Sampling in Management Studies of Public Organizations: Elite Orientation Model vs. Multiple Informants Model

Dimitris Karastathis, Georgia Yfantidou, Stella Kormikiari, Dimitris Gargalianos, Antonia Kalafatzi


The selection of the sample in a survey constitutes a significant parameter for the research process. A disagreement of opinions is observed in the field of management between researchers regarding which sample fabricates better results in surveys administered in public organizations. Some of them support that only the senior levels of the management hierarchy should participate in (Elite Orientation Model), while others support the participation of representatives from all levels (Multiple Informants Model). A questionnaire was administered to people from the three levels of Hellenic Sport Federations (HSFs) management hierarchy (employees, directors/managers, Board members) in order to investigate their perception about the degree to which excellence processes (enablers / results) were implemented. The purpose of this paper was to investigate which is the most appropriate model, regarding the selection of participants in studies about the administration /management of public organizations. Statistically significant differences regarding their perceptions for the topic under investigation were revealed, which were directly related to their level in the hierarchy. It was concluded that in similar studies the Multiple Informants Model fabricates more reliable results.


Doi: 10.28991/esj-2021-01272

Full Text: PDF


Federation; Sampling; Elite Orientation Model; Multiple Informants’ Model; Hierarchy; Public.


Derlien, Hans-Ulrich. “Repercussions of Government Change on the Career Civil Service in West Germany: The Cases of 1969 and 1982.” Governance 1, no. 1 (January 1988): 50–78. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0491.1988.tb00059.x.

Mouritzen, P. E., and Svara, J. H. “Leadership at the apex: Politicians and administrators in western local governments.” Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, (2002).

Trondal, Jarle. “An Emergent European Executive Order”, Oxford University Press (February 4, 2010). doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579426.001.0001.

Enticott, G., G. A. Boyne, and R. M. Walker. “The Use of Multiple Informants in Public Administration Research: Data Aggregation Using Organizational Echelons.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 19, no. 2 (February 25, 2008): 229–253. doi:10.1093/jopart/mun017.

Enticott, Gareth. “Multiple Voices of Modernization: Some Methodological Implications.” Public Administration 82, no. 3 (August 2004): 743–756. doi:10.1111/j.0033-3298.2004.00417.x.

Walker, R. M. “Using Multiple Informants in Public Administration: Revisiting the Managerial Values and Actions Debate.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 14, no. 3 (July 1, 2004): 417–434. doi:10.1093/jopart/muh022.

Moyser, G., and Wagstaffe, M. “Research methods for elite studies.” London: Allen and Unwin, (1987).

Adams, S. “Status Congruency as a Variable in Small Group Performance.” Social Forces 32, no. 1 (October 1, 1953): 16–22. doi:10.2307/2572852.

Bales, R. F., Strodtbeck, F. L., Mills, T. M., and Roseborough, M. E. “Channels of communication in small groups.” American Sociological Review 16 (1951): 461-468. doi:10.2307/2088276.

Benoit-Smullyan, Emile. “Status, Status Types, and Status Interrelations.” American Sociological Review 9, no. 2 (April 1944): 151. doi:10.2307/2086307.

Bernstein, Irwin S. “Dominance: The Baby and the Bathwater.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4, no. 3 (September 1981): 419–429. doi:10.1017/s0140525x00009614.

Coie, John D., Kenneth A. Dodge, and Heide Coppotelli. “Dimensions and Types of Social Status: A Cross-Age Perspective.” Developmental Psychology 18, no. 4 (July 1982): 557–570. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.18.4.557.

Davis, Kingsley. “A Conceptual Analysis of Stratification.” American Sociological Review 7, no. 3 (June 1942): 309. doi:10.2307/2085360.

Goldhamer, Herbert, and Edward A. Shils. “Types of Power and Status.” American Journal of Sociology 45, no. 2 (September 1939): 171–182. doi:10.1086/218263.

Gruenfeld, Deborah H., and Larissa Z. Tiedens. “Organizational Preferences and Their Consequences.” Handbook of Social Psychology (June 30, 2010). doi:10.1002/9780470561119.socpsy002033.

Lenski, Gerhard E. “Status Crystallization: A Non-Vertical Dimension of Social Status.” American Sociological Review 19, no. 4 (August 1954): 405-413. doi:10.2307/2087459.

