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Vol. 38 (Nº 28) Año 2017. Pág. 24

Psychometric properties of the spanish version of the civic behavior scale

Propiedades psicométricas de la versión española de la escala de comportamiento cívico

Alexandra PORTALANZA-CHAVARRIA 1; Merlin Patricia GRUESO-HINESTROZA 2

Recibido: 03/01/17 • Aprobado: 21/02/2017


Content

1. Introduction

2. Methods

3. Results

4. Discussion

References


ABSTRACT:

The purpose of this study is to present the psychometric properties of a Spanish version of the Civic Behavior Scale (CBS) a new instrument developed by the authors that measure the perceived civic behaviors of faculty members and white-collar workers in a Higher Education Institution. For this purpose, 538 students of a University in Ecuador responded to CBS. Confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation modeling revealed that the questionnaire shows a high reliability (α=0.95) and convergent and discriminant validity and that can be used by researchers and practitioners to assess civic behaviors in educational institutions. Other results, contributions and limitations of the present study are discussed.
Key words: Civility, Higher Education, Civic Behavior Scale

RESUMEN:

El propósito de este estudio es presentar las propiedades psicométricas de una versión en español de la Escala de Comportamiento Cívico (ECC) un nuevo instrumento desarrollado por los autores que miden los comportamientos cívicos percibidos por los miembros de la facultad y los trabajadores de una Institución de Educación Superior. Para ello, 538 estudiantes de una Universidad del Ecuador respondieron a la CBS. El análisis factorial confirmatorio utilizando el modelo de ecuaciones estructurales reveló que el cuestionario muestra una validez convergente y discriminante de alta fiabilidad (α = 0,95) y que puede ser utilizado por investigadores y profesionales para evaluar los comportamientos cívicos en las instituciones educativas. Se discuten otros resultados, contribuciones y limitaciones del presente estudio. Palabras clave: Civismo, Educación Superior, Escala de Comportamiento Cívico

1. Introduction

Because of positive psychology (Seligman y Csikszentmihalyi, 2000),  a trend of research on strengths and optimal functioning of human characteristics has an increased attention in organizational psychology (Luthans, 2002). In the same direction, positive organizational scholarship was introduced as a new field of research in 2003 by Kim Cameron and Gretchen Spreitzer. Its principal objective is focused on the positive aspects of organizations, on its processes and outcomes, and in their members (Cameron, Dutton y Quinn, 2003a, 2003b).

The way people related and treat each other in the workplace could have an impact in their behaviors and attitudes. Empirical evidence related with attitudes toward work, suggests that positive human connections promote trust, well-being, bonding, etc., and also may have effects in their satisfaction, well-being and performance (Hallowell, 1999).  Positive behaviors are commonly called organizational citizenship behaviors, CCO  (Omar, Vaamonde y Uribe, 2012) such as civility (Porath, 2012),  commitment,  self-efficacy, optimism, resilience (Luthans, 2008). 

Previous research  According to Andersson & Pearson (1999)  there is evidence that behaviors in workplace are becoming less civil and it can occur at different levels in the organization   (Porath 2012).   Technology and global interactions advances, increase rudeness.  People believe they do not have the time to be nice, when interacting with others  (Pearson y Porath, 2005).  When workplaces are altered by the lack of civic behavior, it can affect performance, culture, climate and to the efficiency of the organization  (Estes y Wang, 2008).

Some authors had developed scales to measure incivility  in the workplace  (Burnfield, Clark, Devendorf y Jex, 2004; Clark, Farnsworth y Landrum, 2009; Cortina, Magley, Williams y Langhout, 2001; Guidroz, Burnfield-Geimer, Clark, Schwetschenau y Jex, 2010; Hutton y Gates, 2008; Martine y Hine, 2005), a few scales  to measure civility and climate of civility  were found in the review of the literature  (Clark, Landrum y Nguyen, 2013; Meterko, Osatuke, Mohr, Warren y Dyrenforth, 2007; Ottinot, 2008; Walsh et al., 2012).  Although civility is proclaimed among societies, is considered an issue that has received little attention in the management literature, few studies exist in the organizational field and researchers suggest that new scales must be developed (Porath, 2012; Walsh et al., 2012).

At the lack of instruments to measure civic behaviors from different the levels in organizations, and following the suggestions of  Porath (2012) and  Walsh, et al. (2012),  the present study  develops a Spanish version of a civic behavior scale  and makes an analysis of the psychometric properties of the instrument.  

