In spite of the crucial role that CV evidence plays in building sound OB theories and guiding practice in organizations, an analysis of the OB literature concerned with a large number of FCs reveals that insufficient attention has been paid to CV issues. As a result, tremendous amounts of time, effort, and other resources have been expended on research that has poor conceptual and methodological underpinnings.
The current problems with CV in OB research would appear to be a function of several related practices. First, and perhaps most important, studies of many FCs have been conducted by researchers who did not appear to have based their research on well articulated nomological networks. Second, many researchers have either devoted insufficient effort to developing clear constitutive definitions of FCs or have failed to adopt sound constitutive definitions proposed by others. Third, in the absence of clear constitutive definitions of FCs, many researchers have either developed crude measures of poorly defined FCs or used measures developed by others that appeared, perhaps because of the names of the measures, to be appropriate for the planned research. Clearly, practices such as these are not likely to produce research results that have acceptable levels of CV. They must change.
Fortunately, there are signs of change. Today, more so than in previous years, competent researchers are challenging a number of questionable conceptual frameworks. Moreover, a considerable amount of effort is presently being devoted to assessing and improving the psychometric properties of measures used in OB research. To the degree that these and similarly positive trends continue, there is reason to be optimistic about future OB research vis-à-vis the criterion of CV.
I am grateful to George A. Alliger, Jerald Greenberg, Kathryn Kelley, Susan Jackson, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Dianna L. Stone, Kevin J. Williams, and Vincent Fortunato for helpful comments on an earlier version of this chapter.
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