Rating versus ranking: What is the best way to reduce response and language bias in cross-national research?

Anne-Wil Harzing*, Joyce Baldueza, Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Cordula Barzantny, Anne Canabal, Anabella Davila, Alvaro Espejo, Rita Ferreira, Axele Giroud, Kathrin Koester, Yung-Kuei Liang, Audra Mockaitis, Michael J. Morley, Barbara Myloni, Joseph O. T. Odusanya, Sharon Leiba O'Sullivan, Ananda Kumar Palaniappan, Paulo Prochno, Srabani Roy Choudhury, Ayse Saka-HelmhoutSununta Siengthai, Linda Viswat, Ayda Uzuncarsili Soydas, Lena Zander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose solutions to two recurring problems in cross-national research: response style differences and language bias. In order to do so, we conduct a methodological comparison of two different response formats-rating and ranking. For rating, we assess the effect of changing the commonly used 5-point Likert scales to 7-point Likert scales. For ranking, we evaluate the validity of presenting respondents with short scenarios for which they need to rank their top 3 solutions. Our results - based on two studies of 1965 undergraduate and 1714 MBA students in 16 different countries - confirm our hypotheses that both solutions reduce response and language bias, but show that ranking generally is a superior solution. These findings allow researchers to have greater confidence in the validity of cross-national differences if these response formats are used, instead of the more traditional 5-point Likert scales. In addition, our findings have several practical implications for multinational corporations, relating to issues such as selection interviews, performance appraisals, and cross-cultural training. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-432
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Business Review
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cross-national research
  • Research methods
  • Response style differences
  • Language bias
  • Survey research
  • CULTURAL ACCOMMODATION
  • HONG-KONG
  • STYLE
  • VALUES
  • PERFORMANCE
  • DIMENSIONS
  • ISSUES
  • IMPACT

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