TitleAn Assessment of the Magnitude of Effect Sizes: Evidence from 30 Years of Meta-Analysis in Management
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPaterson, T, Harms, PD, Steel, P, Credé, M
JournalJournal of Leadership and Organizational Studies
Date Published2016

This study compiles information from more than 250 meta-analyses conducted over the past 30 years to assess the magnitude of reported effect sizes in the OB/HR literatures. Our analysis revealed an average uncorrected effect of r = .227 and an average corrected effect of ρ = .278 (SDρ = .140). Based upon the distribution of effect sizes we report, Cohen’s effect size benchmarks are not appropriate for use in OB/HR research as they over-estimate the actual breakpoints between small, medium, and large effects. We also assessed the average statistical power reported in meta-analytic conclusions and found substantial evidence that the majority of primary studies in the management literature are statistically underpowered. Finally, we investigated the impact of the file drawer problem in meta-analyses and our findings indicate that the file drawer problem is not a significant concern for meta-analysts. We conclude by discussing various implications of this study for OB/HR researchers.