Publication Details

Rossiter, J. R. (2016). How to use C-OAR-SE to design optimal standard measures. European Journal of Marketing, 50 (11), 1924-1941.


Purpose: This paper aims to extend Rossiter's C-OAR-SE method of measure design (IJRM, 2002, p. 19, p. 4, pp. 305-335; EJM, 2011, p. 45, p. 11, p. 12, pp. 1561-1588) by proposing five distinct construct models for designing optimally content-valid multiple-item and single-item measures.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper begins by dismissing convergent validation, the core procedure in Nunnally's (1978) and Churchill's (1979) psychometric method of measure design which allows alternative measures of the same construct. The method of dismissal is the mathematical demonstration that an alternative measure, no matter how highly its scores converge with those from the original measure, will inevitably produce different findings. The only solution to this knowledge-threatening problem is to agree on an optimal measure of each of our major constructs and to use only that measure in all future research, as is standard practice in the physical sciences. The paper concludes by proposing an extension of Rossiter's C-OAR-SE method to design optimal standard measures of judgment constructs, the most prevalent type of construct in marketing.

Findings: The findings are, first, the mathematical dismissal of the accepted practice of convergent validation of alternative measures of the same construct, which paves the way for, second, the proposal of five new C-OAR-SE-based construct models for designing optimal standard measures of judgment constructs, three of which require a multiple-item measure and two of which a single-item measure.

Practical implications: The common practice of accepting alternative measures of the same construct causes major problems for the social sciences: when different measures are used, it becomes impossible, except by remote chance, to replicate findings; meta-analyses become meaningless because the findings are averaged over different measures; and empirical generalizations cannot be trusted when measures are changed. These problems mean that we cannot continue to accept alternative measures of the constructs and that, for each construct, an optimal standard measure must be found.

Originality/value: The ideas in this paper, which have untold value for the future of marketing as a legitimate science, are unique to Rossiter's C-OAR-SE method of measure design.

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