Article Critique

ArticleCritique

Abstract

Thispaper provides a critiqueofthreeresearcharticles,with a focuson thescaleof data measurementused,variationswithin thedata, andcritiqueof thefindings.Authorsof thefirstarticleuseda quantitative approachto investigatetherelationshipthat existsbetween theHRM practicesandthefirm’s ethicalclimate.However,theauthorsdidnot informthereaderabout theimpactof individual-level factorson firm’s ethicalclimate.Thesecondarticlealsouseda quantitative approachto examineinternalas wellas externalforcesthat inspirethehospitalCEOs to facilitateethicalintegrationin their firms. However,theauthorsomittedtheinformationabout inclusionandexclusioncriteriaas wellas theinstrumentusedin data collection.Thethirdarticleexploredtheconstructability issuesthat affecttheprojectdesignfortheconstructionof highways.Theauthorsof thethirdarticledidnot provideinformationabout thedata collectionprocedureas thestudydesign.

Keywords:Data variations,randomerrors,reliability,studydesign,quantitative approach.

ArticleCritique

Quantitativeresearchis one of themethodsusedto producestatistics andhardfactsthat guidetheresearchers.However,thereliabilityof thequantitative researchis affectedby multiplefactors,includingthedatavariations,sizeas wellas thetypeof errors,andtheinformationthat theauthorsfailto presentin thearticle.Thispaperwill critique three researcharticles,includingthe“The impactof humanresourcemanagementpracticesandcorporate sustainability on organizational ethicalclimate”“Factors motivatinghospitalsCEOs to committo ethicalintegrationin their institutions:A Qualitative analysis”and“Quantitative analysisof statetransportationagency’sexperiencewith constructability review”.Themainfocuswill be thescaleof data measurement,variationswithin thedata, typesof errors,andthemissinginformation.

Article1

Thearticle“The effectof humanresourcemanagementpracticesandcorporate sustainability on organizational ethicalclimate”waswrittenby Guerci M., Radaelli Giovanni, Elena Siletti, Rami Shani, andStefano Cirella. Thearticlewaspublishedin theJournal of Business Ethics in 2015. Thepurposeof thisarticlewasto investigatethe relationshipexistingbetween HRM practices,organizational sustainability, andorganizational ethicalclimate.

Scaleof data measure

Thescaleof data usedin thearticleis quantitative. Thismeansthattheauthorsuseda quantitative researchdesignto explorethemainthemeof thearticle.In addition,theauthorsuseda bias-free processof collectingdata fortheir research.Thisis becausethesampleof 6,000 participantsfrom six differentcountrieswasselectedusinga probabilistic sampling technique(Guerci et al. 2015). Theprobabilistic approachemphasizesona randomselectionof thestudyparticipants,which ensuresthattheparticipantsrecruitedare thetruerepresentativesof thetargetpopulation.Theauthorsusedan online questionnaireas a datacollectiontool.Thetool(thequestionnaire)wassentto thesix thousand participantslocatedin six countries.

Variationswithin thedata

Mostof thevariationfoundin thedata recordedTable 1 on organizational ethicalsustainability andclimatewererandomandhavelittleornoeffecton individualmeasurements.However,their effectcould be magnifiedwhenconsideredorscaledup to thenationalandinternational(six countries)level, which in turnmight haveaffectedtheaccuracyof theoutcome.However,themagnitudeof therandomvariationscan be minimizedby enhancingtheaccuracyof recordingthedata. In addition,thecommoncausevariancemight havecontributedtowards theinflationof therelationshipexistingbetween theoutcomeandtheantecedents(Guerci et al. 2015).

Concludingresultsandcritiqueof thefindings

Thereis noevidenceof someerrorin thedata recordedin thearticle.However,there is one specialtypeof errorthat might haveaffectedtheresearchoutcome.Theauthorsmadea sampling errorbecausetheauthorrecruitedemployeesonly,whilethescopeof thestudyincludestheprocessof theimplementation of theHRM practices.Thismight havereducedtheaccuracyof thedata collectedbecausetheimplementation of theHRM practicescan onlybe accuratelyassessedifthedesigners(includingtheHRM managers)andtheimplementers (includingthelinemanagers)of theHRM systemare includedin thestudysample(Guerci et al. 2015).

Missinginformation

Althoughtheauthorschoseto focuson theorganizational locus in pursuingtheobjectiveof thestudy,informationabout theimpactof theindividual-level variables would havebeenuseful,butitwasnot providedin thearticle.Readersof thearticlecould be interestedin understandinghowindividualfactorsthat regardthemoraljudgment,moralawareness,moralbehavior,andmotivationaffecttheethicalclimateof theorganization.Itis importantfortheresearchers to statewhethertheseindividualfactorshavethecapacityto serveas moderatorsof theassociationexistingbetween theorganizational ethicalclimateandtheHRM practices(Guerci et al. 2015). In addition,theauthorsdidnot informthereaderswhetherallquestionnaireswerecompletedandreturnedin time.

