Tag Archive | Empirical Research

Eight Rules for Formal Conceptual Definitions

Theory-building empirical research needs formal conceptual definitions. Particularly, such definitions are necessary conditions for construct validity. But what is a “good” formal conceptual definition? In his seminal JOM paper, A Theory of Formal Conceptual Definitions: Developing Theory-building Measurement Instruments, Wacker (2004) presents eight rules for formal conceptual definitions: (1) “Definitions should be formally defined using primitive and derived terms.” (2) “Each concept should be uniquely defined.” (3) “Definitions should include only unambiguous and clear terms.” (4) “Definitions should have as few as possible terms in the conceptual definition to avoid violating the parsimony virtue of ‘good’ theory.” (5) “Definitions should be consistent within the [general academic] field.” (6) “Definitions should not make any term broader.” (7) “New hypotheses cannot be introduced in the definitions.” (8) “Statistical tests for content validity must be performed after the terms are formally defined.” These rules are explained in detail in Wacker’s article. I am convinced that Wacker’s rules lead to better measurement instruments.

Wacker, J.G. (2004). A Theory of Formal Conceptual Definitions: Developing Theory-building Measurement Instruments. Journal of Operations Management, 22 (6), 629-650 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jom.2004.08.002

Introducing the Journal of Operations Management (Guest Post by the Editors-in-Chief)

In today’s guest post, Thomas Y. Choi and Daniel Guide, Editors-in-Chief of the Journal of Operations Management, provide an introduction to their journal, which is a leading journal of our field.

The Journal of Operations Management (JOM) is an empirical journal whose mission is to advance the theories of operations management (OM) and supply chain management (SCM). The goal is to publish original, high quality, OM and SCM empirical research that will have a significant impact on theory and practice. Regular articles accepted for publication in JOM must have clear implications for operations managers based on one or more of a variety of rigorous research methodologies. It is the premier ranked journal, repeatedly ranked above other journals in the discipline. It is one of the OM-SCM focused empirical journals used by both the Financial Times in its rankings of Business Schools as well as by the University of Texas at Dallas in its assessment of scholarship. In terms of citation share, in 2011 JOM was given the following ISI category ranking: 1/73 in “Operations Research & Management Science” and 7/166 in “Management”. The current impact factor (IF) is 4.40 and the five year IF is 7.13.

Thomas Y. Choi is a Professor of Supply Chain Management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University. Daniel Guide is a Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University. They have published their research in numerous academic and managerial journals.

Multi-item Scales Utilized in Logistics Research

A few months ago, I presented the Handbook of Management Scales, an online collection of previously used multi-item measurement scales (see post). Quite similar, the Journal of Business Logistics has now published a compendium of multi-item scales utilized in logistics research – a good complement to my collection. The authors, Keller et al. (2013), found that not less than 980 scales were used in four journals related to logistics (IJLM, IJPDLM, JBL, TJ) between 2001 and 2010. It is the merit of the authors to identify and document these scales in an electronic Appendix, which contains “a categorical listing of multi-item scales and the available information concerning the scales’ validity and reliability”. The Appendix is available as a Word document. One can only guess how tedious it was to prepare the compendium. In addition, the authors offer a comparison of scales categories, a comparison with previous results and a comparison between JBL and the Journal of Marketing.

Keller, S.B., Hochard, K., Rudolph, T., & Boden, M. (2013). A Compendium of Multi-Item Scales Utilized in Logistics Research (2001–10): Progress Achieved Since Publication of the 1973–2000 Compendium. Journal of Business Logistics, 34 (2) DOI: 10.1111/jbl.12011

Handbook of Management Scales

In 2010, I launched the Handbook of Management Scales. It is a collection of previously used multi-item measurement scales in empirical management research literature and contains numerous scales related to SCM research. It contains scales from high-ranked journals that are developed in a systematic scale development process and that are tested to measure a construct in terms of specification, dimensionality, reliability, and validity. For each scale at least objective items, source, and, if available, reliability (e.g. Cronbach’s alpha) are listed. Particularly, structural equation modeling might benefit from the Handbook of Management Scales. It is a wikibook and can be edited by anyone. Feel free to expand the Handbook of Management Scales by adding good scales. This can help to further develop the Handbook as a useful resource for empirical management research. Related handbooks are the Handbook of Metrics for Research in Operations Management and the Handbook of Marketing Scales.

Wieland, A. et al. (2010 ff.). Handbook of Management Scales. Wikibooks. Online: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Handbook_of_Management_Scales