Scale Purification: State-of-the-art Review and Guidelines

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Purpose: This paper aims to identify scale purification criteria for both uni- and multidimensional reflective scales and apply these criteria to an evaluation of the methodological status quo of the hospitality literature.
Design/methodology/approach: Based on a literature review, the authors develop a taxonomy of statistical and judgmental criteria across scale levels, from which best practices are derived. Recent publications in leading hospitality journals are then evaluated based on these scale purification steps.
Findings: The authors uncover a lack of transparency when reporting scale purification practices. Moreover, methodological steps are often entirely omitted or insufficiently followed, especially when it comes to judgmental scale purification practices.Research limitations/implications: The authors focus on reflective scales in the hospitality discipline. Methodological traditions in other fields might lead to different results if the chosen approach was to be repeated there.Practical implications: The authors provide a set of suggestions that will help researchers in hospitality and adjacent disciplines to greater consensus and consistency of application regarding the methodological steps when carrying out scale purification in reflective scales.Originality/value: Application of scale purification in hospitality research has been scarce. The authors extend existing research and provide the most comprehensive study so far of present and best scale purification practices, using both statistical and judgmental criteria.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)3346-3362
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Reliability
  • Validity
  • Scale development
  • Scale validation
  • Parsimony
  • Scale purification

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