The target population of this survey was local SMEs of all sectors in Hong Kong. According to the Dun & Bradstreet Hong Kong Database Census, there are more than 230,000 SMEs operating in Hong Kong as of 2007.
This was a telephone survey conducted by interviewers under close supervision. The contacts were randomly drawn from the D&B HK Database, supplemented by the SME Directory maintained by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Duplicated numbers were filtered, and the remaining numbers were mixed in random order to produce the final sampling frame.
Data were collected by interviewers using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) system which allowed real-time data capture and consolidation. When telephone contact was successfully established with a target company, one representative (employer or employee) who was in a position to make business decision for that company was then invited to participate in this survey. Each contact was called back 5 times before the number was dropped as "non-contact", and appointments would be made if the target respondent was not available at the time we called. All interviews were conducted anonymously.
The fieldwork was conducted during the period of April 22 – May 7, 2008. A total of 503 qualified representatives from the local SMEs who spoke Cantonese were successfully interviewed. As shown from the calculation in Appendix 1, the overall effective response rate of this survey was 66.4% (Table 1), and the standard sampling error for percentages based on this sample was less than 2.2 percentage points. In other words, the sampling error for all percentages was less than plus/minus 4.5 percentage points at 95% confidence level. For detailed breakdowns of the contact information, please refer to Table 2 in Appendix I.