Curtailing data biases in business research

Introducing a hybrid approach

Muhammad Aftab Alam, Omar Khalid Bhatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study elucidates the falsity of business research in relying on either respondents or informants alone for data collection, and argues that with the biased data, business research cannot provide unbiased solutions. We compare 400 reports (200 respondents and 200 informants) on the workplace deviance and assess the goodness of both the techniques. Analysis of variance and posthoc (descriptive discriminant analysis) indicate significant disparities between the two approaches across all items. In the informant’s role, people tend to overreport, whereas in the respondent’s part they underreport an undesirable behavior. Further, we find that conventional techniques for assessing the construct’s validity and common-method bias neither assures realistic measurement nor eliminate the response bias. Drawing on the theory of psychological projection, we propose a hybrid approach that curtails some of the main biases in data and measurement. Qualitative confirmation through informal interviews with managers in the investigated firms validates the proposed method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Management and Organization
Early online date2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018


  • bias
  • data
  • informant
  • method
  • research
  • respondent

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