What drives key informant accuracy?

Christian Homburg, Martin Klarmann, Martin Reimann, Oliver Schilke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


In an effort to establish and enhance the accuracy of key informant data, organizational survey studies are increasingly relying on triangulation techniques by including supplemental data sources that complement information acquired from key informants. Despite the growing popularity of triangulation, little guidance exists as to when and how it should be conducted. Addressing this gap, the authors develop hypotheses linking a comprehensive set of study characteristics at the construct, informant, organizational, and industry levels to key informant accuracy. Two studies test these hypotheses. The first study is a metaanalysis of triangulation applications. Using data from 127 studies published in six major marketing and management journals, the authors identify antecedents to key informant reliability. The second study, using eight multi-informant data sets, analyzes antecedents to key informant validity. The results from these studies inform survey researchers as to which conditions particularly call for the use of triangulation. The authors conclude by offering guidelines on when and how to employ triangulation techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-608
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Key informant design
  • Multiple data sources
  • Organizational survey research
  • Reliability
  • Triangulation
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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