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The problem of empirical redundancy of constructs in organizational research: An empirical investigation


  • Le, Huy
  • Schmidt, Frank L.
  • Harter, James K.
  • Lauver, Kristy J.


Construct empirical redundancy may be a major problem in organizational research today. In this paper, we explain and empirically illustrate a method for investigating this potential problem. We applied the method to examine the empirical redundancy of job satisfaction (JS) and organizational commitment (OC), two well-established organizational constructs. Analysis based on responses from a sample of 292 employees collected at two occasions showed that: (a) the construct-level correlation between JS and OC was very high (.91) and (b) both JS and OC are similarly related to positive affectivity and negative affectivity. These results suggest that the constructs may be empirically indistinguishable, despite their well-established conceptual distinction. These findings illustrate the problem of empirical redundancy of organizational constructs and provide a basis for a possible movement towards parsimony in the realm of constructs that could open the way to more rapid advances in knowledge in organizational research.

Suggested Citation

  • Le, Huy & Schmidt, Frank L. & Harter, James K. & Lauver, Kristy J., 2010. "The problem of empirical redundancy of constructs in organizational research: An empirical investigation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 112-125, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:112:y:2010:i:2:p:112-125

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Judge, Timothy A. & Larsen, Randy J., 2001. "Dispositional Affect and Job Satisfaction: A Review and Theoretical Extension," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 67-98, September.
    2. Singh, Jagdip, 1991. "Redundancy in constructs: Problem, assessment, and an illustrative example," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 255-280, May.
    3. Harter, James K. & Schmidt, Frank L., 2008. "Conceptual Versus Empirical Distinctions Among Constructs: Implications for Discriminant Validity," Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 36-39, March.
    4. Lee Cronbach, 1947. "Test “reliability”: Its meaning and determination," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 12(1), pages 1-16, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chiaburu, Dan S. & Thundiyil, Tomas & Wang, Jiexin, 2014. "Alienation and its correlates: A meta-analysis," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 24-36.
    2. Richard HERMIDA & Joseph N. LUCHMAN & Vias NICOLAIDES & Cristina WILCOX, 2015. "The issue of statistical power for overall model fit in evaluating structural equation models," Computational Methods in Social Sciences (CMSS), "Nicolae Titulescu" University of Bucharest, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 3(1), pages 25-42, June.


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