Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  George Beam  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other


-- Blog --
-- Website --
-- George Beam on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Beam is a professor of public administration at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

George Beam is director of graduate studies for the Master of Public Administration program, associate professor of public administration, and affiliated faculty in the department of political science, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of several books.

Published Works

  • Political Action: The Key to Understanding Politics, Swallow Press, 1984
  • Quality Public Managment, Rowman and Littlefield, 2001
  • The Problem with Survey Research, Transaction Publishers, 2012

Selected Titles At Your Library

Political action :
ISBN: 0804008345. OCLC Number:

Swallow Press,. Athens, Ohio :. ©1984.

Quality public management :
ISBN: 0830415696. OCLC Number:

Burnham Inc., Publishers,. Chicago :. ©2001.

The problem with survey research /
ISBN: 141284603X. OCLC Number:

Transaction Publishers,. New Brunswick :. ©2012.

The Problem with Survey Research makes a case against survey research instruments as a primary source of reliable information. George Beam argues that all survey research instruments, all types of asking - including polls, face-to-face interviews, and focus groups - produce unrealiable and potentially inaccurate results. Because those who rely on survey research only see answers to questions, it is impossible for them, or anyone else, to evaluate the results. They cannot know if the answers correspond to respondents' actual behaviors (objective phenomena) or to their true beliefs and opinions (subjective phenomena). Reliable information can only be acquired by observation, experimentation, multiple sources of data, formal model building and testing, document analysis, and comparison. In fifteen chapters divided into six parts - Ubiquity of Survey Research, The Problem, Asking Instruments, Asking Settings, Askers, and Proper Methods and Research Designs - The Problem with Survey Research demonstrates how asking instruments, settings in which asking and answering take place, and survey researchers themselves skew results and thereby make answers unreliable. The last two chapters and appendices examine observation, other methods of data collection and research designs that may produce accurate or correct information and show how reliance on survey research can be overcome, and must be. -- from dust jacket.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)