Validity refers to accuracy or the level to which a research finding corresponds to the actual reality on the ground (Gravertter & Forzano, 2012). A research is valid when the researchers’ conclusions in a research are true. The conclusions correspond to the state of the world. There are validity problems that arise and may affect the research process. Some validity affects the explanation of relationship obtained from the research. There are different types of validity that may affect a research. These include internal, external and construct validity. In studying cultural factors that influence business organization, the concept of validity is applied.
Internal validity is the level to which a study provides evidence of a causal relationship between independent and dependent variables (McBurney & White, 2010). This validity is concerned with dependent and independent variables. A research is said to have internal validity is the researcher sees the reasons to ascertain that independent and dependent variables are related. For instance, there could be a study to determine the cultural factors and their influence on business organizations. The independent variable is the cultural factors while dependent variable is business organizations. For such a study to have internal validity there has to be a relationship between these two variables (McBurney & White, 2010).
Construct validity is a concept in research that implies the extent to which the results support the theory behind the research (Gravertter & Forzano, 2012). There are theories that provide ideas about phenomena. These theories guide researcher to reach to a conclusion in research. The research will have construct validity construct validity means that the scores obtained from a measurement procedure will behave the same way with the variable that is tested (Gravertter & Forzano, 2012).
External validity is concerned with generalizations of results of a research to another situation. The research can also be generalized for different settings, subjects, and times (Rubin & Babbie, 2010). The results are valid if they fit in another identical situation. For instance, cultural factors that influence business organizations can also affect the behaviors of employees in an organization. There are different characteristic of internal, external and construct validity (Rubin & Babbie, 2010).
External validity can be generalized. This is a characteristic of external validity. Results can be used to determine behaviors of another phenomenon. One research can be conducted and the results be used to explain another related phenomena. This is unlike in internal validity. Internal validity is specific and explains relationships in variables. This explains variables in the specific research topic and not in other topic (McBurney & Theresa, 2010). On the other hand, construct validity tests a hypothesis. It explains the extent to which results explains theory used for a particular research. There is a theory that people resist change, because they want to avoid uncertainty. The testing of this hypothesis can be done by conducting research on employees of a particular organization. Construct validity will be experienced if the results justify the hypothesis. These results can also be generalized to another similar situation that means the research has external validity (McBurney & Theresa, 2010).
Internal validity involves ruling out alternative variables as potential causes of a behavior (McBurney & White, 2010). This is similar to construct validity where different theories are ruled out to explain the results. However, internal validity involves variables while construct validity involves hypothesis or theories. In both construct and internal validity, another research must be done to rule out the threats. For internal validity, the researcher can redesign the study to determine the threats. In construct validity, a new study can be designed to determine the threats. Internal validity is the initial stage in research. This is whereby the researcher determines the variables in a research. Once the variables are set, the researcher undertakes the study (McBurney & Theresa, 2010).
In a research on the impact of cultural factors that influence business organizations, the variable are determines. Cultural factors are determined that include individualism versus collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity-feminist. Once the variables are determined, their impact on business organizations can be assessed in a research. This involves internal validity where relationships of these factors and the business organizations are determined. Theories to explain these relationships are applied in the research. For this study resource base theory is applied (McBurney & Theresa, 2010).
This theory explains why international organizations adopt a different approach to strategic International human resources for the organization to achieve a competitive advantage. This theory suggests that the company can leverage resources at national, firm and subsidiary level that can lead to competitive advantage (Haneman, 2006). It this can be done and as a result the organization achieves a competitive advantage, then the research can be said to have construct validity. Once the research is concluded, then the researcher can form generalizations in similar situations. If there are similarities in behavior, the research therefore can be said to have external validity.
In both internal and external validity, threats can be avoided by eliminating confounding variables. This ensures that the study is controlled and no extraneous variable can influence the results. However, in attempt to control the study can affect either internal or external validity (Rubin & Babbie, 2010). For instance a researcher can attempt to increase internal validity and end up decreasing external validity. It is therefore necessary to balance external and internal validity. There are threats to external and constructive validity that can affect a research study.
In construct validity, one threat is hypothesis guessing. Once a researcher conduct a research based on a wrong hypothesis, the results will not be accurate. The researcher may guest the intention of the test and this can alter their behaviors. When the hypothesis is guessed, then the reach results will not be accurate (Rubin & Babbie, 2010). There is loose connection between theory and method. Some researcher can have a loose connection of theory and method. One behavior can be explained differently and make the researcher change their behaviors towards a particular research. This will affect the entire process of the study. The results will be affected and it will be difficult to explain a phenomena. Another threat to construct validity is ambiguous effect of independent variables (Rubin & Babbie, 2010).
A researcher may design all confounding variables quite carefully and these variables seem controlled. Later, the researcher may have results compromised because the participants have different ideas about the situation. For instance, a researcher may think that since change is a process and most employees do not accept change, the organization will not adopt new ways of doing things (Gravertter & Forzano, 2012). After the research is conducted, the researcher can realize that employees in a particular organization are eager for change. The results are opposite of the hypothesis. Participant’s expectations can be devastating. This can lead to poor relationship of theories and results. Hence, the research lacks construct validity.
External validity also has some threats that may affect the research study. There some situations whereby results cannot be generalize even if the study has internal, statistical and construct validity. Other subjects may cause threat to external validity. A research conducted some other time may not produce the same results with a current research. There are historical trends that make research findings invalid. There are changes that take place overtime. This may affect the behavior of participants who took part in a previous research (McBurney & Theresa, 2010). Therefore generalization may become difficult. Therefore if the results of a particular study conducted with the same participants at different times are not similar, the research may become externally invalid. Other settings may also be threats to external validity. This is a pervasive problem that can hinder external validity. This is a concept that explains whether a phenomenon observed in one laboratory can be similar to another conducted in a different laboratory. The results may be different therefore affecting external validity.
Another threat to external validity is specifity of variables (Rubin & Babbie, 2010). Generalizations occur when two situations are similar and have no specific variables. Some researchers determine specific variables to a study. The results of the study are specific and cannot be related to another situation. Trying to relate different situations that have different variables will therefore compromise the quality of research and becomes invalid. Validity issues can affect future research in various ways (Mitchell & Jolley, 2013).
Understanding validity issues will help carries out an accurate research. This is by determining the correct variables for the study. Once the variables are set then it will be easier to conduct an effective research. This way, it will be easy to ensure internal, external and construct validity. Validity will ensure that the envisioned research will be objective and no unethical issues are involved. The research will involve cultural factors that influence business organizations (Mitchell & Jolley, 2013). Once these variables are identified, the theories will also be identifies. I will ensure that in my research that the concept of validity is enhanced. This will give me time to conduct accurate research and control variables that can affect the results of the research. I will also ensure that relationships in the research can be identified and theories chosen will help explain the results of the research. Choosing of the variables will be done effectively so that this research results can be generalized to other situations in the organizations that are similar to this topic (Mitchell & Jolley, 2013).
In conclusion, validity is an essential concept in research. Validity indicates that a research study is accurate in that the research results correspond to the reality. If the conclusions do not correspond to reality, then the study may be termed as invalid. There different types of validity which includes internal, external and construct validity. A research study that has all these validity is termed as accurate and objective. However, there are threats to validity that may affect the process of research or affect the results of the study. For instance, choosing wrong variables or hypothesis may affect the entire research. It is therefore important to ensure that validity is achieved by choosing the right topic, variables, and hypothesis of the study. This will help the researcher achieve the set objective of the study.
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