Operations management research is beginning to focus on the development and use of reliable and valid scales. OM scale development efforts and scale development in organizational behavior and psychology are compared. Major differences include the fact that OM research tended, until recently, to be theoretical and, when applied, tended to use the firm as a unit of measure. OM research, therefore, seems to lack a common language that other fields have developed. OM literature was searched for completely described scale development efforts, and six studies were identified and reviewed for this paper. Suggested techniques of scale development were compiled primarily from those methods used in research areas such as psychology, organizational behavior, and management. The reviewed studies were compared to the suggested techniques. Many of the same techniques were described by the six studies. The similarities should be encouraging to researchers thinking about scale development studies. Weaknesses in the studies are identified, and suggestions for researchers are presented. Finally, the study provides a discussion of when and why OM researchers might find the development and use of scales advantageous in their research efforts.
Journal of Operations Management – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 1999
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