We know the Yin– But where is the Yang? A balanced approach on CSB in public administration.

Bert George, SK Pandey

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingConference proceedingAcademicpeer-review


Self-reported surveys have long been a dominant instrument for data collection in public administration. However, it has become widely accepted in the last decade that the usage of a self-reported instrument to measure both the independent and dependent variables results in common source bias (CSB). In turn, CSB is argued to inflate correlations between variables, resulting in biased findings. Subsequently, a narrow blinkered approach on the usage of self-reported surveys as single data source has emerged. In this article we argue that this approach has resulted in an unbalanced perspective on CSB. We argue that claims on CSB are exaggerated, draw upon selective evidence, and project what should be tentative inferences as certainty over large domains of inquiry. We also discuss the perceptual nature of some outcomes and measurement validity concerns in using secondary data. In conclusion, we present a flowchart that public administration scholars can employ to analyze CSB concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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