MSU Study on Social Interactions at Work

June 2004

Thank you for your interest in the MSU study on social interactions. The study will be conducted starting June 2, 2004 and consists of three distinct phases, as we describe below. We will reward participants by sending a $50 check to those who complete all phases (see the Informed Consent below for details).

Phase 1. The "Self-Rating Survey" asks participants to indicate the extent to which they agree with behavioral statements such as "I try to be courteous to everyone I meet" or "I would rather cooperate with others than compete with them" and to provide some demographic information. This survey, available on-line, should take about 15 minutes to complete. (Those who sign up for the study will be presented with a link to the Self-Rating Survey on the confirmation page.)

Phase 2. For this phase, please ask a significant other to rate you on a survey similar to the Self-Rating Survey described above. We ask participants to provide the name and address of their significant other (after completing the Self-Rating survey); we will then mail the survey to the designated raters, together with a self-addressed stamped envelope for returning the completed surveys directly to us.

Phase 3. This final phase of the study will be conducted over two weeks, starting on June 14, and it entails short daily surveys (the "Daily Survey," taking 5 minutes or less to complete) that have to be completed on each working day during this period (for 10 days), and a final questionnaire assessing your general job and life satisfaction and your organizational commitment (this final questionnaire should take about 15 minutes to complete). The "Daily Survey" is to be completed three times each day-at approximately 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 5:00 PM, from work. If it is not feasible to complete the survey at exactly those times, please try to come as close as you can - but you cannot submit answers for a specific survey more than 1 hour early or 1 hour late (for example for the 11 AM survey, the web interface will accept data only between 10 AM and 12 PM). You will receive daily e-mail reminders about 30 minutes before the time to complete the surveys (you will be given the option not to have daily e-mails sent to - if you would like to set up your own reminders - in the final instructions).

Before you start participating in this study, please read the informed consent below. If you agree with the informed consent, you can sign up to participate in the study after you indicate your agreement by pressing the I AGREE, GO TO THE SIGN-UP PAGE! button below.

If you have questions, please email me (Remus Ilies) at, I will respond to all inquiries promptly.

I greatly appreciate your participation in this important research.

Remus Ilies

The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management
Michigan State University
N475 North Business Complex
East Lansing, MI 48824-1112
(517) 432-3510
Faculty Web Page


You are invited to participate in a research study of social interactions at work. We ask that you read this form and ask any questions you may have before agreeing to be in the study.

This study is being conducted by:

Remus Ilies, Assistant Professor, Management Department, Michigan State University

Timothy A. Judge, Matherly-McKethan Eminent Scholar of Management, University of Florida

Background Information:

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of social interactions, mood and personality in the formation of employees' job satisfaction. This research is important for understanding the antecedents of job satisfaction and should provide suggestion for increasing employees' satisfaction with their jobs.


If you agree to be in this study, we will ask you to do the following things:

1. Complete a one-time, short (15-20 minutes) personality-type survey, and ask a significant other (spouse, good friend, etc.) to rate you using a similar survey.

2. Over a period of two weeks (for 10 working days), complete a very brief (5 minutes) survey that includes social situations, mood, and job satisfaction three times per day, from work.

3. At the end of the two-week period, complete a short survey assessing your job and life satisfaction.

You do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. The ratings you provide will be combined with those of other participants in this research.

Risks and Benefits of Being in the Study:

Participation in this study entails no more than minimal risk.

In return for your participation, you will receive a payment of up to $50 after the completion of the study. We will begin processing the payment within two weeks of the date when the data collection will be completed and checks will be mailed to participants shortly thereafter. Participants will receive no other benefit for participating in the study.

Your identity will be kept confidential to the maximum extent allowable by law. The records of this study will be kept private. In any sort of report we might publish, it will not be possible to identify you as a subject in this research.

Voluntary Nature of the Study:

Your decision whether or not to participate will not affect your current or future relations with Michigan State University. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw at any time without affecting those relationships. Participants who withdraw before the completion of the study, or who do not complete at least 25 daily surveys (out of the 30 possible) will be paid on a prorated basis as follows (those who submit 25 or more of the daily surveys will receive the full $50):

0-9 surveys - no payment
10-14 surveys -- $15
15-19 surveys -- $20
20-24 surveys -- $30

Contacts and Questions:

The researchers conducting this study are Remus Ilies and Timothy A. Judge and. If you have any questions, please contact them at and, or at 517-432-3510 and 352-374-9158. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this study and would like to talk to someone other than the researchers, contact the University Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (UCRIHS):

Peter Vasilenko, Ph.D., UCRIHS Chair PHONE: (517) 355-2180
202 Olds Hall FAX: (517-432-4503
East Lansing, MI 48824-1046 E-MAIL

Statement of Consent:

I have read the procedure described above. By pressing the button below, I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description (available for download on the Download page).

If you have already signed up, click on the links below to select the survey that you want to complete:

Daily Survey (to be completed at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 5:00 PM)

Self-Rating Survey (to be completed once)

To download printable forms for all surveys please go to: Download page