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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Research
May 20, 2014

Using Accumulated Knowledge to Calibrate Theoretical Propositions

Abstract

In organizational psychology research, most theories put forth directional predictions, such as stating that an increase in one construct will result in an increase or decrease in another construct. Such predictions are imprecise, given that they can be confirmed by a wide range of values, and theories that rely on such predictions bear little risk of falsification. In this article, we present an approach for increasing theoretical precision by using results from meta-analyses to calibrate the predictions embedded in a theory. Our approach provides point values for theoretical predictions along with credibility intervals that capture the likely range of the predicted effects. We illustrate this approach by drawing from research on work engagement and calibrate the predictions represented by two conceptual models. Contributions and limitations of the proposed approach 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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