Content Analysis: A Primer

Dr. Rhonda Reger August 2009

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

A Content Analysis of the Content Analysis Literature in Organization Studies: Research Themes, Data Sources, and Methodological Refinements Vincent J. Duriau Rhonda K. Reger and Michael D. Pfarrer
Organizational Research Methods 2007
The online version of this article can be found at: http://orm.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/10/1/5

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

A Content Analysis of the Content Analysis Literature in Organization Studies: Research Themes, Data Sources, and Methodological Refinements Vincent J. Duriau Rhonda K. Reger and Michael D. Pfarrer
Organizational Research Methods 2007
The online version of this article can be found at: http://orm.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/10/1/5

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Agenda
1. Review the principles and the advantages of content analysis 2. Assess how the methodology has been applied in management literature 3. Provide two mini-examples

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Content Analysis Defined
• “Any methodological measurement applied to text (or other symbolic materials) for social science purposes” (Shapiro & Markoff, 1997, p. 14) A class of methods at the intersection of the qualitative and quantitative traditions

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Assumptions of Content Analysis
• Central to the value of content analysis as a research methodology is the recognition of the importance of language in human cognition • The analysis of texts lets the researcher understand other people’s cognitive schemas • The change in the use of words reflects at least a change in attention, if not in cognitive schema

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Advantages of Content Analysis
• Promising for rigorous exploration of many important but difficult-to-study issues • Replicable methodology to access deep individual or collective structures such as values, intentions, attitudes, and cognitions • Analytical flexibility:
– – – – manifest content (surface level; word counts) latent content (deeper meaning; interpretation) Inductive or deductive research Can be combined with quantitative analysis

• Appropriate for longitudinal research designs • Can be nonintrusive; does not suffer from researcher demand bias • Multiple sources of data

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

98 articles: 1980 to October 2005 Content or Text Analysis
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Academy of Management Journal Academy of Management Review Academy of Management Executive Administrative Science Quarterly California Management Review Harvard Business Review, Journal of Applied Psychology Journal of International Business Studies Journal of Management Journal of Organizational Behavior Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes Organizational Research Methods Organization Science Sloan Management Review Strategic Management Journal + references in these articles
© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

25 Years of Management Content Analysis

Data Sources
• Annual reports • Mission statements • Proxy statements • Other publicly available documents • Internal company documents • Trade magazines • Scholarly journals • Business cases • Computerized databases • Open-ended questions in surveys • Transcribed videotapes • Interviews • Other field data • Measurement items

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Research Themes by Academy Division
• • • • • • • • • 39 15 14 11 6 6 3 2 2 business policy and strategy managerial and organizational cognition research methods organizational behavior human resources social issues management technology management international management organizational theory
© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Topical Examples
• • • • • • • • • • • • Strategic groups (Osborne, Stubbart, & Ramaprasad, 2001) Impression management (Arndt & Bigelow, 2000) Downsizing (Palmer, Kabanoff, & Dunford, 1997) Negative organizational outcomes (Abrahamson & Park, 1994) Corporate crises (Marcus & Goodman, 1991) Corporate reputation (Fombrun & Shanley, 1990) Strategy reformulation (Huff, 1982) CEO succession (Osborn, Jauch, Martin, & Glueck, 1981) Concerns of the business community (Myers & Kessler, 1980) Corporate risk-taking behavior (Bowman,1982, 1984) Joint ventures and strategic alliances (Fiol, 1989, 1990) Many more

