Title

Divergence Between Informant and Archival Measures of the Environment: Real Differences, Artifact, or Perceptual Error?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2006

Department

Management and International Business

Abstract

Although organizational environments are a central concern for researchers in organization theory and strategy, many researchers report that informant assessments and archival measures of the environment do not converge. This study investigates whether the observed divergence can be attributed to perceptual error, to real differences in constructive definitions, to differences between a firm's environment and an aggregate industry environment, or simply to methodological artifacts. Results show that environmental uncertainty and environmental variation are distinct multidimensional constructs even when only informant measures from the same respondents are considered, and that organizational level mediating filters are more strongly related to informant measures of environmental variation than to environmental uncertainty. However, the effects of individual level filters on environmental variation do not decrease after controlling for organizational level filters. We conclude that, although there are some real differences between informant and archival measures of the environment, the possibility of perceptual bias cannot be ruled out. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Business Research

Volume

59

Issue

2

First Page

268

Last Page

277