Developing a Scale Is Not Enough: On the Importance of Nomological Validity

Florian Kock, Adiyukh Berbekova, A. George Assaf*, Alexander Josiassen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose:
The purpose of this paper, a critical reflection, is twofold. First, by comprehensively reviewing scale development procedures in hospitality research, a concerning lack of nomological validity testing is demonstrated. Second, the need for nomological validity testing is discussed and both conceptually and empirically reasoned.

Design/methodology/approach:
This research systematically reviews scale development studies in three leading hospitality journals, including Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and International Journal of Hospitality Management over ten years (2012–2021) to analyze the completeness of scale development procedures. Specifically, the authors evaluate whether the reviewed studies engage in testing the nomological and predictive validity of the newly developed measures.

Findings:
The results indicate a concerning gap in the current practices in hospitality research. Specifically, only 33.3% of the examined studies assess nomological validity. These findings collectively underscore the need for improving the comprehensiveness of scale development processes in hospitality research.

Research limitations/implications:
The study offers important implications for hospitality researchers. The paper provides an extensive discussion on the importance and benefits of testing for nomological validity in scale development studies, contributing to the completeness and consistency of scale development procedures in the hospitality discipline.

Originality/value:
This research critically assesses prevalent, and widely accepted, scale development procedures in hospitality research. This research empirically demonstrates the neglect of nomological validity issues in scale development practices in hospitality research. Scale development is an essential scientific practice used to create a research instrument in a field of study, improving our understanding of a specific phenomenon and contributing to knowledge creation. Considering the significance of scale development in advancing the field of hospitality research, the validation procedures involved in the scale development processes are of utmost importance and should be thoroughly applied.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Number of pages12
ISSN0959-6119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 12 February 2024.

Keywords

  • Scale development
  • Nomological validity
  • Predictive validity

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