The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is renowned for advancing practical business knowledge through research. A group of academics in the Leadership and Organizational Behavior department set out to understand courage in the workplace. They quickly realized that the lack of research in most work contexts left many interesting questions unanswered. They decided to develop an online research tool so they could start understanding in detail what forms courage takes, and how it might be stimulated.

 

Areas of Expertise

Industries

  • Education

Challenge

The online survey platform needed to be secure, user-friendly and customizable.

First, demographics information had to be obtained about users for research purposes before allowing them to continue to the questionnaires.

Each survey needed to be composed of a list of behaviors. Each behavior was to come with 2 questions. The first question required users to select an answer from a list of 7 options presented via an attitude scale. The second question required users to select an integer via a slider. The system had to allow users to skip questions, as well as save their answers, and come back to it later. However, once submitted, survey answers were not going to be editable again.

After submitting their answers, users had to be given the option to see their results and see how their answers compared to other survey respondents. Each question’s qualitative data would be presented in the form of an histogram. The user’s answer would be highlighted on the histogram. The quantitative data would be displayed to the side and would show the user’s answer as well as the other respondents’ answer. Finally, users had to be able to print their scores vs other people's scores.

On the admin side, researchers needed to be able to manage the list of surveys and survey behaviors. They needed to be able to create new surveys and new behaviors, as well as edit and delete them. They also requested to be able to create sub-group surveys for specific organizations and provide them with custom URLs linking to their sub-group surveys.

Moreover, admins were to access a "Group Reports" page allowing them to view and compare select groups' results via histograms. They also had to be able to export the data to spreadsheet programs.

Finally, the app needed to be accessible to both mobile and desktop users.

 

 

 

Implementation Details

The Six Feet Up team first helped researchers wireframe each page and the overall workflow so as to develop blueprints for the implementation phase. Customer journeys were written and used for developing a series of clear development sprints. Then the work was broken down into business requirements and task tickets.

The application was written in Django, a Python web framework. A responsive theme was downloaded and installed. And the team leveraged the FusionCharts javascript charting library to generate response graphs on the fly for end-users and admins.

The app is hosted and supported by Six Feet Up.

Results

The WCAI is comprised of the 35 behaviors reported consistently as requiring courage in the work domain; the survey itself can be used to understand how much courage each of those behaviors is seen to take in one’s own workgroup or organization and, correspondingly, how (in)frequently each behavior is exhibited.

You might learn, for example, that it’s seen to reflect a “great amount” of courage in your organization to “speak up to a boss about his/her inappropriate or hurtful interpersonal treatment” and that, as a result, it is reported as personally seen by your employees “never” or “only once every few years.”

The tool is free, easy, secure, and informative. Please try it now, and share it with friends and colleagues.

 

 

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