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Journal Articles Information Systems Journal Year : 2023

Improving scale adaptation practices in information systems research: Development and validation of a cognitive validity assessment method

Jean‐charles Pillet
Kevin D Carillo
Federico Pigni

Abstract

Scale adaptation, where authors alter the wording of an already published scale, is a deeply rooted social practice in IS research. This paper argues that the time is ripe to question this activity as well as the beliefs that have progressively formed around it. We identify and challenge five fallacious scale adaptation beliefs that hinder the development of more robust measure development norms. Contributing to this area of research, this paper offers a conceptual definition of the cognitive validity concept, defined as the extent to which a scale is free of problematic item characteristics (PICs) that bias the survey response process and subsequent empirical results. Building on this conceptualization effort, a new methodological process for assessing the cognitive validity of adapted IS measures is introduced. Through a series of three programmatic studies, we find converging evidence that the method can benefit the IS field by making the scale adaptation process more robust, transparent, and consistent. Along with the method, we introduce a new index that IS scholars can use to benchmark the cognitive quality of their scales against venerable IS measures. We discuss the implications of our work for IS research (including detailed implementation guidelines) and provide directions for future research on measurement in IS.
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Dates and versions

hal-03991104 , version 1 (15-02-2023)

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Jean‐charles Pillet, Kevin D Carillo, Claudio Vitari, Federico Pigni. Improving scale adaptation practices in information systems research: Development and validation of a cognitive validity assessment method. Information Systems Journal, 2023, ⟨10.1111/isj.12428⟩. ⟨hal-03991104⟩
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