History and use of relative importance indices in organizational research

Jeff W. Johnson, James M. LeBreton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

657 Scopus citations


The search for a meaningful index of the relative importance of predictors in multiple regression has been going on for years. This type of index is often desired when the explanatory aspects of regression analysis are of interest. The authors define relative importance as the proportionate contribution each predictor makes to R 2, considering both the unique contribution of each predictor by itself and its incremental contribution when combined with the other predictors. The purposes of this article are to introduce the concept of relative importance to an audience of researchers in organizational behavior and industrial/organizational psychology and to update previous reviews of relative importance indices. To this end, the authors briefly review the history of research on predictor importance in multiple regression and evaluate alternative measures of relative importance. Dominance analysis and relative weights appear to be the most successful measures of relative importance currently available. The authors conclude by discussing how importance indices can be used in organizational research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-257
Number of pages20
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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