Can Ipsative and Single-Item Measures Produce Erroneous Results in Field Studies of French and Raven's (1959) Five Bases of Power? An Empirical Investigation

Chester A. Schriesheim, Timothy R. Hinkin, Philip M. Podsakoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research is presented on the single-item ranking (ipsative) scales that have been the dominant measures used to assess French and Raven's (1959) power bases in previous organizational research. These measures, along with multi-item and single-item Likert rating scales, were administered to 3 independent samples. Two of these samples were also administered measures of job satisfaction, motivation, role clarity and conflict, and organizational commitment; the 3rd sample was given a second administration of the 3 sets of power measures 2 weeks later. Analysis of variance and correlational and chi-square analyses yielded largely consistent results, indicating that single-item and ranking measures have serious psychometric shortcomings and that they produce distorted results in field-collected data. Implications for the interpretation of previous research are considered, as well as suggestions for improved future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-114
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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