Summary chapter 11 & 12 - Summary chapter 11...

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Summary chapter 11: Measurement of Variables: Operational definition. Objectives of the chapter 1. Explain when operationalization of variables is necessary 2. Operationally define (or operationalize) variables 3. Describe the advantages of using existing measurement scale to operational variables. Measurement of the variables in the theoretical framework is an integral part of research and an important aspect of research design. Unless the variables are measured in some ways, we will not be able to test our hypothesis and find answers to complex research issues. Objects that can be physically measured by some calibrated instruments pose no measurement problem. One can also check the company records to obtain or verify certain types of information. But when we get to the real of people’s subjective feelings, attitudes, and perceptions, the measurement of these factors or variables becomes difficult. This is one of the aspects of organizational behavior and management research that adds to the complexity of research study. Define measurement. Measurement is the assignment of numbers or other symbols to characteristics (or attributes) of objects according to a pre-specified set of rules. How variables are measured? (Characteristics of) objects Objects include persons, strategic business units, companies, countries, kitchen appliances, restaurants, shampoo, and yogurt and so on. Examples of characteristics of objects are arousal seeking tendency, achievement motivation, organizational effectiveness, shopping enjoyment, length, weight, ethnic diversity, service quality, conditioning effects and taste. Types of Variables There at least two types of variables: one lends itself to objective and precise measurement; the other is nebulous and does not lend itself to accurate measurement because of its subjective nature. However, despite the lack of physical measuring devices to measure the latter type, there are ways of tapping the subjective feelings and perceptions of individuals. One technique is to
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reduce the abstract notions or concepts to observable behavior and characteristics. The reduction of abstract concepts to render them measurable in a tangible way is what is called operationalizing the concepts. operationalzing or operationally defining a concept to render it measurable, is done by looking at the behavioral dimensions, facts ,or properties denoted by the concept. These are them translate into observable and measurable elements so as to develop an index of measurement of the concept. However, just as it is to understand what an operational definition is, equally important is it to remember what it is not. An operational definition does not describe the correlate of the concept. Thus, it is clear that operationally defining a concept does not consist of delineating the reason, antecedents, consequences, or correlates of the concepts. Rather, it describes its observable characteristics in order to be able to measure the concept. It is important to remember
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