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Table 1
Authors Mishina, Pollock, & Porac Ferrier Lee, Smith, Grimm, & Schomburg Ferrier, Smith, & Grimm Young, Smith, & Grimm Miller & Chen Hambrick, Cho & Chen Chen & Hambrick Schomburg, Grimm, & Smith Miller & Chen Chen & MacMillan Chen, Smith, & Grimm Smith, Grimm, Gannon, & Chen Birnbaum-More & Weiss Clapham & Schwenk Salancik & Meindl Bettman & Weitz Staw, McKechnie, & Puffer David Pearce & David Cochran & David McConnell, Haslem, & Gibson Bühner & Möller Ingram & Frazier Bowman Bowman Fiol Fiol Dirsmith & Covaleski Jauch, Osborn, & Glueck Osbone, Stubbart, & Ramaprasad Arndt & Bigelow Palmer, Kabanoff, & Dunford Abrahamson & Park Marcus & Goodman Fombrun & Shanley Huff Osborn, Jauch, Martin, & Glueck Myers & Kessler Date Field 2004 2001 2000 1999 1996 1996 1996 1995 1994 1994 1992 1992 1991 1990 1991 1984 1983 1983 1989 1987 1986 1986 1985 1983 1984 1982 1990 1989 1983 1980 2001 2000 1997 1994 1991 1990 1982 1981 1980 BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS BPS Research Theme Growth logics Competitive aggressiveness New product introduction Leaders and challengers Competitive activity Competitive repertoire Competitive moves Competitive behavior New product rivalry Competitive inertia Competitive responses Competitive responses Competitive responses Basis of competition Managerial attributions Managerial attributions Managerial attributions Managerial attributions Mission statements Mission statements Mission statements Corporate disclosures Corporate disclosures Corporate disclosures Corporate strategy and risk Risk seeking behavior Strategic alliances Joint ventures Environmental fit Environment-strategy fit Strategic groups Impression management Downsizing Organizational outcomes Corporate crises Reputation Strategy reformulation CEO succession Concerns of businessmen Data Sources PD, PS CD CD CD CD TM TM TM CD TM TM TM TM IN AR AR AR AR MS MS MS AR AR AR AR AR AR AR BC BC AR AR AR AR TM TM TM TM PD 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 Longitudinal 1 2 1 2 2 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 0 2 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 Focus Features AD FC, AD FC FC, AD FC FC, AD FC, AD FC, AD FC FC, AD FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC FC QA FC FC FC, QA QA FC FC FC FC QA FC QA 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 Design Interpretation Methods 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 0 3 3 3 0 3 0 0 3 3 1 0 3 3 3 3 2 3 0 Test CATA 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

Gephart Gephart Gioia & Chittipeddi Huff & Schwenk

1997 1993 1991 1990

MOC MOC MOC MOC

Sensemaking Sensemaking Sensemaking Sensemaking

PD 0 PD, ID, TM, IN, FD 0 IN, ID TM 1 0

0 0 0 2

FC, AD, QA FC, QA QA FC

0 0 0 1

0 0 1 0

2 2 2 3

1 1 0 1

1 1 0 0

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Table 1
Authors Gephart Kabanoff & Holt Kabanoff, Waldersee, & Cohen Sussman, Ricchio, & Belohlav Abrahamson & Hambrick D'Aveni & MacMillan Fiol Carley Simons Barr, Stimpert, & Huff Narayanan & Fahey Date Field 1984 1996 1995 1983 1997 1990 1995 1997 1993 1992 1990 MOC MOC MOC MOC MOC MOC MOC MOC MOC MOC MOC Research Theme Sensemaking Organizational values Organizational values Corporate values Managerial attention Managerial attention Categorization Team mental models Cognitive maps Cognitive change Managerial causal maps Data Sources BC AR, MS, ID AR, MS, ID PD AR AR AR, ID OQ TV AR AR, TM 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 Longitudinal 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 Focus Features QA FC FC, AD FC AD FC FC FC, AD FC AD FC, AD 0 1 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 0 Design Interpretation Methods Test CATA 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 3 2 0 3 3 3 0 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0

Boyd, Gove, & Hitt Bergh & Fairbank Scandura & Williams Mowday Berg & Holbein Bergh Bartunek, Bobko, Venkatraman Podsakoff & Dalton Flanagan & Dipboye Daft Reeve & Smith Kellog & Chase Mossholder, Setton, Harris, & Armenakis Ellis

2005 2002 2000 1997 1997 1995 1993 1987 1981 1980 2001 1995 1995 1989

RM RM RM RM RM RM RM RM RM RM RM RM RM RM

Construct measures Measuring change Research methods Management research Longitudinal analysis Repeated measures Research methods Research methodology Research settings Organization analysis Job involvement Customer contact Emotions Differential item functioning

SJ IN SJ SJ SJ SJ SJ SJ SJ SJ MI ID OQ MI

1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0

FC, QA QA FC, AD FC FC FC QA FC FC FC FC FC FC QA

1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 2

1 2 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

2 1 3 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 2

1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Bligh, Kohles, & Meindl Farh, Zhong & Organ Hodson Ahuja & Galvin Drusakat & Wheeler Bateman, O’Neill, & Kenworthy-U’Ren Schneider, Wheeler, & Cox Chen & Meindl Dewe & Guest Barley, Meyer, & Gash Machungwa & Schmitt