Howtheresearchshould beapproached

Guerci(et al., 2013) usedan appropriateapproachin their study,butthere are somesectionsthat can be changedto improvethereliabilityof thefindings.First,theresearchdesignshould be changedfrom cross-sectional to longitudinal. Thelongitudinal researchdesignallowstheresearcher to makerepeatedobservationsfora givenperiod.Repeatedobservationsare importantbecausetheyenabletheresearcher to trackthechangesandrelatethem to somevariables that can explainwhythosechangesoccurred(Kalaian &amp Rafa 2010). In thecaseof thestudyreportedby Newhouse &amp Balotsky (2013)alongitudinal studywill givean explanationof howvariousinterventionscontributedtowards theestablishmentof positiveethicalclimatein theorganization.

Secondly,thenewapproachshould focuson both theorganizational loci andindividual-level variables with thecapacityto influencetherelationshipbetween thefirm’s ethicalclimate,HRM practices,andethicalbehavior.Thiswill clearthedoubtsabout thepossibilityof individualfactors(suchas moralmoderation,behavior,judgment,andmotivation)to influencefirm’s ethicalclimateandtheHRM practices(Newhouse &amp Balotsky, 2013).

Third,thenewapproachto thestudyshould applytheresearcheradministeredsurvey,insteadof theself-reported survey.Thiswill reducethelimitationsassociatedwith self-reporting, which includetheexaggerationof responses,fearof revealingsomedetails,andbiasassociatedwith thesocialdesirability.Theuseof theresearcheradministeredsurveywill callfora reductionin thenumberof thestudyparticipantsfrom the6,000 to about1,000 since theresearcheradministeredsurveywill requiremoretimeper participantcomparedto theself-reported approach.

Thenewapproachwill beguidedby a setof two questions,including

Whatis therelationshipbetween theHRM practicesandthefirm’s ethicalclimate?

Howdoindividual-level factorscontributetowards theestablishmentof thefirm’s ethicalclimate?

Article2

Thearticle“Factors motivatinghospitalsCEOs to committo ethicalintegrationin their institutions:A Qualitative analysis”waswrittenby John Newhouse andEdward Balatsky. Theresearcharticlewaspublishedin theJournal of Leadership, Accountability, andEthics in 2013.Theresearchreportedin thearticlewasto examinetheforces(internalandexternal)that causethehospitalCEOs to pursueethicalormoralintegrationin their organizations.

Scaleof data measurement

Theauthorsuseda qualitative designto findanswerstothemainresearchquestion,which is theidentificationof factorsthat motivatethehospitalchiefexecutivesto expresstheir commitmentto ethicalintegration.Theauthorsusedthesurveyinstrumentto collectdata from a sampleof 163 CEOs whowererandomlyselectedandissuedwith thesurveyinstruments.Theauthorsassessedthevalidityof thesurveyinstrumentby conductinga pilottestandperforminga Cronbach’s Alpha test.Thistestensuresthattheinstrumentscan bereliedupon in collectingdata in theactualstudy.

Variationswithin thedata

Thereare smallvariationswithin&nbspthedatareportedduringthepilotandtheactualstudy.Thestudycovereda smallpopulationandwasnot scaledup to a largegeographicalcoverage, which impliesthatthedatavariationsdidnot havesignificantimplicationsforthebusinessmodel.

Critiqueof thefindings

Theauthorstookthenecessarymeasuresto reducetheerrorsthat could affecttheoutcomeof thestudy.Forexample,after receivingthecompletedsurveyinstrumentstheauthorsconfirmedthattheywereerror-free (Newhouse &amp Balotsky, 2013). However,theuseof a smallsamplesize163 CEOS, whereonly52 of them werecompletedandreturnedincreasedthestandarderror.Standarderrorsareusedas an indicatorof thereliabilityof population’sestimatedparameters (Kalaian &amp Rafa 2010). Thehighstandarderrorsreportedin thearticleindicatethatthelimitedreliabilityof theoutcome.

Missinginformation

Thereare two piecesof informationthattheauthorsdidnot providein thearticle.First,theinformationabout theexclusionandinclusioncriteriais not availablein thearticle.Therefore,itisdifficultto determinetherulesthat theauthorsusedto selectthestudyparticipants.Secondly,theauthorfailedto nametheinstrumentusedto collectdata, andtheyonlystatedthata surveyinstrumentwasused.Thismakesitdifficultforthereadersof thearticleto assessthesuitabilityof thetoolusedin theprocessof data collection.

