Job Attitudes
Swailes (2002) critiqued the conceptualization and measurement of the job attitude of organizational commitment. Four years later, Harrison, Newman, and Roth (2006) integrated organizational commitment and job satisfaction into an overall job attitude based on the compatibility principle in attitude theory, and found through meta-analysis of studies published between 1983 and 2004 that it substantially predicted integrative, higher-order behavioral outcomes. Riketta (2008) would have at least addressed, if not resolved, the conceptualization and measurement issues that Swailes raised in their subsequent meta-analyses.
The focus of this assignment is on the relationship between the conceptualization and operationalization of a construct, in this case the job attitude of organizational commitment.
Swailes (2002) critiqued the conceptualization and measurement (operationalization) of organizational commitment. In the six years that followed, Harrison, et al. (2006) and Riketta (2008) published meta-analyses of the impact of organizational commitment on performance.
In this case assignment:
Assess the Extent to which Harrison, et al. (2006) and Riketta (2008)
Address the Issues that Swailes (2002) Raised Regarding the
Conceptualization and Measurement of Organizational Commitment
Assignment Expectations
1. Summarize the key issues that Swailes (2002) raises regarding the conceptualization and measurement of organizational commitment.
2. Briefly describe the way(s) in which Riketta (2008) conceptualizes and operationalizes organizational commitment.
3. Briefly describe the way(s) in which Harrison, et al. (2006) conceptualize and operationalize organizational commitment.
4. Assess the extent to which Harrison, et al. (2006) and Riketta (2008) address the issues that Swailes (2002) raised regarding the conceptualization and Measurement of OrganizationalCommitment.
General Expectations
1. Length 5 pages of double spaced 12 point font text, plus cover and reference page.
2. Structure: Narrative style, including a brief introduction in which you provide an overview of your paper.
3. References; Follow Campion’s (1997) rules for references (see background page).
4. Style: APA format.

Required Materials
There are two sections of required readings in this module. The first section introduces Meta-analysis as a quantitative approach to reviewing and synthesizing the results of a large number of empirical research studies on a particular topic. The goal is to help you understand, critique, and effectively draw upon meta-analysis research review articles. The second section provides breadth and depth of foundation in theory and research related to job attitudes, and includes recent, high quality meta-analyis research articles that illustrate the concepts introduced in the articles in the first section.
Note: The required readings are described in the order in which you are encouraged to read them, as each provides concepts that will help you make sense of the subsequent readings.
I. Meta-Analysis
Three basic types of academic articles that contribute to the creation and testing of new knowledge:
1. Theoretical articles that develop new theoretical constructs and propose conceptual relationships among those constructs
2. Empirical research articles in which quantitative data is collected and analyzed, most often to test hypotheses that are derived deductively from a theory, and
3. Review articles that provide an in-depth overview of the theory and empirical research related to a particular phenomenon.
A meta-analysis article could be seen as a hybrid of the second and third types of academic articles. It employs an empirical, meta-analytic research method to quantitatively review and synthesize empirical research findings from a large number of studies on a particular topic.
The following article provide an overview of the nature, role, methods, and relative use of meta-analysis in two fields related to business administration: information systems and international business research.
• Kirca, A. H., & Yaprak, A. (2010). The use of meta-analysis in international business research: Its current status and suggestions for better practice. International Business Review, 19(3), 306-314.
II. Job Attitudes
We focus on the two most widely researched job attitudes – organizational commitment and job satisfaction. However, a wide variety of job attitudes have been conceptualized, operationalized, and researched. In their meta-analysis of the relationships between age and job attitudes, Ng and Feldman (2010) provide a succinct overview of job attitudes. Table 1 lists and defines 35 job attitudes that have been researched in relation to age in the workplace, with references to the original sources of those definitions. This provides a very handy guide that can help identify job attitudes that may be relevant to your own research. Please read the Job Attitudes section that begins on p. 679, up to the Theoretical Background heading on p. 683 (unless you are specifically interested in the impact of age on job attitudes, then of course read the whole article):
• Ng, T. H., & Feldman, D. C. (2010). The relationships of age with job attitudes: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 63(3), 677-718. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2010.01184.x
Operationalization of constructs through multi-item scales. Researchers in organizational behavior develop and apply such scales extensively in their work. You have already been introduced to a variety of such measures in this course. However, are multi-item scales always the best way to measure a construct? When does it make theoretical, empirical, and/or practical sense to use a single item to operationalize a construct? In the following meta-analysis, Wanous, et al. (1997) empirically compared single-item measures vs. multi-item scales measuring the job attitude of overall job satisfaction. In doing so, they provide clear guidance regarding these questions:
• Wanous, J. P., Reichers, A. E., & Hudy, M. J. (1997). Overall Job Satisfaction: How Good Are Single-Item Measures?. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 82(2), 247-252.
In the following meta-analysis, Harrison, Newman, and Roth (2006) take a novel, integrative approach to empirically addressing an age old question about the relative importance and impact of job attitudes on work related behaviors. Pay careful attention to the compatibility principle (p. 309), and the ways in which the authors conceptualize and measure the job attitude constructs that they use in their study:
• Harrison, D. A., Newman, D. A., & Roth, P. L. (2006). How important are job attitudes? Meta-analytic comparisons of integrative behavioral outcomes and time sequences. Academy Of Management Journal, 49(2), 305-325. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2006.20786077
In the “Limitations and Research Directions” section of their article, Harrison, et al. (2006) note that a criticism of the method that they used is that it “does not allow for clear-cut cause-effect conclusions (as time-lagged and especially cross-sectional correlations cannot definitely establish temporal precedence…” Keep that criticism in mind as you read the following brief meta-analysis that attempts to test the nature and direction of causality in relationships between job attitudes and performance. Also, please pay careful attention to the author’s conceptualization and measurement of the primary job attitudes included in his research:
• Riketta, M. (2008). The Causal Relation Between Job Attitudes and Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Panel Studies. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 93(2), 472-481.
In 2002, Swailes critiqued the conceptualization and measurement of the job attitude of organizational commitment. Ideally, the later Harrison, et al. (2006) Riketta (2008) meta-analyses addressed and resolved the issues that Swailes identified. As you read this, you may find it helpful to take notes wherever you notice issues that are relevant to either or both of the subsequent Harrison, et al. and Riketta meta-analyses, as your observations will help you in completing your case assignment:
• Swailes, S. (2002). Organizational commitment: A critique of the construct and measures. International Journal Of Management Reviews, 4(2), 155.