Semantic Algorithms Can Detect How Media Language Shapes Survey Responses in Organizational Behaviour

Arnulf, J. K., et al. (2018). "Semantic algorithms can detect how media language shapes survey responses in organizational behaviour." PLoS ONE 13(2): 1-26.

26 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2020

See all articles by Jan Ketil Arnulf

Jan Ketil Arnulf

BI Norwegian Business School

Kai R. Larsen

Leeds School of Business; Information Systems Group; Gallup

Date Written: December 5, 2018

Abstract

Research on sense-making in organisations and on linguistic relativity suggests that speakers of the same language may use this language in different ways to construct social realities at work. We apply a semantic theory of survey response (STSR) to explore such differences in quantitative survey research. Using text analysis algorithms, we have studied how language from three media domains–the business press, PR Newswire and general newspapers–has differential explanatory value for analysing survey responses in leadership research. We projected well-known surveys measuring leadership, motivation and outcomes into large text samples from these three media domains significantly different impacts on survey responses. Business press language was best in explaining leadership-related items, PR language best at explaining organizational results and “ordinary” newspaper language seemed to explain the relationship among motivation items. These findings shed light on how different public arenas construct organizational realities in different ways, and how these differences have consequences on methodology in research on leadership.

Keywords: Leadership, Organizational Behavior, Latent Semantic Analysis, Semantic Theory of Survey Response, Media Language

Suggested Citation

Arnulf, Jan Ketil and Larsen, Kai R., Semantic Algorithms Can Detect How Media Language Shapes Survey Responses in Organizational Behaviour (December 5, 2018). Arnulf, J. K., et al. (2018). "Semantic algorithms can detect how media language shapes survey responses in organizational behaviour." PLoS ONE 13(2): 1-26., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3716032

Jan Ketil Arnulf (Contact Author)

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Kai R. Larsen

Leeds School of Business; Information Systems Group ( email )

995 Regent Dr.
Boulder, CO 80309-0419
United States

Gallup ( email )

901 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004
United States

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