Keith Murnighan-Kellogg Graduate School of Management 

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Syllabus for:

Methods Seminar
Experimental (and Other) Research Methods (Concentrating on Individuals and Groups)
Organization Behavior D27
Fall 2000

J. Keith Murnighan
360 Leverone
Telephone: 467-3566

Course Overview

The purpose of this course is to learn about the methods that we can use to try and answer empirical questions about individuals and groups. We will conduct the course as a seminar. This will mean no lectures but many discussions and analyses.

Each week we will read a number of research studies and critique their methodology. At the same time we will read several articles that give us information about the philosophy and the methods of social science research so that our discussions will be increasingly informed.

We will meet on Thursday mornings from 9 til 12. This means that we will start on the first day of classes, bright and early. (Please come prepared for a full class that day. Your assignment for that day is listed below.) We will be off Thanksgiving week and have only one meeting after that.

The course requirements include active participation in class, directing discussion at least once, two short papers, and one larger paper. The short papers will each be critiques of a study with suggestions about how the same hypotheses could have been tested more effectively. The larger paper will be the introduction and methods sections of a journal article that you would someday like to complete.

The larger paper will be submitted twice, once earlier in the quarter and again, at the end of the quarter after you have received two reviews (one from me). This will allow you to revise and resubmit your paper (just like the normal journal review process).

Prior to submitting the larger paper, you should first get one critical review of your paper from a member of this class. You must take their comments into consideration and revise the paper before you submit it to me the first time. You do not have to respond to your reviewer’s suggestions in a separate written document. Instead, you need to make changes in your paper to satisfy and deal with the valid points they have made before you submit your paper for the first time. You should also include a copy of their comments, with their name on them. (I will comment on your reviews as well, to illuminate the role of conscientious, critical, helpful reviewers.) That first paper is due on November 9th. It should include a cover letter to me, specifying the name of the journal you would be submitting it to. (You can address it to me, editor of a particular journal that you specify, and I will review it as if I actually were the editor). I will turn it around quickly, and have it back to you by classtime on November 16th. You will then have until December 5th to complete your final version of the paper.

Your final submission should also include a cover letter as well as a document that outlines how you have responded to your reviews. A handout outlining the requirements for the paper and some of my evaluation criteria is attached.

For those of you who are taking Leigh Thompson’s class, you will be able to write one paper rather than two to meet the two courses’ requirements. In other words, you can turn in the same paper to both of us. We will share our reactions to the first version of your paper (as if we were your reviewers).

Class Meetings

For the first class, your assignment is to read Campbell and Stanley and to bring in photocopies of two research studies. These can be your favorite studies or ones that you thought were particularly well conducted. They should be experiments, qualitative studies, or any other style of empirical research that focuses on individuals and groups. Each week I will select studies from this pool for discussion. The first week we'll discuss Campbell and Stanley and the two articles noted below:

Lewin, Lippitt, & White. Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created "social climates." Journal of Social Psychology, 1939, 10, 271-299.

Staw, Barry S. Attitudinal and behavioral consequences of changing a major organizational reward: a natural field experiment. JPSP, 1974, 6:742-751.

And for entertainment as well as a little enlightenment,

Murnighan, J. K. (1981). Training independent social scientists. Exchange, The Organizational Behavior Teaching Journal, 6, (No. 3), 9-11.

At our second meeting, we will organize ourselves for the rest of the course. Each of you will lead discussion for a particular week. Ordinarily, one of your short paper assignments will be a critique of one of the papers that we will discuss while you are the discussion leader. Your other short paper can come from any of the other papers we read.

Substantive reading for week two will be the first four chapters of Runkel and McGrath, Research in Human Behavior, excluding section 3-1, and the first chapters in Kaplan, The Conduct of Inquiry, and in Cook and Campbell, Quasi-Experimentation.

Research articles for week 2 will be:

Staw, Barry S. Attribution of the "causes" of performance: a general alternative interpretation of cross-sectional research on organizations. OBHP, 1975, 13: 414-432.

Oldham, Greg, and Dan Brass. Employee reactions to an open-plan office: a naturally occurring quasi-experiment. ASQ, 1979, 24: 267-284.

I will also be distributing additional articles throughout the quarter, i.e., those that you have suggested and possibly others.

Finally, you should note as you look at the schedule that our sixth class, October 26th, is devoted to discussing your research ideas. During that class meeting, each of you will describe your large paper for the course. You will describe your ideas and your planned methodology in as much detail as possible. The rest of us will ask questions, suggest alternatives, etc. This will be a collaborative session to help you to think about your ideas in different ways and to make your ideas and your methods better. This could take more time than our normal class time, so expect that we will run through the lunch hour. (We will order food in for lunch.)

