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Welcome to the desert of the real: reality, realism, measurement, and C-OAR-SE

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journal contribution
posted on 24.10.2016 by Nick Lee, John Cadogan
Purpose – This article provides a balanced commentary on Rossiter’s paper ‘How to use C-OAR-SE to design optimal standard measures’ in this issue of the ‘European Journal of Marketing’. It also relates the comments in general to Rossiter’s other COAR- SE work, and throws light on a number of key measurement issues that seem under-appreciated at present in marketing and business research. Design/methodology approach – We use conceptual argument based on measurement theory and philosophy of science. Findings – We find that Rossiter’s work makes a number of important points that are necessary in the current stage of development of marketing and social science. However, we also find that many of these points are also well made by fundamental measurement theories. When measurement theory is correctly interpreted, the idea of multiple measures of the same thing is not problematic. However, we show that existing social science measurement practice rarely takes account of the important issues at play here. Practical implications – We show that marketing, management, and social science researchers need to get better in terms of their appreciation of measurement theory, and in their practices of measurement. Originality/value – We identify a number of areas where marketing and social science measurement can be improved, taking account of the important aspects of COAR- SE, and incorporating them in good practice, without needlessly avoiding existing good practices.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

Published in

European Journal of Marketing


LEE, N. and CADOGAN, J.W., 2016. Welcome to the desert of the real: reality, realism, measurement, and C-OAR-SE . European Journal of Marketing, 50(11), pp. 1959-1968.


© Emerald


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This paper was published in the journal European Journal of Marketing and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-10-2016-0549.






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