** Reply to note from [log in to unmask]         Mon, 23 Feb 2004 14:13:22 +0000

> An employee is doing a part time MBA course at a local university,
> supported by the employer. Part of the course involves a study of some
> aspect of management within the workplace. In order to choose people to
> take part in the survey the employee either:

Another hot air person in the making.  God.  It is full of managers who have no
one to manage.

> 1. obtains an extract of a number of fellow employees from the
> personnel/payroll system

> 2. picks names at random from the internal telephone directory

Academically (there again for an MBA it may not be that important) this may not
be the best approach.   My preference would be for controlled random data
selected from item (1) above

> 3. sends questionnaire to colleagues with whom (s)he has just happened to
> work with from time to time.

Academically ... No!.  Waste of time unless a large sample was used.

Under 2 & 3 DP is simple.  The MBA student can ask them if they want to
participate in the study.

> The questions:
> 1. What is the legality/illegality of these methods as far as DPA 1998
> goes?

We had (still have presumably) research and statistical analyses as a purpose
of our processing of employee data.

> 2. Does it make a difference if the results of the survey will be used by
> the employer?

Yes (in my view).  It is the employer that would the research or someone else on
behalf of th employer (and that would include the MBA person), otherwise data
could be given to every possible company to carry out some research.  The
employee doing the MBA qualifies.

All the usual confidentiallity and ask no more than you need to know stuff


On Doreen's comments data can be selected without the person having
access to the database itself.  for example we want so many men/women in the
sampe and in those age groups etc etc depending what it is the thesis is
looking at etc.  My only puzzle is do we tell the employee which persons fall in
which category (eg. based on age, earnings etc).

Make what you like of the above.  I am on my tablets  :-)


Charles Christacopoulos, Management Information Officer,
Planning & Information, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN,
Scotland, United Kingdom. Tel: 44(0)1382-344891. Fax: 44(0)1382-348845.

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