Between Oct 26th and Nov 9th, you should complete a first draft of your paper, get comments from a critical reviewer, and revise your paper with their comments in mind for your initial submission.


Required Text

Campbell and Stanley, Experimental and Quasi-Experimenta1 Designs for


Recommended Texts

Golden-Biddle and Locke, Composing Qualitative Research, Sage, 1997.

Publication Manual, APA, 1994.

Frost and Stablein, Doing Exemplary Research, Sage, 1992

Sudman, Bradburn, and Schwarz, Thinking about Answers, Jossey-Bass, 1996.

Cook and Campbell, Quasi-Experimentation, Rand McNally, 1979

Rosenthal and Rosnow, Artifact in Behavioral Research, Academic Press, 1969.


Important Books

Kaplan, A. The conduct of Inquiry Chandler, 1964.

Webb, Campbell, Schwartz, and Sechrest, Unobtrusive Measures Rand McNally, 1966.

Kelman, H. C. A Time to Speak: On Human Values and Social Research Jossey-Bass, 1968.

Selltiz, Wrightman, and Cook, Research Methods in Social Relations. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1976.

American Psychological Association, Ethical Principles in the Conduct of Research with Human Participants.

Rychlak, J. F. A Philosophy of Science of Personality Theory. Houghton Mifflin, 1968.

Burrel & Morgan, Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis. Heineman, 1979.

McGrath, Martin, & Kulka, Judgement Calls

The Sage, Publications series on Studying Organizations.

James, Mulaik, and Brett, Causal Analysis.

Hakel, Sorcher, Beer, and Mosses, Making it Happen: Designing Research with Implementation in Mind.

Hunter, JE, Schmit, and Jackson, Meta-Analysis.

Cummings & P.J. Frost (Eds.), 1985. Publishing in the Organizational Science. Homewood, Illinois: Richard D. Irwin, Inc.

Van Maanen, Dabbs, and Faulker, Varieties of Qualitative Research.

Campbell, JP, Daft, and Hulin, What to Study: Generating and Developing.

Frost and Taylor (1997). Rhythms of Academic Life. Sage .

Date: Articles Readings

 Sept 21 - Lewin Lippitt & White 39; Campbell & Stanley Keith Staw 74; Murnighan 81

 Sept 28 - Staw 75 ; Doing Exemplary Research, 5; Oldham and Brass 79; Runkel &   McGrath, Ch 1-4; Latham, Erez, & Locke 88; Cook & Campbell, Ch 1;Isen et al 87*;   Kaplan, Ch 1; Swann and Hill 82*  

 Oct 5 - Medvec, Madey, & Gilovich 95; Aronson, Brewer, & Carlsmith, Gilovich, Savitsky, &   Medvec, 98; Platt, "Strong inference" Gilbert et al 98; Bem, How to write an article,   Lucking-Reilly 99*; Rosenthal Rosnow , Artifacts

 Oct 12 - Gruenfeld 95; Argyris 68; Gruenfeld, Hunt, & Kim 98;Schlenker 74; Kahneman &   Tversky 79; Wallach & Wallach (+ comment) 94; Loewenstn, Bazermn, Thompsn 89;   Berkowitz & Donnerstein 82; Tversky and Kahneman 74*; Locke 96

 Oct 19 - Gilovich, Vallone & Tversky 85; Webb et al, Ch 1 & 7; M. Frank and Gilovich 88;   McGrath, Martin, Kukla R. Frank, Gilovich, & Regan 93; Ellsworth 77; Kerr and   Kaufman- Gilliland 94*; Ashford 96; Kerr et al 97*

 Oct 26 - Devoted to Discussing your Research Ideas

 Nov 2 - Bettenhausen & Murnighan 85; Locke, 86; Ilgen, 86;Bettenhausen & Murnighan   91; Baron & Kenny 86; McGill 93*; Rosenthal & Rosnow 89; Mastro et al 94*; Campbell &   Fiske 59 (multi-multi); Medin et al 97*

 Nov 9 - Elsbach 94; Van Maanen, 99; Barker 93; Eisenhardt, 89; Edmonson, 98; Elsbach   and Fine, 2000*; Stroh, 95* ;Murnighan 96;Brett and Stroh, 97*

NOTE: First version of your large paper is due today, with review attached.

 Nov 16 - Gersick 88; Doing Exemplary Resch, Sutton & Rafaeli 88; Doing Exemplary Resch,   Holt 95*; Prentice and Miller, 92*

 Nov 30 - Waller, 99; ASQ Special Issue 79; Kramer, 98; Dutton et al 2000*; Belk et al 98*

 Dec 5 - Final version of large paper due today at noon.
*Not in original case packet. Will be added during the quarter.