Howto approachtheresearch

Anewstudywould followan approachthat is similarto theoneusedby Newhouse &amp Balotsky (2013), butwith three majorchanges.First,thenumberof studysubjects shouldbe increasedfrom 163 to at least500. Thelargenumberof thestudyparticipantswill in turnincreasetheresponseratefrom its currentrateof 31.9 %. Secondly,theexclusionandinclusioncriteriawill necessaryin orderto ensurethatthe studywill onlyrecruitresourcefulhospitalCEOs. Forexample,theexclusioncriteriashould statethattheCEOs whowill beincludedin thestudymust haveservedin their positionforat leastfive yearsandparticipatein thedevelopmentof theethicalinteractionpolicies.Thiswillenhance the reliability and the accuracy of the data.Third,thenewapproachshould focusontheuseof a questionnaireto collectthedata. Thequestionnaireshould be administeredonline in orderto increasetheresponseratefrom 31.9 %.

Questionsthat may be askedinclude

Whatare thefactorsthat inspirethehospitalCEOs to boostethicalintegrationin their organizations?

DoesthehospitaltypeinfluencetheCEOs commitmentto theethicalintegration?

Article3

Thearticle“Quantitative analysisof statetransportationagency’sexperiencewith constructability review”wasauthored by Nikiforos Stamatiadis, Emily Shocklee, Paul Goodrum, andChen Wang. Thearticlewaspublishedin theJournal of Construction Engineering andManagement in 2013. Thestudyreportedin thearticlewasdoneto identifytheconstructability issuesthat affecttheprojectdesignedfortheconstructionof highways.

Scaleof data measure

Theauthorsusedqualitative data to classifyvariouslevels of severityof factorsthat affecttheconstructionof highways.Thesefactorswereidentifiedin a sampleof 610 highwayprojects.Achecklist of questionswasusedas a toolforcollectingdata.

Variationswithin thedata

Thereare nosignificantvariationsthat can beidentifiedin thearticle.Thismeansthatthere are noseriousissuesthat could interferewith theaccuracyof thefindings.

Critiqueof thefindings

Thereare nosignificanterrorsin thearticle,which impliesthatthefindingsreflectwhattheauthorshadhypothesized.

Missinginformation

Theauthorsdidnot recordinformationabout theresearchdesignthat wasused.In addition,theprocedureandthesampling techniqueusedwerenot reportedin thearticle.Thismakesitdifficultforthereadersto determinethereliabilityof thestudy.In addition,thelackof cleardata collectionproceduresreducesthereproducibility of thestudysince thearticledoesnot informotherresearchers thespecificprocessestheycan useto arriveat similarfindings.

Howto approachtheresearch

Theapproachusedto studytheexperienceof thestatetransportationagencywill havetwo majorchanges.First,a longitudinal designwill be moreappropriatebecauseitwill helptheresearcher in identifyingthecausal explanationsof differentexperienceof statetransportationagencies.Thisdesignwill alsoallowtheresearcher in measuringthepatternsof change.Secondly,theroadway projectsthat should beincludedin thestudyshould be selectedrandomly in orderto reducethechancesoftheoccurrenceof bias.Random sampling of theprojectswill alsoincreasereliabilityof thefindings.

Theresearchquestionsshould include

Whatis themajorconstructability issuesaffectingtheroadconstructionprojects?

Howcan theconstructability issuesbe categorized?

Conclusion

Theresearchpaperhas six majorsections(includingtheintroduction,literaturereview,methodology, results,discussion,andconclusion),allof which contributetowards thereliabilityof thestudyas a whole.Theoccurrenceof thedata variationanderrorscan affecttheaccuracyandreliabilityof thefindingsreportedin thearticle.However,theneteffectof variationsanderrorscan be affectedby differentfactors,includingtheir respectivesizes,samplesize,andtheaccuracyof themethodsusedin data collection.Random variationsare commonin researchbecausetheyare difficultto avoid.Failureto document all thenecessaryinformationin theresearchpapergivesthereadera hardtimebecauseitbecomesdifficultto gettheflowof theresearch.Forexample,Newhouse andBalotsky failedto nametheinstrumentandtheclearprocedureusedin datacollection,which reducesthereproducibility of thestudy.

References

Guerci,M., Radaelli, G., Siletti, E., Cirella, &amp Shani, R. (2015). Theimpact of human resource management practices and corporatesustainability on organizational ethical climate: An employeeperspective. Journalof Business Ethics,126, 325-342.

Kalaian,A. &amp Rafa M. (2010). Longitudinal Studies. In Encyclopediaof Survey Research Methods.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Newhouse,J. &amp Balotsky, E. (2013). Factors motivating hospital CEOs tocommit to ethical integration in their institutions: A quantitativeanalysis. Journalof Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics,10 (2), 46-54.

Stamatiadis,N., Goodrum, P., Shocklee, E. &amp Wang, C. (2013). Quantitativeanalysis of state transportation agency’s experience withconstructability reviews. Journalof Construction Engineering and Management,1, 1-10. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000787