The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods provides perspectives on topics relevant to research in the field of business and management
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Journal Issue
Volume 6 Issue 1, ECRM 2008 / Sep 2008  pp1‑94

Editor: Ann Brown

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Hypermodernist Travellers in a Postmodern World  pp1‑8

Peter M. Bednar, Christine Welch

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Individualised Rating‑Scale Procedure: A Means of Reducing Response Style Contamination in Survey Data?  pp9‑20

Elisa Chami-Castaldi, Nina Reynolds, James Wallace

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Response style bias has been shown to seriously contaminate the substantive results drawn from survey data; particularly those conducted using cross‑cultural samples. As a consequence, identification of response formats that suffer least from response style bias has been called for. Previous studies show that respondents' personal characteristics, such as age, education level and culture, are connected with response style manifestation. Differences in the way respondents interpret and utilise researcher‑defined fixed rating‑scales (e.g. Likert formats), poses a problem for survey researchers. Techniques that are currently used to remove response bias from survey data are inadequate as they cannot accurately determine the level of contamination present and frequently blur true score variance. Inappropriate rating‑scales can impact on the level of response style bias manifested, insofar as they may not represent respondents' cognitions. Rating‑scale lengths that are too long present respondents with some response categories that are not 'meaningful', whereas rating‑scales that are too short force respondents into compressing their cognitive rating‑scales into the number of response categories provided (this can cause ERS contamination — extreme responding). We are therefore not able to guard against two respondents, who share the same cognitive position on a continuum, reporting their stance using different numbers on the rating‑scale provided. This is especially problematic where a standard fixed rating‑scale is used in cross‑cultural surveys. This paper details the development of the Individualised Rating‑Scale Procedure (IRSP), a means of extracting a respondent's 'ideal' rating‑scale length, and as such 'designing out' response bias, for use as the measurement instrument in a survey. Whilst the fundamental ideas for self‑anchoring rating‑scales have been posited in the literature, the IRSP was developed using a series of qualitative interviews with participants. Finally, we discuss how the IRSP's reliability and validity can be quantitatively assessed and compared to typical fixed researcher‑defined rating‑scales, such as the Likert format. 


Keywords: scale length, response styles, response bias, survey research, cross-cultural surveys, individualised ratingscale procedure


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A Framework for Mixed Stakeholders and Mixed Methods  pp21‑28

Barbara Crump, Keri Logan

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Active Exploration of Emerging Themes in a Study of Object‑Oriented Requirements Engineering: The "Evolutionary Case" Approach  pp29‑42

Linda Dawson

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Best Practices in Project Management Through a Grounded Theory Lens  pp43‑52

Svetla Georgieva, George Allan

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Structural Equation Modelling: Guidelines for Determining Model Fit  pp53‑60

Daire Hooper, Joseph Coughlan, Michael R. Mullen

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University Academics' Psychological Contracts in Australia: A Mixed Method Research Approach  pp61‑72

Branka Krivokapic-Skoko, Grant O'Neill

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Millennial Students and Technology Choices for Information Searching  pp73‑76

Martin Rich

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White Researcher‑Black Subjects: Exploring the Challenges of Researching the Marginalised and 'Invisible'  pp77‑84

Gisela Schulte Agyeman

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Issues and Challenges in the Use of Template Analysis: Two Comparative Case Studies from the Field.  pp85‑94

Teresa Waring, David Wainwright

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