In phase 1, the study defines civility and its attributes, the different instruments used to measure civility in the workplace and its characteristics, followed by the development of the scale in phase 2. Finally, phase 3 describes the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, and phase 4 presents the convergent and discriminant validity of the scale.

1.1. Review of the literature

The Mirriam Webster dictionary difines civility as “courtesy, politeness, kind attention, good breeding, a polite act or expression.  For Guinness (2008) civility is  the respect for the differences between each other, arguing them firmly and treating each other with dignity and honor. 

Some  researches consider civility as an admirable attribute  (Elsner y Boggs, 2005; Forni, 2002; Sistare, 2004) that  requires tolerance, good listening and express  points  of view without personal attacks (Sistare, 2004).  In the definitions noted aboved, some attibutes can be outline for this term: courtesy, respect, good listening and good way.      

A civil workplace is one in which incivility experiences are rare (Walsh et al., 2012), Pearson, Andersson & Porath (2000, p. 125) described  workplace civility as a “behavior that helps to preserve the norms for mutual respect at work. A characteristic of civility is thatperson speaks in ways that are respectful, responsible,  principled and avoid what is  offensive, rude, demeaning and threatening”(Gill y Sypher, 2009, p. 55).

During the last 15 years, some instruments have been developed to measure civility and incivility in the workplace, such as:  Workplace Incivility Scale (WIS), by Cortina, Magley, Williams & Lnaghout (2001), Workplace Incivility Scale by Burnfield, Clark, Davendorf & Jex (2004)¸ Uncivil Workplace Behavior Questionnaire (Martine y Hine, 2005);  Incivility in Healthcare Survey (IHS) by Hutton & Gates (2008),  Incivility Nursing Education (INE) by Clark, Farnsworth, & Landrum (2009),   Nursing Incivility Scale, by Guidroz, Burnfield-Geimer, Clark, & Schwetschenau (2010),  Civility Scale developed in 2007 by Meterko, Osatuke, Mohr, Waren & Dyrenforth (2007), Climate of civility (Ottinot, 2010)  Brief Questionaaire of norms of Civility (CNQ-B), of Walsh et al. (2012) and the Organizational Civility Scale (OCS), Clark, Landrum, & Nguyen  (2013).

Table 1. Instruments developed to measure civility and incivility

Scale

Authors

Measure

Workplace Incivility Scale (WIS)

Cortina et al. (2001)

Experiences related with negative actions during the last five years.

Workplace Incivility Scale

Burnfield, et al. (2004)

Multiple dimensions of incivility in workplace

Uncivil Workplace Behavior Questionnaire

Martine & Hine (2005)

Incivility in workplace

Civility Scale  

Meterko, et al. (2007)

Aspects of civility in workplace,  through employee qualifications about their colleagues with respect to: cooperation, teamwork, conflict resolution and the appreciation of individual differences between  coworkers and supervisor

Incivility in Healthcare Survey (IHS),

Hutton y Gates (2008)

Fecuency of incivility between the workers of health sector.

Incivility Nursing Education –INE-,

Clark, et al. (2009)

Perceptions of incivility in students and faculty.

Nursing Incivility Scale

Guidroz, et al.  (2010)

Experiencies of incivility in hospital between nurses, co-workers, doctors, direct supervisors and patients.

Climate of civility

Ottinot (2010)

Employee perceptins of how management uses policies, procedures and practices to maintain a civil workplace.

Climate of civility (CNQ-B)

Walsh et al. (2012)

Civility climate

Organizational Civility Scale (OCS),

Clark, et al.  (2013)

Lack of civility in the organizational level

As can be seen in table 1, the approaches of these instruments range from capture the individual experiences of incivility of students and/or workers in the organizational context and what surrounds them.  Likewise, six of them are developed to measure perception of incivility, two for measure climate of civility and two for measure civility.

2. Methods  

Considering the context of positive organizational studies, paying special attention to the definition  of civility and its attributes and according to the definitions proposed  by Clark & Carñoso (2008) and Pearson, et al. (2000), an initial pool of items were generated.  The intended functions of the instrument are to measure from university student’s point of view, the perceptions of faculty and administrative workers civic behaviors.  For the design of each part of the questionnaire, items were defined based on the importance criteria and representativeness of the construct to assess (Lévy y Varela, 2003).

