What Reviewers Should Expect from Authors Regarding Common Method Bias in Organizational Research
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- Conway, J.M. & Lance, C.E. J Bus Psychol (2010) 25: 325. doi:10.1007/s10869-010-9181-6
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We believe that journal reviewers (as well as editors and dissertation or thesis committee members) have to some extent perpetuated misconceptions about common method bias in self-report measures, including (a) that relationships between self-reported variables are necessarily and routinely upwardly biased, (b) other-reports (or other methods) are superior to self-reports, and (c) rating sources (e.g., self, other) constitute measurement methods. We argue against these misconceptions and make recommendations for what reviewers (and others) should reasonably expect from authors regarding common method bias. We believe it is reasonable to expect (a) an argument for why self-reports are appropriate, (b) construct validity evidence, (c) lack of overlap in items for different constructs, and (d) evidence that authors took proactive design steps to mitigate threats of method effects. We specifically do not recommend post hoc statistical control strategies; while some statistical strategies are promising, all have significant drawbacks and some have shown poor empirical results.