When a shared, or “common,” measurement method is used to assess study variables, some of the shared variance between (a) questions (items) that measure a single variable or (b) two or more variables may be due to the method used. This is known as common method variance (CMV). Common method variance is a concern for industrial and organizational psychology researchers due to the widespread use of self-report survey methods in the field, along with its potential to bias (systematically inflate or deflate) measurement properties of study variables and relations between two or more study variables.

Historical Perspective

Discussions of CMV in industrial and organizational psychology date back to the introduction of the multitrait-multimethod matrix in 1959. This matrix presented correlations among the same variables based on both ...

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