The first draft of the instrument was delivered to review by two experts in disciplines related to the object of the study. They contributed improving the scale. A pretest to validate de items structure was done in March 2015 with a sample of 102 students of an Institution of Higher Education. After that, a focus group with 6 participants was asked to read the items and inform about their understanding of them. Following the criterion of theoretical saturation (Berg y Lune, 2014),  data was collected until no new response arose or they started to become redundant.  Items were reviewed for clarity, relevance and redundancy and were reworded as required. To make the items easier to understand, participants suggested adaptations only in the writing of them. No new dimensions or items were added to the scale.

2.1. Participants

The participants in the research were 538 students of a higher education institution in Ecuador,  59% female and 41% male, aged 17 to 59 years (M=26 years, SD=0.58). The sample can be characterized as a convenience sample. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. The questionnaire was administered in August of 2015 to students enrolled in several classes, the majority in medicine (21,20%), followed by business and economics (20%), liberal arts (17.70%),  communication (9.50%), architecture (8.20%), law (8%), systems and telecommunications (6.10%) and  tourism (4%).

2.2. Instrument

The items where theoretically derived to assess the extent to which students perceive faculty and workers civic behaviors in the University. The questionnaire has two parts: the first, aims to assess through ten items the perceptions of students about civic behaviors of faculty (EPR) ; the second, has six items and evaluates the perceptions of students about civic behaviors of white-collar workers (Schilpzand, DePater y Erez) of the institution (Appendix 1). A Likert scale is used indicating the frequency with which civic behaviors at the university they think happens in the situations described in each item (o indicates “never” and 6 “always”).

2.3. Procedure

Approval to conduct the study was obtained from the University’s institutional authorities and in coordination with deans of the different schools; a schedule was developed to apply the instrument in class.  All participants were informed about the objectives of the research and its importance, that their participation was voluntary and that all the information would be confidential.  After signing an informed consent form, the participants completed the online survey using the tool Survey Monkey. The instrument was applied from august 14 to august 22 and participants could withdraw from the survey at any time. It took about 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

2.4. Statistical Analyses

The analysis focused on the 16 items of the CBS and descriptive statistic was used to analyze and performed the data using the IBM SPSS 21 statistical package. Cronbach alpha´s coefficients and inter-item correlations coefficients were used to assess the reliability of the CBS.  To investigate the psychometric properties of a scale, the first step was to establish its conceptual dimensions using exploratory factor analysis. 

Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with structural equations modeling (Oncu) framework, performed with the LISREL 8.80 program  (Jöreskog y Sörbom, 1996), was used to test the factorial model for the CBS, using the Robust Maximum-Likelihood Estimation Method (RMLE).  The good-fit of the model was evaluated using the chi-square statistic test ( χ2),   although χ2  results have several considerations and depend on sample sizes (Hair, Black, Babin y Anderson, 2014).  Because of this problem, other group of fit indexes is suggested to be used as well (Hu y Bentler, 1999).   The normed fit index (NFI), goodness-of-fit index (GFI) and comparative fit index (CFI) respectively, were used to assess global model fit.  They usually vary between 0 and 1 and a result of 0.90 or above represent better fitting models.

 To overcome the size limitation with the data, the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) was used to estimates the overall amount of error.  It is considered that the model presents a very good fit when its value is 0.06 or less, a value of 0.08 indicates a reasonable fit and over 0.10 a bad fit  (Hu y Bentler, 1999).  In order to improve the model and considering indications about modification index and high standardized residuals (Hair et al., 2014) the model was re-specified several times and items with low factor loadings were deleted.  

3. Results

3.1. Descriptive Statistics

The means and standard deviations for the variables in the present study are presented in table 2.  

Table 2. Mean and standard deviations of items of CBS

Items

M

SD

EPR1

5,52

1,28

EPR2

5,50

1,33

EPR3

6,11

1,21

EPR4

5,87

1,30

EPR5

5,54

1,43

EPR6

5,41

1,43

EPR7

4,83

1,59

EPR8

5,80

1,25

EPR9

6,30

1,03

EPR0

5,65

1,36

EPA1

4,95

1,73

EPA2

4,98

1,70

EPA3

5,56

1,58

EPA4

5,10

1,73

EPA5

5,49

1,63

EPA6

4,98

1,80

3.2. Exploratory Factor Analysis

An exploratory factorial analysis was performed to the sub-scales EPR and EPA and some criteria were considerate to evaluate the viability and pertinence of the scale.  For that, the Kaiser-Meyer Olkin (KMO) index and the Barlett´s spericity test were considerate and both results were adequate and significant.  The KMO was 0.95, showing that is pertinent to do a factorial analysis using the input of the correlations matrix.  As it was expected, the analysis of principal components of the scale using oblimax rotation reported a two factor structure and 68.12% of explained variance.   According to the results showed in table 3, the factor loadings that are above 0.60 explain the pertinence of the item to the factor (Hair et al., 2014), indicating that the data have the characteristics to do a confirmatory factorial analysis.

