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] Let's think about a scenario. Imagine you are an internal I/O consultant

for Walmart. The company is interested in the relationships among an individual employee's tendency to help their coworkers, their effective state, and the level of work group cohesion.

For this example, we'll assume that work group cohesion is a group level variable that has been measured by having each group member answer a survey. And that sufficient within-group agreement and between-group variance exists to warrant the aggregation of these individual perception to the group level. Therefore, you will focus on the group mean as an indicator of a work group's level of cohesion.

In this case, individual level helping behavior is a dependent variable, and mood and cohesion are independent variables. Note that the mood is a first level, the individual level variable, and the cohesion is the second level, group level variable. To investigate the relationships among helping behavior, mood, and cohesion, your colleague disaggregated the data so that the lower level units are assigned a score representing their value on higher level variable.

Thus, everyone in the group would receive the same cohesion scores. He then proceeded with a traditional OLS regression analysis, investigating mood and cohesion as predictors of individual level helping behavior. Your supervisor learns that ignoring nested data structure and analyzing data at the lower level by means of a traditional regression analysis can have undesirable consequences.

She needs your help to conduct more appropriate analysis with nested multilevel data.


In this situation, please explain why the approach of your colleague is problematic to your supervisor. To address the problems, how would you analyze the data with hierarchically nested data structures? Why your approach is advantageous over the approach of your colleague? Briefly discuss the procedure of your data analysis.

Step-by-step answer

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