Method variance and marker variables: A review and comprehensive cfa marker technique

Larry J. Williams, Nathan Hartman, Flavia Cavazotte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

970 Scopus citations


Lindell and Whitney introduced a partial correlation technique, now referred to as the correlational marker technique, for controlling method variance using a marker variable that is theoretically unrelated to substantive variables in a study. This article (a) first reviews their specific analysis plan, and then (b) reviews empirical studies that have followed all or part of this plan. The authors also (c) describe a structural equation method that has been applied to the analysis of marker variables and (d) review empirical studies using this analytical approach. Next, the authors (e) develop a comprehensive confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) marker technique analysis plan, and (f) demonstrate this plan with an empirical example. Finally, the authors (g) describe how marker variables can be examined along with other method variance processes, (h) discuss the important role of theory in the critical step of selecting marker variables, and (i) discuss assumptions and limitations of the Comprehensive CFA Marker Technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-514
Number of pages38
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • construct validation procedures
  • method variance
  • quantitative research
  • quantitative: structural equation modeling
  • reliability and validity


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