Table 3 Matrix of principal components

Items

Components

1

2

EPR1

,68

EPR2

,71

EPR3

,79

EPR4

,75

EPR5

,74

EPR6

,77

EPR7

,66

EPR8

,74

EPR9

,69

EPR0

,75

EPA1

,82

EPA2

,83

EPA3

,78

EPA4

,81

EPA5

,77

EPA6

,84

The reliability of the sub-scales was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. The specific Cronbach’s alpha values for each sub-scale were EPR (α = 0.93), EPA (α = 0.94), and global scale (α = .95) showing very good scores for the scale (Hair et al., 2014).

3.3. Confirmatory Factor Analysis

To obtain the construct validity of the CBS, a confirmatory factor analysis was performed using as an input the asymptotic covariance matrix with the Robust Method (Satorra y Bentler, 2001; Satorra y Bentler, 1990). The present study permits a deeper depuration of the scales and its dimensionality (Anderson y Gerbing, 1988).  The analysis was developed with the first model that was established in the AFE, which contained ten (10) items for the sub-scale EPR and six (6) items for subscale EPA.  The following are the initial results of fit indexes: χ 2 = 332.24; Gl 89; P-Value 0.00; GFI = 0.89; CFI = 0.99; RMSEA = 0.07; NFI = 0.98; y SRMR 0.04.  Based on the modification indexes and on theoretical considerations, the model was re-specified (Jöreskog y Sörbom, 1996), improving the fit significantly. Table 4 presents the contrasted models and fit indexes.

Table 4. Fit indexes of models contrasted.

Modelo

Χ2

Gl

Χ2/Gl

P.value

GFI

CFI

RMSEA

NFI

NNFI

SRMR

AGFI

M1

332,24

89

3,73

0.00

0,89

0,99

0,07

0,98

0,98

0,04

0,83

M2

273,4

76

3,60

0.00

0,90

0,99

0,07

0,98

0,98

0,03

0,84

M3

179,73

53

3,39

0.00

0,91

0,99

0,06

0,99

0,99

0,03

0,86

M4

93,18

49

1,90

0.00

0,96

0.99

0,04

0,99

0,99

0,02

0,93

Note:  Χ2=Chi-Square; Gl = degree of freedom; GFI = goodness-of-fit index;
CFI = comparative fit index,  RMSEA=  root mean square error of approximation;
NFI = normed fit index;  NNFI = non-normed fit index
SRMR= standarized root mean square residual AGFI= adjusted goodness of fit index

3.4. Reliability and validity  

Reliability measures derived from the confirmatory factor analysis are the composite reliability which assessed the internal consistency of all the items related with its sub-scale. A value above 0.70 indicates a good reliability. 

Convergent validity represents the common variance among items and its construct, it means that a group of items represents one construct  (Hair et al., 2014).  Fornell & Larcker  (1981) suggested the use of average variance extracted as criteria and that the value must be above 0.50.  Convergent validity was determined by examining the t-test of the factor loadings of each latent variable. A latent variable must explain a substantial part of the variance of each item (at least 50%). This factor loading must be above 0.60 and the critic value of t 1, 96 for P0.05 (Hair et al., 2014).   Table 5 presents the factor loadings items, t-values, composite reliability and average variance extracted.   The factor loading, reliability and average variance extracted of the sub-scales were high in both cases.

Table 5.  Factor loading  λ,  composite reliability  (FC),
t-values and average variance extracted  (AVE)

Sub-Scale

Item

λ

t

FC

AVE

Faculty

EPR1

0,656

12,499

0,93

0,58

EPR2

0,728

15,720

EPR4

0,777

17,314

EPR5

0,782

19,142

EPR6

0,814

21,813

EPR8

0,767

16,192

EPR9

0,701

10,987

EPR0

0,845

21,427

White-collar workers

EPA1

0,885

25,960

0,92

0,72

EPA2

0,895

30,873

EPA3

0,832

21,257

EPA4

0,874

28,447

EPA5

0,742

17,228

Discriminant validity is the extent to which each sub-scale is different from other sub-scales in the same instrument and that no items contributes significantly to more than one scale.  One of the criteria that researchers proposed to measure the discriminant validity is the test of the variance extracted (Hair et al., 2014).  As shown in table 6,  the discriminant validity is demonstrated because de squared correlations do not exceed the average extracted variance.

