The Norm of Reciprocity: Scale Development and Validation in the Chinese Context

26 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2006  

Joshua B. Wu

University of Miami - School of Business Administration

Peter W. Hom

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business

Lois E. Tetrick

George Mason University - Department of Psychology

Lynn M. Shore

San Diego State University - College of Business Administration

Liangding Jia

Nanjing University - School of Business

Chao Ping Li

Renmin University of China

Lynda Jiwen Song

Renmin University of China - Department of Organization and Human Resource Management

Abstract

To add greater theoretical precision to a fundamental construct in social exchange theory namely, Gouldner's norm of reciprocity, this study developed a measure of Sahlins' generalized, balanced, and negative reciprocity types and validated its psychometric quality in China. For a comprehensive construct validation of the new scale, we carried out three studies. After generating a pool of items, we used a panel of experts to classify items according to conceptual definitions of the three reciprocity types. Using factor analysis, the first study revealed a factor structure consistent with Sahlins' reciprocity typology. In the second study, confirmatory factor analysis replicated this factor structure as well as demonstrated that the reciprocity factors are distinct from each other and other social-exchange constructs. In line with extant theories, the third study corroborated a nomological network relating reciprocity types to external constructs. Given this broad array of evidence for its construct validity, future researchers can employ this validated scale to investigate various forms of social exchange in Chinese work settings.

Suggested Citation

Wu, Joshua B. and Hom, Peter W. and Tetrick, Lois E. and Shore, Lynn M. and Jia, Liangding and Li, Chao Ping and Song, Lynda Jiwen, The Norm of Reciprocity: Scale Development and Validation in the Chinese Context. Management and Organization Review, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 377-402, November 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=938847 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-8784.2006.00047.x

Joshua B. Wu (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Business Administration ( email )

P.O. Box 248126
Department of Management
Coral Gables, FL 33124
United States

Peter W. Hom

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3706
United States

Lois Tetrick

George Mason University - Department of Psychology ( email )

Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
United States

Lynn M. Shore

San Diego State University - College of Business Administration ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-8230
United States

Liangding Jia

Nanjing University - School of Business ( email )

22 Hankou Road
Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093 210093
China

Chao Ping Li

Renmin University of China ( email )

Room B906
Xianjin Building
Beijing, Beijing 100872
China

Lynda Jiwen Song

Renmin University of China - Department of Organization and Human Resource Management ( email )

Business School
Beijing
China

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