Measurement in marketing

Hans Baumgartner, Bert Weijters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We distinguish three senses of the concept of measurement (measurement as the selection of observable indicators of theoretical concepts, measurement as the collection of data from respondents, and measurement as the formulation of measurement models linking observable indicators to latent factors representing the theoretical concepts), and we review important issues related to measurement in each of these senses. With regard to measurement in the first sense, we distinguish the steps of construct definition and item generation, and we review scale development efforts reported in three major marketing journals since 2000 to illustrate these steps and derive practical guidelines. With regard to measurement in the second sense, we look at the survey process from the respondent's perspective and discuss the goals that may guide participants' behavior during a survey, the cognitive resources that respondents devote to answering survey questions, and the problems that may occur at the various steps of the survey process. Finally, with regard to measurement in the third sense, we cover both reflective and formative measurement models, and we explain how researchers can assess the quality of measurement in both types of measurement models and how they can ascertain the comparability of measurements across different populations of respondents or conditions of measurement. We also provide a detailed empirical example of measurement analysis for reflective measurement models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-400
Number of pages123
JournalFoundations and Trends in Marketing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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