Table 6  Discriminant Validity Test

Average extracted variance vs. Squared correlations

Faculty

White-collar workers

0,58

0,72

Faculty

0,58

1

0,49

White-collar workers

0,72

0,49

1

 

4. Discussion

The current research is the first development of a Spanish civic behavior scale and its validation in Ecuador. The study provides information  of the initial development of  the CBS with data obtained from a sambple of  538 university students in Ecuador.  The scale conforms  two sub-scales that measures civic behaviors of faculty and white-collar workers in a higher education institution.  A confirmary factor analysis provide evidence of reliability and validity of the items.  The following are the final results of fit indexes: χ 2 = 93.18;  Gl 49; P-Value 0.00; GFI = 0.96; CFI = 0.99; RMSEA = 0.04; NFI = 0.99; y SRMR 0.02. The reliability of the CBS sub escales is satisfactory and  the values of alpha for the total sample are adecuate (Hair et al., 2014).

Education administrators can used the scale in order to evaluate the perceived civic behaviors of falculty and/or white-collar workers in educations institutions.  The analysis of data would permit identify problem areas and could help them to develop improvements.   Researchers can use  this scale as a part of an overall research design and evaluate the influence of  civic behaviors with other organizational constructs.

Although the results are new contributions to positive organizational studies and to the civic behaviors literature,  there are serveral limitations which suggests areas for future  research.  The sample was from only one institution, further studies should include other types of organizations and larger multi-occupational groups.  This study focus on perceived civic behaviors from the student’s point of view. However, civic behaviors involve all members of the organization and should  be examine also from the enployee’s  point of view.  Also, the translation and validations of the scale in other languages and cultures could be considered.

In summary, this paper describes the initial validation of a civic behavior scale.  Because the scale captures the source from which students perceive behaviors from faculty and workers, the CBS can provide valuable information to education institutions. Items, comprising the Spanish version of  CBS show adequate psychometric propierties and contribute positively to the organizational studies literature, giving  a new scale to measure the perceptions of civic behaviors of faculty and white collar workers in a higher education institution.

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Appendix 1

(CBS) Comportamientos cívicos en las organizaciones
Instrumento para ser aplicado a estudiantes

Cód.

En esta Universidad los profesores:

Nunca

Casi nunca

Algunas veces

Regular-
mente

Bastantes veces

Casi siempre

Siempre

EPR1

Llegan a tiempo a clases

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR2

Están preparados para impartir la clase

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR3

Permiten que los estudiantes participen de la clase

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR4

Escuchan con respeto las opiniones de los estudiantes

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR5

Propician espacios de debate positivos  en la clase

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR6

Retroalimentan oportunamente a los estudiantes

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR7

Entregan notas a tiempo

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR8

Se relacionan cortésmente con los estudiantes

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR9

Miran  al  auditorio (alumnos)  cuando da la clase

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPR0

Se esfuerzan o se preocupa  por  crear un ambiente agradable en la clase

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

Cód.

 

En esta Universidad los directivos y el personal administrativo

Nunca

Casi nunca

Algunas veces

Regularmente

Bastantes veces

Casi siempre

Siempre

EPA1

Escuchan con atención mis requerimientos

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPA2

Atienden oportunamente las solicitudes académicas

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPA3

Atienden oportunamente las solicitudes financieras o administrativas

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPA4

Responden a los estudiantes en forma adecuada (con respeto)

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPA5

Saludan a los estudiantes cortésmente

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

EPA6

Aconsejan o asesoran  a los estudiantes cuando tienen problemas

0

1

2

3

4

5

6


1. Estudiante Doctorado en Ciencias de la Dirección Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá-Colombia. Directora de Postgrado Universidad Espíritu Santo-Ecuador  aportalanza@uees.edu.ec

2. Profesora Titular, Escuela de Administración,  Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, merlin.grueso@urosario.edu.co.

3. CBS is the acronym of the Spanish version of the scale. For a better understanding in this study CBS will be used to refer to the scale.


Revista ESPACIOS. ISSN 0798 1015
Vol. 38 (Nº 28) Año 2017

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