A Framework for Developing Semantic Differentials in IS research: Assessing the Meaning of Electronic Marketplace Quality (EMQ)
AbstractAdequate usage of measurement instruments is key for solid research. In this study we focus on the semantic differential as general technique of measurement. Despite calls for methodological rigor in information systems (IS) research, many of the applications of the semantic differential in IS studies are characterized by flaws and weaknesses. Consequently, the findings of these studies demand cautious usage since validity problems are likely to exist. The aim of this study is to shed light on the semantic differential. Principles of semantic differentiation are discussed, and used as foundation to introduce a framework for developing and applying semantic differentials. The framework delineates the crucial role of linguistics and concept-scale interaction, and extends available guidelines for measurement validation with procedures to test wording credibility, linguistic contrast, psychological bipolarity, and contextual contamination. The framework is exemplified using a demonstration exercise, which centers on the assessment of the meaning of the concept electronic marketplace quality (EMQ). Using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods, the demonstration exercise clarifies the prerequisites for semantic differentiation and provides guidelines for researchers. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for researchers, reviewers and practice.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0016.
Date of creation: 2007
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Web page: http://www.feweb.vu.nl
Semantic differential; Measurement validation; Research methodology; Linguistics; Contextual contamination; Electronic marketplace quality;
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