What is Method Variance and How Can We Cope With It? A Panel Discussion

M. T. Brannick
David CHAN, Singapore Management University
J. M. Conway
C. E. Lance
P. E. Spector


A panel of experts describes the nature of, and remedies for, method variance. In an attempt to help the reader understand the nature of method variance, the authors describe their experiences with method variance both on the giving and the receiving ends of the editorial review process, as well as their interpretation of other reviewers’ comments. They then describe methods of data analysis and research design, which have been used for detecting and eliminating the effects of method variance. Most methods have some utility, but none prevent the researcher from making faulty inferences. The authors conclude with suggestions for resolving disputes about method variance.