Data for the project was collected from four sources:
1. An online survey
A link to the survey was circulated to 31,280 members of staff on 21 March 2014. The survey was completed by 5,545 respondents, a response rate of 17.7 per cent. The achieved sample was benchmarked against the Commission population. The resulting weighted sample (ECFTF weighted sample) is representative of the Commission workforce (EC population) by staff category, location, gender, cohort and EU15 or EU13. See graphs.
2. Interviews – part I (self-selected sample)
A first round of follow-up interviews was conducted mainly in the spring and early summer of 2014 with 83 respondents, out of the 232 who volunteered their participation when completing the online survey. The breakdown by staff category was: assistants 5; contract agents 4; non-management administrators 58; deputy heads of unit 5; heads of unit 6; cabinet members 2; seconded national experts 3. The interviews were semi-structured and different templates were used for seconded national experts, non-managers, managers and members of cabinet. The templates included closed and open questions.
3. Interviews – part II (stratified sample)
A second round of interviews was conducted among a stratified sample of members of the Commission and their cabinets, middle and senior managers. Invitations were sent to all chefs de cabinet and through them to all Commissioners, to all Directors General and to a random sample of Directors and heads of unit. One-hundred-and-sixty-two respondents were interviewed in total in this second round. The breakdown was as follows: Commissioners 9; Directors General 17; deputy Directors General 1; Directors 52; head of unit 50; deputy head of unit 3; assistant to the Director General 1; chef de cabinet 13; cabinet member 12; non-management administrator 3; seconded national expert 1. The interviews were semi structured and different templates used for Commissioners, chef de cabinets, members of cabinet, Directors General, and middle managers and (other) senior managers. As with the first round of interviews, the templates used both closed and open questions.
4. Focus groups
Focus groups -- one meeting per staff category: temporary agents, contract agents, assistants, non-management administrators, and seconded national experts -- were conducted involving a small number of randomly selected individuals in May and September 2014.