2004 2004 2004 2003 2003 2002 1992 1991 1990 1988 1983

OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB

Language of leadership OCBs in China Organizational trust Virtual groups Self-managed teams TMT goals Service climate Leadership Stress Organizational culture Cross-cultural motivation

PD OQ PD ID, IN IN, OQ, TV IN IN TM OQ SJ, TM IN

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0

1 0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 2

AD, FC AD, QA AD, QA FC, QA FC, QA QA FC FC FC FC FC

1 0 1 1 0 1 2 0 2 2 2

2 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1

0 2 0 2 0 1 1 2 1 3 1

0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1

1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Frazier, Ingram, & MackTennyson Freedman & Jaggi Wiseman Ingram & Frazier Anderson & Frankle White & Montgomery

1984 1982 1982 1980 1980 1980

SIM SIM SIM SIM SIM SIM

Accounting disclosures Pollution disclosures Environmental disclosures Corporate disclosures Social disclosures Codes of conduct

AR AR AR, PD AR AR ID

0 0 0 0 0 0

2 1 1 0 1 2

FC FC, AD FC, AD FC FC FC

2 1 1 1 1 0

1 1 1 1 1

3 3 3 3 3 0

1 0 0 0 0 0

1 0 0 0 0 0

Wade, Porac, & Pollock Zajac & Westphal Thomson, Gentner, & Jeffrey

1997 1995 2000

HR HR HR

Executive pay CEO compensation Training

PS PS OQ

0 1 0

0 0 0

FC FC FC

© 2007 Robert H. Smith 3School of Business 1 1 1 0 1 1 3 1 0 University of Maryland

1

1

3

1

1

Number of Articles Per Year

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Percentage of Research With Reliability Checks

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Percentage of Research Using CATA

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP ON BUSINESS AND SOCIAL ISSUES Kiyatkin, Reger, Baum Data and Methods
• Sample: Web sites, 4 clicks from home page – 25 US News and World Report 2008 Best Business Schools – 24 of the Top 25 2008 Fortune 500 • Data Collection: – Word list for 8 categories (approximately 120 words): – Financial purpose, corporate citizenship, transparency, the environment, equal opportunity, family benefits, workplace safety, health, and philanthropic efforts – Controls for website size, density, purpose and user interactivity

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP ON BUSINESS AND SOCIAL ISSUES Kiyatkin, Reger, Baum

Results
• Corporations pay more attention to all categories of social issues • Corporations are more likely to frame social issues as integral to the purpose of business, not a means to financial performance • Business schools are more likely to frame attention to social issues at enlightened self-interest, or as a way to maximize shareholder’s equity or firm profitability

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Steps in Coding Text The Weber Protocol (Weber, 1990)
1. Definition of the recording units (e.g., word, phrase, sentence, paragraph). 2. Definition of the coding categories. 3. Test of coding on a sample of text. 4. Assessment of the accuracy and reliability of the sample coding. 5. Revision of the coding rules. 6. Return to Step 3 until sufficient reliability is achieved. 7. Coding of all the text. 8. Assess the achieved reliability or accuracy.

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Reputational Dynamics: Guilt by Association Zavyalova, Pfarrer, Reger, Shapiro Data and Methods
• • • • Time period: 10 years, 1997 to 2007 Sample: 45 toy firms (CPSC, Hoover’s, SIC, firm websites); 1,935 firm-quarters, panel data Guilt: 78,846,675 toys recalled (CPSC) Actions: 3,846 actions (Business Wire, PR Newswire) – Structured content analysis method widely used in competitive dynamics literature (Basdeo et al., 2006; Ferrier et al., 1998; Smith et al., 1991) Reputation: 32,482 articles and web blogs (Lexis-Nexis) – Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) software – Rate of positive or negative emotion words in a given text (Deephouse, 2000; Pollock & Rindova 2003, House & Wooders, 2006, Tetlock, Saar-Tsechansky & Macskassy, 2008)
© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Preliminary Findings
Magnitu de of Firm “Guilt” Magnitu de of Industry “Guilt”

NOT SIGNIFICANT SIGNIFICANTL Y NEGATIVE

Positivity of Firm Reputation

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

Conclusions
• Words Count! • Content analysis methods are only limited by the imagination of the researcher

© 2007 Robert H. Smith School of Business University of Maryland

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