Chapter 8: Use of Spearman’s Rank Correlation to Determine Pilot Survey Validity for Doctoral Dissertation on Workplace Bullying
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. II: Research Methodology


Workplace bullying is a problem and is an important organizational and social concern. In 2007, Judy Blando performed a study examining workplace bullying and its effect on job satisfaction and productivity. The research showed how bullying behavior affects a target's ability to perform their jobs, which can impact the morale of employees and the financial performances of an organization. Prior to beginning actual data collection, a pilot study, or 'trial run,' was conducted to ensure the survey materials and procedures were clear and did not evoke any confusion from the participants. The pilot study produced data to validate the proposed research questionnaire. Using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient or Spearman's rho, a pilot study can be a tool used to assess how well an arbitrary monotonic function, preserving the given order, could describe the relationship between two variables without making any other assumptions about the particular nature of the relationship between two measurement variables and one 'hidden' nominal variable. Spearman's Rank Correlation compared the pilot study's results for Workplace Bullying to Namie's 1998 non-scientific survey data, which was used in the scientific study for the doctoral dissertation Aggressive Behavior: Workplace Bullying and Its Effect on Job Satisfaction and Productivity. The final data in this study found that 75% of participants reported being a target of a bullying or witnessing mistreatment of others sometime throughout their careers.
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