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Working Paper Number CES 16-53


All Census Bureau surveys must meet quality standards before they can be sent to the public for data collection. This paper outlines the pretesting process that was used to ensure that the Management and Organizational Practices Survey (MOPS) met those standards. The MOPS is the first large survey of management practices at U.S. manufacturing establishments. The first wave of the MOPS, issued for reference year 2010, was subject to internal expert review and two rounds of cognitive interviews. The results of this pretesting were used to make significant changes to the MOPS instrument and ensure that quality data was collected. The second wave of the MOPS, featuring new questions on data in decision making (DDD) and uncertainty and issued for reference year 2015, was subject to two rounds of cognitive interviews and a round of usability testing. This paper illustrates the effort undertaken by the Census Bureau to ensure that all surveys released into the field are of high quality and provides insight into how respondents interpret the MOPS questionnaire for those looking to utilize the MOPS data.

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