Workplace Status: The Development and Validation of a Scale

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Abstract

Research suggests that employee status, and various status proxies, relate to a number of meaningful outcomes in the workplace. The advancement of the study of status in organizational settings has, however, been stymied by the lack of a validated workplace status measure. The purpose of this manuscript, therefore, is to develop and validate a measure of workplace status based on a theoretically grounded definition of status in organizations. Subject-matter experts were used to examine the content validity of the measure. Then, 2 separate samples were employed to assess the psychometric properties (i.e., factor structure, reliability, convergent and discriminant validity) and nomological network of a 5-item, self-report Workplace Status Scale (WSS). To allow for methodological flexibility, an additional 3 samples were used to extend the WSS to coworker reports of a focal employee’s status, provide additional evidence for the validity and reliability of the WSS, and to demonstrate consensus among coworker ratings. Together, these studies provide evidence of the psychometric soundness of the WSS for assessing employee status using either self-reports or other-source reports. The implications of the development of the WSS for the study of status in organizations are discussed, and suggestions for future research using the new measure are offered.

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