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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

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.

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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported under Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (project DP0555977). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Australian Research Council.

Keywords

  • Cross-national research
  • Language bias
  • Research methods
  • Response style differences
  • Survey research

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Rating versus ranking: What is the best way to reduce response and language bias in cross-national research?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this