Scale development in tourism research

Kock, Florian, Josiassen, Alexander, and Assaf, Albert (2018) Scale development in tourism research. Journal of Travel Research, 58 (7). 3. pp. 1-3.

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The development and use of measurement tools to quantify constructs, commonly referred to as “scales,” are important to knowledge creation within the social sciences such as psychology and marketing, and not least tourism research. A scale captures an abstract entity (latent construct) that represents the “true, non-observable state or nature of a phenomenon” (Bagozzi and Fornell 1982, p. 24). The development of scales enables both researchers and managers to examine and operationalize important phenomena and, most importantly, to measure their causal effects and sources across various contexts, thereby significantly contributing to a better understanding of the measured phenomenon. Ideally, scales serve as tools that are used to investigate the phenomenon they purport to measure in order to create new knowledge. However, tourism research reality is far from this ideal, with many articles seemingly developing a scale for its own sake. This opinion piece is intended to bring about the same change to tourism research that occurred in the marketing discipline about 15 years ago: While early publications in top-tier marketing journals often reported merely the procedure and results of a scale development effort, more recent publications are focusing on the nomological validation of the developed scale, meaning that they show the scale’s usefulness for examining consequences and antecedents. The present article makes the case that the development of a scale should be considered the start of a research article, rather than the end, and thus for the incorporation of meaningful nomological validation and theory testing for newly developed scales.

Item ID: 67426
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1552-6763
Keywords: scale development, tourism, hospitality
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2018.
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2021 03:38
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3508 Tourism > 350899 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 11 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 1104 Tourism services > 110499 Tourism services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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