Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 245-260

First online:

Understanding Self-Report Bias in Organizational Behavior Research

  • Stewart I. DonaldsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University Email author 
  • , Elisa J. Grant-ValloneAffiliated withCalifornia State University

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Self-report and mono-method bias often threaten the validity of research conducted in business settings and thus hinder the development of theories of organizational behavior. This paper outlines a conceptual framework for understanding factors that influence the motivation of an employee to bias his or her responses to questions posed by organizational researchers. Using a longitudinal, multitrait-multimethod dataset, we illustrate various aspects of the problem and argue that traditional approaches for controlling self-report bias do not adequately prevent the problem. The results suggest the need for developing a theory of method effects and companion analytic techniques to improve the accuracy of psychological research in business settings.

self-report bias organizational behavior research method bias construct validity