Common Method Bias in Behavioral Research

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Journal of Applied Psychology 2003, Vol. 88, No. 5, 879 –903

Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0021-9010/03/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879

Common Method Biases in Behavioral Research: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommended Remedies

Philip M. Podsakoff, Scott B. MacKenzie, and Jeong-Yeon Lee

Indiana University

Nathan P. Podsakoff

University of Florida

Interest in the problem of method biases has a long history in the behavioral sciences. Despite this, a comprehensive summary of the potential sources of method biases and how to control for them does not exist. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the extent to which method biases influence behavioral research results, identify potential sources of method biases, discuss the cognitive processes through which method biases influence responses to measures, evaluate the many different procedural and statistical techniques that can be used to control method biases, and provide recommendations for how to select appropriate procedural and statistical remedies for different types of research settings.

Most researchers agree that common method variance (i.e., variance that is attributable to the measurement method rather than to the constructs the measures represent) is a potential problem in behavioral research. In fact, discussions of the potential impact of common method biases date back well over 40 years (cf. Campbell & Fiske, 1959), and interest in this issue appears to have continued relatively unabated to the present day (cf. Bagozzi & Yi, 1990; Bagozzi, Yi, & Phillips, 1991; Campbell & O’Connell, 1982; Conway, 1998; Cote & Buckley, 1987, 1988; Kline, Sulsky, & Rever-Moriyama, 2000; Lindell & Brandt, 2000; Lindell & Whitney, 2001; Millsap, 1990; Parker, 1999; Schmitt, Nason, Whitney, & Pulakos, 1995; Scullen, 1999; Williams & Anderson, 1994; Williams & Brown, 1994). Method biases are a problem because they are one of the main sources...