Coefficient Beta and Hierarchical Item Clustering: An analytical Procedure for Establishing and Displaying the Dimensionality and Homogeneity of Summated Scales

R.W. Cooksey, Geoff Soutar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Summated scales are widely used in management research to measure constructs such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment. This article suggests that Revelle's (1979) coefficient beta, implemented in Revelle's (1978) ICLUST item-clustering procedure, should be used in conjunction with Cronbach's coefficient alpha measure of internal consistency as criteria for judging the dimensionality and internal homogeneity of summated scales. The approach is demonstrated using ICLUST reanalyses of sample responses to Warr's (1990) affective well-being scale and O'Brien, Dowling, and Kabanoff's (1978) job satisfaction scale. Coefficient beta and item clustering are shown to more clearly identify the homogeneity and internal dimensional structure of summated scale constructs than do traditional principal components analyses. Given these benefits, Revelle's approach is a viable alternative methodology for scale construction in management, organizational, and cross-cultural contexts, especially when researchers need to make defensible choices between using whole scales or subscales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-98
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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