TitleGetting Explicit about the Implicit: A Taxonomy of Implicit Measures and Guide for their Use in Organizational Research
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsUhlmann, E, Leavitt, K, Menges, J, Koopman, J, Howe, M, Johnson, R
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Date Published2012

Accumulated evidence from social and cognitive psychology suggests that many behaviors are driven by processes operating outside of awareness, and an array of implicit measures to capture such processes have been developed. Despite their potential application, implicit measures have received relatively modest attention within the organizational sciences, due in part to barriers to entry and uncertainty about appropriate use of available measures. The current paper is intended to serve as an implicit measurement “toolkit” for organizational scholars, and as such our goals are fourfold. First, we present theory critical to implicit measures, highlighting advantages of capturing implicit processes in organizational research. Second, we present a functional taxonomy of implicit measures (i.e., accessibility-based, association-based, and interpretation-based measures) and explicate assumptions and appropriate use of each. Third, we discuss key criteria to help researchers identify specific implicit measures most appropriate for their own work, including a discussion of principles for the psychometric validation of implicit measures. Fourth, we conclude by identifying avenues for impactful “next generation” research within the organizational sciences that would benefit from the use of implicit measures.