ORM Best Paper Awards

orma_21_3_coverWe are excited to congratulate the following authors for winning the Organizational Research Methods 2017 Best Paper Award. This year two papers tied for Best Paper! Below are the abstracts of each article. Please note that the full articles will be free to read for a limited time.

Congratulations Jose M. Cortina of George Mason University, Jennifer Green of George Mason University, Kathleen Keeler of George Mason University, and Robert J. Vandenberg of the University of Georgia.

Below is the abstract from the award winning article, Degrees of Freedom in SEM: Are We Testing the Models That We Claim to Test? in which their research processes and findings are briefly introduced.

800px-6dof_en.jpgStructural equation modeling (SEM) has been a staple of the organizational sciences for decades. It is common to report degrees of freedom (df) for tested models, and it should be possible for a reader to recreate df for any model in a published paper. We reviewed 784 models from 75 papers published in top journals in order to understand df-related reporting practices and discover how often reported df matched those that we computed based on the information given in the papers. Among other things, we found that both df and the information necessary to compute them were available about three-quarters of the time. We also found that computed df matched reported df only 62% of the time. Discrepancies were particularly common in structural (as opposed to measurement) models and were often large in magnitude. This means that the models for which fit indices are offered are often different from those described in published papers. Finally, we offer an online tool for computing df and recommendations, the Degrees of Freedom Reporting Standards (DFRS), for authors, reviewers, and editors.

Congratulations Thomas Roulet of King’s College London, Michael Gill of the University of Bath, Sebsatien Stenger of the Institut Superieur de Gestion, Paris, and David Gill of the University of Nottingham.

You can find the abstract from their outstanding article, Reconsidering the Value of Covert Research: The Role of Ambiguous Consent in Participant Observation below, in which the authors briefly explain their research methods and introduce their interesting results.people-295145_960_720

In this article, we provide a nuanced perspective on the benefits and costs of covert research. In particular, we illustrate the value of such an approach by focusing on covert participant observation. We posit that all observational studies sit along a continuum of consent, with few research projects being either fully overt or fully covert due to practical constraints and the ambiguous nature of consent itself. With reference to illustrative examples, we demonstrate that the study of deviant behaviors, secretive organizations and socially important topics is often only possible through substantially covert participant observation. To support further consideration of this method, we discuss different ethical perspectives and explore techniques to address the practical challenges of covert participant observation, including; gaining access, collecting data surreptitiously, reducing harm to participants, leaving the site of study and addressing ethical issues.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

Meet the ORM editorial team! Click here to view their bios.

Degrees of Freedom Photo attributed to Free Photos.

Observation Photo attributed to Free Photos.

Reflections on Academic Research and Writing (Part 2): Ethical Publishing

Publication ethics continues to be an enduring topic touching on a wide range of increasingly complicated issues. For journal editors and publishers, as well as researchers, there are concerns regarding plagiarism, data and citation manipulation, conflicts of interest, and even identifying legitimate publishing sources, among others.  COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics), of which SAGE, many of our journals, and others in the publishing community are members, serves as a valuable resource for promoting integrity in research publications, offering advice, forums, guidelines, a Code of ConFBR_C1_revised authors color.inddduct and more. At the journal level, there is also good work being produced to promote research and publishing ethics.

A recent example is found in the editorial of the current issue of Family Business Review where Tyge Payne and Duane Ireland take up key issues regarding ethics in family business research with far-reaching relevance.  Looking not only at the particular ethical problems in research, they expand the conversation to include the role of the wider scholarly community –researchers, reviewers, editors and institutional leaders – in dealing with ongoing ethical concerns in scholarly publishing. How do you build a community of responsible scholars? What are the key issues for researchers? For editors and reviewers? How do institutional leaders influence behaviors? Read the editorial, “It Takes a Village: Ethical Publishing of Family Business Research,” in Family Business Review, free through June.

For more resources on publication ethics from SAGE, click here.


Dealing With Outliers in Organizational Science Research

Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Herman Aguinis, Ryan K. Gottfredson, and Harry Joo, all of Indiana University, whose article “Best-practice Recommendations for Defining, Identifying, and Handling Outliers” is forthcoming in Organizational Research Methods and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

Our article was motivated by the need to address the following key questions faced by virtually every researcher conducting empirical work: Do I have outliers in my data? How do I know whether I do? Are they affecting my results? How do I deal with them? Malcom Galdwell, in his bestselling book “Outliers,” went so far as to state that a greater understanding of outliers can help us “build a better Untitledworld…that provides opportunities for all” (p. 268). However, our literature review based on 46 methodological sources and 232 organizational science journal articles addressing outliers revealed that researcher usually view outliers as “data problems” that must be “fixed.” Also, our review uncovered inconsistencies in recommendations regarding outliers across various methodological sources, as well as the use of a variety of faulty practices by substantive researchers.

home_coverOur goal was to produce a manuscript that describes best-practice recommendations on how to define, identify, and handle outliers. Our article offers specific recommendations that researchers can follow in a sequential manner to deal with outliers. We believe that our guidelines will not only be helpful for researchers, but also serve as a useful tool for journal editors and reviewers in the evaluation of manuscripts. For example, much like editors and reviewers should demand that authors be clear and specific about a study’s limitations, we suggest that they should also request that authors include a few sentences in every empirically-based manuscript describing how error, interesting, and influential outliers were defined, identified, and handled. Moreover, guidelines for publication such as those produced by the Academy of Management and American Psychological Association should force authors to include a short section on “Outlier Detection and Management” within the results section. In other words, this description should include how each of the three types of outliers has been addressed in all empirical studies. Our decision-making charts can serve as a checklist in this regard. Overall, we hope that our guidelines will result in more consistent and transparent practices regarding the treatment of outliers in organizational and social science research.

Read “Best-practice Recommendations for Defining, Identifying, and Handling Outliers” in Organizational Research Methods.


Herman Aguinis is the Dean’s Research Professor, a professor of organizational behavior and human resources, and the founding director of the Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness in the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. His research interests span several human resource management, organizational behavior, and research methods and analysis topics. He has published five books and more than 100 articles in refereed journals. He is the recipient of the 2012 Academy of Management Research Methods Division Distinguished Career Award and a former editor-in-chief of Organizational Research Methods.

Ryan K. Gottfredson is a doctoral student in organizational behavior and human resource management in the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. His research interests include performance management, research methods and analysis, and relationship perceptions in the workplace (e.g., trust, justice). His work has appeared in several refereed journals including Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Business Horizons.

Harry Joo is a doctoral student in organizational behavior and human resource management in the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. His research interests include performance management and research methods and analysis. His work has appeared in several refereed journals including Organizational Research Methods, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Perspectives, and Business Horizons.