Lukes, Steven. “Power: A Radical View”, London: Macmillan (1974). doi:10.1007/978-1-349-02248-9.

Magee, Joe C., and Adam D. Galinsky. “8 Social Hierarchy: The Self‐Reinforcing Nature of Power and Status.” Academy of Management Annals 2, no. 1 (January 2008): 351–398. doi:10.5465/19416520802211628.

Ng, S. H. “The social psychology of power.” New York: Academic Press, (1980).

Parsons, Talcott. “An Analytical Approach to the Theory of Social Stratification.” American Journal of Sociology 45, no. 6 (May 1940): 841–862. doi:10.1086/218489.

Tannenbaum, Arnold S. “Control in Organizations: Individual Adjustment and Organizational Performance.” Administrative Science Quarterly 7, no. 2 (September 1962): 236-257. doi:10.2307/2390857.

Weber, M. “The theory of social and economic organization.” (A. M. Henderson and T. Parsons, Trans.). New York: Oxford, (1947).

Nikolaidou, S., Yfantidou, G., Mavromatis, G., and Costa, G. “Evaluation of The Organizational Structure of Sports Organizations: The case of Greek MSO.” International Review of Services Management (IRSM) 1 no. 1 (2018): 1-22.

Ellis, Frank. Peasant economics: Farm households in agrarian development. Vol. 23. Cambridge University Press, (1993).

French, John R., Bertram Raven, and Dorwin Cartwright. "The bases of social power." Classics of Organization Theory 7 (1959): 311-320.

Mills, C. W. “The power elite.” New York: Oxford University Press, (1956).

Mintzberg, H. “The structuring of organizations.” Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, (1979).

Kim, Mirae, and Jamie Levine Daniel. “Common Source Bias, Key Informants, and Survey-Administrative Linked Data for Nonprofit Management Research.” Public Performance & Management Review 43, no. 1 (September 12, 2019): 232–256. doi:10.1080/15309576.2019.1657915.

Brudney, Jeffrey L., F. Ted Hebert, and Deil S. Wright. “Reinventing Government in the American States: Measuring and Explaining Administrative Reform.” Public Administration Review 59, no. 1 (January 1999): 19. doi:10.2307/977476.

Meier, K. J., and L. J. O’toole. “Managerial Strategies and Behavior in Networks: A Model with Evidence from U.S. Public Education.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 11, no. 3 (July 1, 2001): 271–294. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.jpart.a003503.

Cusumano, Michael A., and Akira Takeishi. “Supplier Relations and Management: A Survey of Japanese, Japanese-Transplant, and U.S. Auto Plants.” Strategic Management Journal 12, no. 8 (November 1991): 563–588. doi:10.1002/smj.4250120802.

Hambrick, Donald C. “Strategic Awareness within Top Management Teams.” Strategic Management Journal 2, no. 3 (July 1981): 263–279. doi:10.1002/smj.4250020305.

Snow, Charles C., and Lawrence G. Hrebiniak. “Strategy, Distinctive Competence, and Organizational Performance.” Administrative Science Quarterly 25, no. 2 (June 1980): 317. doi:10.2307/2392457.

Phillips, Lynn W. “Assessing Measurement Error in Key Informant Reports: A Methodological Note on Organizational Analysis in Marketing.” Journal of Marketing Research 18, no. 4 (November 1981): 395-415. doi:10.2307/3151333.

Purcell, John. “Best Practice and Best Fit: Chimera or Cul-de-Sac?” Human Resource Management Journal 9, no. 3 (July 1999): 26–41. doi:10.1111/j.1748-8583.1999.tb00201.x.

Frazier, M. Andrew, and James E. Swiss. “Contrasting Views of Results-Based Management Tools from Different Organizational Levels.” International Public Management Journal 11, no. 2 (June 9, 2008): 214–234. doi:10.1080/10967490802095698.

Marz, Joachim W., Thomas L. Powers, and Thomas Queisser. "Corporate and individual influences on managers' social orientation." Journal of Business Ethics 46, no. 1 (2003): 1-11. doi:10.1023/A:1024795705173.

Jakobsen, Morten, Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen, and Søren Serritzlew. “Managing the Behavior of Public Frontline Employees through Change-Oriented Training: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 29, no. 4 (January 31, 2019): 556–571. doi:10.1093/jopart/muy080.

