Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

Moderation in Management Research: What, Why, When, and How

  • Jeremy F. DawsonEmail author


Many theories in management, psychology, and other disciplines rely on moderating variables: those which affect the strength or nature of the relationship between two other variables. Despite the near-ubiquitous nature of such effects, the methods for testing and interpreting them are not always well understood. This article introduces the concept of moderation and describes how moderator effects are tested and interpreted for a series of model types, beginning with straightforward two-way interactions with Normal outcomes, moving to three-way and curvilinear interactions, and then to models with non-Normal outcomes including binary logistic regression and Poisson regression. In particular, methods of interpreting and probing these latter model types, such as simple slope analysis and slope difference tests, are described. It then gives answers to twelve frequently asked questions about testing and interpreting moderator effects.


Moderation Interactions Simple slopes Regression 



I am grateful to Ron Landis, Scott Tonidandel, and Steven Rogelberg for their comments on earlier drafts of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Work Psychology, Management SchoolUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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