Research is valid if it actually measures what the researcher had set out to investigate or study. Internal, external, and construct validity has to reflect this. External validity refers to the extent to which one can generalize the results obtained from research. The study should be such that one should be able to generalize it from the sample used to the rest of the population (Steckler & Mcleroy, 2008). On the other hand, internal validity deals with the exact factors that will affect the results directly. When examining the effects of workplace romance on behavior and performance, the researchers will need to identify several variables. They will need to determine what constitutes workplace romance. They will need to define romance as it relates to relationships. They need to determine the perception of both men and women regarding the effects of workplace romance.
The research will have to include information on behavior and performance of those who are in a relationship. They will also need to find out whether any portrayal of romance affects people indirectly. The research will include information regarding the behavior of different people in the workplace. People involved in workplace romance, those who support it but are not in any form of relationship, and those who do not support it in any way will behave differently. The study carried out will have to determine whether such behavior and thoughts have any effect on work performance. In ensuring that a research is externally valid, researchers must be able to apply the results in different settings (Steckler & Mcleroy, 2008). The results should not be confined to one specific business organization or certain employees. Researchers should be able to determine how their results can apply to people in different companies.
Research involves the measurement of abstract variables. Romance and love are abstract variables. Construct validity is the confidence that the researcher has that his operational definition represents the abstract construct as intended. Construct and external validity are similar in the sense that they both involve generalizing. However, they differ in the sense that construct validity is more concerned with the research design. Similarities between construct and internal validity concern the use of dependent and independent variables. Researchers who have established internal validity are confident that they can show that independent variables cause the changes in dependent variables. Construct validity is concerned with the operational definitions of the independent and dependent variables. The research should measure what it is intended to measure and should not include unrelated investigations. The researcher will need to define what constitutes romance. Some people consider romance to be the love relationships while others are content with describing it as various displays of sexual actions and emotions. The way that the researchers will define romance in the workplace will affect the outcome of the study.
A threat to construct validity is the terminology as it relates to inadequate preoperational explanations of constructs (Engstrom et al., 2010). Researchers need to have a clear definition of the constructs they intend to measure. In the research, it will be important for the researchers to have a clear definition of romance if they intend to have construct validity. Another threat to construct validity is poor study design and the use of new methods of research that have not yet been tested. Researchers need to use tried and tested methods for their research, which have proved to be reliable and valid in the past. They need to design their study in such a way that they will be able to get the intended results. The research includes two dependent variables, which are behavior and performance. The study should reflect how romance would affect people’s behavior and the effect it will have on their work performance. The questions developed for the research should focus on these issues.
Threats to external validity relate to people, time, and place and they will affect the ability to generalize the study. External validity faces the threat of non-representative samples or the use of small samples. The researchers should ensure that their sample is representative of the population and that it is not confined to a single and specific cluster. For instance, conducting a survey in a small organization composed mainly of white males will limit the generalization ability of the research. The results obtained as well as the design used cannot be applied elsewhere. Some studies are only applicable in a specific time and place. Researchers need to design their studies in a way that it can be generalized in a different setting and context. The organization selected for the research should be a typical organization that can be found in different areas of the country. Conducting the research in a company that enforces strict rules on workplace romance may not be effective and it may not yield the expected results. People in such an organization are likely to follow the established rules since they do not want to face the consequences. On the other hand, many businesses do not have strict guidelines to follow concerning the issue of workplace romance. Some may have policies that provide certain guidelines. However, breaking of the established regulations may not have serious consequences.
The envisioned research aims at identifying the effects of romance on workplace behavior and performance. Internal validity will affect the research. To construct internal validity, I should have good design, minimal bias, and effective analysis of the trial (Eldridge et al., 2008). The research will establish internal validity by clearly identifying the independent and dependent variables and showing the cause and effect of the variables. The independent variable in this case is workplace romance and the dependent variables are workplace behavior and performance. Seeking to establish internal validity will be useful when formulating my research questions and hypothesis. In this case, I will have two research questions. I will seek to determine whether workplace romance lead to changes in workplace behavior. I will also seek to determine whether workplace romance will have any effect on the workers performance. The research will be able to show the cause and effect of this. Establishing causality will reveal that workplace romance does have an effect on how people behave at the workplace. it will also show that romance will have an effect on people’s work performance.
The research has to establish external validity in design and method. This will be established by using a random sample. I have to ensure that the results from one dataset can generalize in another set of data. This will involve a clear analysis of the random sample chosen. I will select a representative sample from a large organization that is well known for its diversity. The organization should be large enough to the extent that I am able to get an almost equal representation of male and female participants and people that differ in terms of their age and sexual orientation. In trying to maintain external validity, I will have to ensure that the sample selected is representative. In my case, this will involve ensuring that I have both men and women in my sample. The sentiments concerning workplace romance affects every person regardless of gender. I will also have to include people in different positions of power and authority. People in different positions have diverse experiences in the workplace. Romance in the workplace is a sensitive issue for many people. Some of the people may feel that they do not have the right to have love relationships in the workplace because they hold lower positions. Others may not know how to ward off advances from their superiors. They will feel that they have no choice in the matter, and this will result to them engaging in romantic relationships. This will make them feel uncomfortable and it will affect the way they behave and conduct themselves at work.
Validity will affect my research, as I will have to be more careful in the research design beginning from the data collection phase. I will have to collect the required data as a way of trying to establish construct validity. I have to use different data sources and data collection strategies (Gibbert et al., 2008). The procedures and methods that I choose to use has to lead to the correct information through accurate observation. I had to use the correct measurements and refrain from using subjective judgments for my research to be valid. Someone viewing my research should be able to tell how I reached my conclusion by following a clear pattern of events. The first thing I need to do when conducting my research is to define what romance means. In my research, I will define workplace romance as an actual love relationship that exists between two people. This could be of homosexual or heterosexual nature but it should be welcomed and encouraged by both parties. This definition enables me to have a clear perception of what I will be measuring in my research. I will not include random acts of sexual gratification that might occur from time to time in the workplace. I will use a variety of data collection strategies, which will include questionnaires, surveys and observation. The data strategies I use will determine how I interpret and analyze the results I get.
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Steckler, A., & McLeroy, R. K. (2008). The importance of external validity. American Journal of Public Health, 98(1), 9-10