Mitchell, George E., and Hans Peter Schmitz. “The Nexus of Public and Nonprofit Management.” Public Performance & Management Review 42, no. 1 (October 10, 2018): 11–33. doi:10.1080/15309576.2018.1489293.

Starbuck, W. H., and Mezias, J. M. “Opening pandora's box: Studying the accuracy of managers' perceptions.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 17 (1996): 99-117. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(199603)17:2<99::AID-JOB743>3.0.CO;2-2.

Guest, David E. "Human resource management‐the workers' verdict." Human resource management journal 9, no. 3 (1999): 5-25. doi:10.1111/j.1748-8583.1999.tb00200.x.

Hambrick, Donald C., and Phyllis A. Mason. “Upper Echelons: The Organization as a Reflection of Its Top Managers.” The Academy of Management Review 9, no. 2 (April 1984): 193-206. doi:10.2307/258434.

Bowman, Cliff, and Veronique Ambrosini. “Using Single Respondents in Strategy Research.” British Journal of Management 8, no. 2 (June 1997): 119–131. doi:10.1111/1467-8551.0045.

Payne, R. L., and Pugh, D. “Organizational structure and climate.” In, M. Dunette, (Eds), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, Chicago, IL: Rand McNally, (1976): 1125-1173.

Wooldridge, Bill, and Steven W. Floyd. “Research Notes and Communications Strategic Process Effects on Consensus.” Strategic Management Journal 10, no. 3 (May 1989): 295–302. doi:10.1002/smj.4250100308.

Jacobsen, Dag Ingvar. “The Relationship between Politics and Administration: The Importance of Contingency Factors, Formal Structure, Demography, and Time.” Governance 19, no. 2 (April 2006): 303–323. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0491.2006.00316.x.

Schedler, Kuno. "Politiker und Verwaltungsmanager in der Reform–Konflikt oder Symbiose? Eine Analyse anhand von Reformen in der Schweiz." dms–der moderne staat–Zeitschrift für Public Policy, Recht und Management 1, no. 1 (2008): 19-20.

Petersen, Niels Bjørn G. “Whoever Has Will Be Given More: The Effect of Performance Information on Frontline Employees’ Support for Managerial Policy Initiatives.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 30, no. 4 (March 4, 2020): 533–547. doi:10.1093/jopart/muaa008.

McFarlane, D. G. “Managing Improvement in the Public Sector.” Total Quality Management 12, no. 7 (December 1, 2001): 1047–1053. doi:10.1080/09544120120096224.

Hellenic Republic, Law 2725/1999, Government Gazette, Α-121/17-06-1999.

Smith, A., and Stewart, B. “Sports Management: A Guide to Professional Practice.” Sydney: Allen and Unwin, (1999).

Papadimitriou, Dimitra, and Peter Taylor. “Organisational Effectiveness of Hellenic National Sports Organisations: A Multiple Constituency Approach.” Sport Management Review 3, no. 1 (May 2000): 23–46. doi:10.1016/s1441-3523(00)70078-7.

Karastathis, Dimitris, Υiannis Afthinos, Dimitris Gargalianos, and Nicholas D. Theodorakis. “The EFQM Excellence Model: An Exploratory Attempt for Assessing the Hellenic National Sport Federations.” International Journal of Sport Management, Recreation and Tourism 14 (August 25, 2014): 38–67. doi:10.5199/ijsmart-1791-874x-14c.

Pedras, Loïc, Tracy Taylor, and Stephen Frawley. “Responses to Multi-Level Institutional Complexity in a National Sport Federation.” Sport Management Review 23, no. 3 (June 2020): 482–497. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2019.05.001.

Fahlén, Josef. "Clashing interests–local sport policy through interorganizational networks." In 7th European Sport Sociology Congress. Porto, Portugal, May 5-8, 2010. University of Porto, Faculty of Sport, (2010).

Lee, Ye Hoon. “Emotional Intelligence, Servant Leadership, and Development Goal Orientation in Athletic Directors.” Sport Management Review 22, no. 3 (June 2019): 395–406. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2018.05.003.

Barling, Julian, Frank Slater, and E. Kevin Kelloway. “Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: An Exploratory Study.” Leadership & Organization Development Journal 21, no. 3 (May 2000): 157–161. doi:10.1108/01437730010325040.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/esj-2021-01272


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Dimitris Karastathis, Georgia Yfantidou, Stella Kormikiari, Dimitris Gargalianos, Antonia Kalafatzi