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I’m looking for guidance on how to go about adapting a questionnaire built on standard assumptions of psychometric theory in order to measure the phenomena in question sociometrically. The phenomena in interested in is “organizational innovation;” which although an important part of the conceptual literature defines it as a series of interconnected “social dynamics,” much empirical research collects data on the perceptions of individuals regarding an abstract social entity such as the “group” or “team.” The most commonly used instruments contain Likert questions such as “when in our team we can’t solve a problem using traditional methods, we improvise with new methods” and would like to adapt them so that each person answering reports on all the individuals in his/her team, something like: “when <xxxxxx> and I are working on a problem that we can’t solve using traditional methods, we improvise with new methods.” Another example of the way in which items are commonly worded: “My team is very flexible, and it adapts according to the projects we are working on;” and the way I’m thinking of adapting them: “<xxxxxx> is a very flexible person to work with and adapts according to the projects we are working on,” for each of the alters in the ego’s formal work team.
The commonly used methodological approach is, in my understanding, forcing a social phenomenon through the analytic lens of individual perceptual psychology and preceding to report psychometric instrument reliability metrics without stopping to ask if the assumptions of these reports are warranted: these measurement efforts are not observing social dynamics, but rather psychological proxies for them. It would seem to me that conceptual work purporting to elucidate the “social” dynamics of a phenomena based solely on the psychological reports of individuals, is at best problematic if not flat-out wrong.
I would very much appreciate any literature suggestions discussing these matters that could help me both better understand what is at stake, and methodologically design and justify the most reliable strategy.
Jorge M Rocha
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