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Lecture 2

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Western University
Philosophy 2080
Jeannie Gillmore

The Psychology of People, Work, and Organizations Psychology 2060 Research Foundations Reliability & Validity (i.e., Psychometrics) Brief Recap • Instructor Introduction • Other Business – OWL email : write down your name/email – Textbooks – Exercise book • I/O Psychology – what is it? – Listing of topics • Last class • Today Why do we need research? • Research in I/O aims to systematically and scientifically answer a question about work. • Without doing research we may not fully understand how to optimize organizational performance, decision making, job design, etc. Why do we need research? • Saves organizations money • Can help create optimal conditions/inform practice • Useful for understanding things in everyday life – E.g. advertising, vitamins, etc. • Findings often contradict common sense – E.g. Earth goes around the sun What types of research questions might be asked? • What is the relation between leadership effectiveness and follower job performance? • Does conflict management training enable team members to better resolve conflicts? • Do outgoing, sociable employeeshave higher sales than do shy, introverted employees? • Can work motivation be increased by providing pay incentives like bonuses? Evidence-based management • Without research, what information might managers use to make personnel decisions? – Obsolete knowledge gained in school – Long-standing but never proven traditions – Patterns gleaned from experience – Methods they personally identify with – Methods they are most skilled in applying – Information from hordes of vendors Pfeffer & Sutton, 2006 Evidence-Based Management “The conscious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making business decisions.” • In simple terms: The practice of making business decisions based on what the available research evidence supports. Evidence Based Approaches • An illustration from medical research • A number of valuable lessons here • Will discuss a number of these concepts today • JzKk Evidence-Based Management • We always need research to uncover the best possible management strategies and tactics across a range of situations. – We need managers who can appropriately interpret research(one reason why we teach this) – And we need academics who can report research in understandable and usable ways. Today’s Lecture • It’s about different approaches for conducting, research studies.mportantly, interpreting, • Without understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a research design, it could be difficult to appropriately apply the findings in the real world. • After reviewing research methods, we can get into the concepts of reliability and validity, which are critical for interpreting test scores. Overview of Research Process 1) Generate ideas, hypotheses, and theories 2) Literature review 3) Research design 3a) Location of the study 3b) Research method used 3c) Sample 4) Statistical analysis and significance testing Issues in Research 1) Generate Ideas, hypotheses, and theories e.g., leadership development should improve leadership performance over time – Why? Because, by providing and individual with a list of his or her strengths and weaknesses, and providing the necessary growth opportunities, motivation and ability to lead will improve. – This is “theorizing” Issues in Research • Some terminology: Independent Variable: The variable that is expected to have some effect on another variable. Dependent Variable: The variable that is expected to change as a result of the independent variable. Predictor: The variable that predicts scores on another variable. Criterion: The variable that is predicted by the criterion. Independent Variable Dependent Variable Predictor Variable Criterion Variable Examples • “A participative approach to management will increase job satisfaction” • A researcher is interested in measuring changes in stress as a result of participating in either a stress management program or by taking yoga classes. • A researcher is interested in studying the effects of employee interpersonal skills on peer ratings of teamwork. Issues in Research: Formal Theory • Defined: A systematic set of assumptions regarding the cause and nature of behavior • Purpose – to describe, explain, and predict e.g., “Happy workers are good workers.” • What makes a good theory? – Parsimony – Precision – Testability – Usefulness Theories • Can be simple or complex – Integrated goal setting theory • Latham, 1997 Formal Theory Examples • Theory tells us whyand when certain things relate – Can be particularly important in I/O towards informing interventions/action Expectancy Instrumentality Motivation Valence Employee Knowledge Job Intelligence Acquisition Performance Issues in Research 2) Literature Review • Read the current research to find out… – What is already known about the topic • Chances are its been done – What needs to be learned next. • Order of Scientific Rigor: 1. Journals (e.g. Journal of Applied Psychology) 2. Bridge Publications (e.g. Harvard Business Review) 3. Trade Magazines (e.g. HR Magazine – can be biased) 4. Magazines (e.g. People, Men’s Health– pick tidbits) Issues in Research 3) Research Design Location: Laboratory or Field Level of Control and Randomization: Experiment, Quasi-experiment, non- experimental (e.g., survey) Interested in the relationship between Conscientiousness and job performance Issues in Research • On the one hand, interest is in the extent to which X affects Y (making a causal inference), or at least that X is related to Y (showing an association). • The strength of the causal inference that X affects Y, given a certain research design, is the internal validity of the study. X  Y How sure you are that your study, or the study you are reading, is a good test of the above hypothesis. This is the strength of the causal inference also known as the study’s internal validity. Issues in Research • On the other hand, the extent to which results obtained generalize to/across other people, settings, times, organizations, research designs, etc. is external validity X  Y How sure you are that your study, or the study you are reading, will have results that generalize across situations is external validity. There tends to be a tradeoff between the internal and external validity of a study. Issues in Research 3a) Location of the Study Laboratory Field Advantage Easier to control and Contains the contextual manipulate variables features of a real work (usually good internal including pay, bosses, validity) organizational culture, etc., so any findings could generalize well Disadvantage Difficult to reproduce key Can be difficult to control aspects of environment for many possible that could be critical for extraneous variables, so generalization to actual the internal validity of the work settings. Study may study may be at risk (i.e., have“contrived” feeling the causal inference of A to it (external validity maynfluencing B may be be lacking) difficult to defend). Issues in Research 3b) Research Method Used i) Experiment ii) Quasi-experiment iii. Survey iv. Meta-Analysis v. Archival Data (not talked about here, read book) Issues in Research 3b) Research Method Used • i) Experiments – Only way to maximize internal validity (i.e. cause- effect relationship) – Usually competing conditions, such as • Experimental Group : receiving the treatment • Control: do not receive the treatment – Two Characteristics • Manipulation of the independent variable(s) • Random assignment of subjects to conditions Issues in Research 3b) Research Method Used • ii) Quasi-Experiments – Experiment where researcher does not manipulate the independent variable or subjects are not randomly assigned – E.g. implement a pay for performance system, see if productivity increases • If it does, is it due to pay-for-performance system? Issues in Research 3b) Research Method Used • iii) Survey – Paper-pencil or online where we ask people their opinion on some topic – area)chunk of research done by surveys (depends on • Ask people reactions to training • Personality • Organizational justice – Concerns include response rate, accuracy, confound with verbal ability, social desirability, etc. Issues in Research 3b) Research Method Used • iv) Meta-Analysis – Statistically combine studies – Prior to this, had to read a bunch of studies and form own conclusion – Big step forward for best practices, evidence based management – Gives mean effect size (uncorrected and corrected) and how this varies across studies Issues in Research 3c) Sample • The “Sample
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