sections of the group may totally choose to remain silent.
5. If the subject misinterprets a question or gives an incomplete response, nothing can be done.
6. A questionnaire is not very helpful in finding information about complex emotional subjects.
7. Some respondents may not like to put their views on controversial issues in writing. Such views can be drawn out only through interviews.
8. The behavior, gestures, reactions, assertions and emotions of the respondents remain unnoticed.
9. Some people may not like to share information until they clearly understand the cause and purpose of the study. A questionnaire does not provide opportunity for the person conducting the study to develop rapport with the study groups.
10. If the area of research is sensitive or confidential in nature, designing questionnaire for such area is an hefty task.
11. It permits the respondents to modify his answers to earlier questions when he notices that he is contradicting himself while answering some later questions.
12. The questionnaire cannot be used with illiterate subjects and children.