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Research
May 20, 2013

Change the Referent? A Meta-Analytic Investigation of Direct and Referent-Shift Consensus Models for Organizational Climate

Abstract

Based on earlier taxonomies of group composition models, aggregating data from individual-level responses to operationalize group-level constructs is a common aspect of management research. The present study contributes to the literature on group composition models by quantitatively integrating the climate literature via meta-analysis to determine which of the two most common methods of aggregation, direct consensus and referent-shift consensus, is the stronger predictor of group-level outcomes. We found that referent-shift consensus was a stronger predictor of job performance and customer service performance than direct consensus. However, we found that direct consensus was a stronger predictor of job attitudes than referent-shift consensus. We also found that climate-performance relationships were moderated by aggregation method of the performance criterion. The implications of these findings for advancing multi-level theory and research are discussed.

Note: Research papers posted on ResearchGate, including any findings, may differ from the final version chosen for publication in academic journals.


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