Original Research

Explicating the South African Psychological Ownership Questionnaire’s confirmatory factor analysis model fit: A Bayesian structural equation modelling approach

Pieter Schaap
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 45 | a1643 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v45i0.1643 | © 2019 Pieter Schaap | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 February 2019 | Published: 20 November 2019

About the author(s)

Pieter Schaap, Department of Human Resources Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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Orientation: The rigid application of conventional confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) techniques, the overreliance on global model fit indices and the dismissal of the chi-square statistic appear to have an adverse impact on the research of psychological ownership measures.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to explicate the South African Psychological Ownership Questionnaire’s (SAPOS’s) CFA model fit using the Bayesian structural equation modelling (BSEM) technique.

Motivation for the study: The need to conduct this study derived from a renewed awareness of the incorrect use of the chi-square statistic and global fit indices of CFA in social sciences research.

Research approach/design and method: The SAPOS measurement model fit was explicated on two study samples consisting, respectively, of 712 and 254 respondents who worked in various organisations in South Africa. A Bayesian approach to CFA was used to evaluate if local model misspecifications were substantive and justified the rejection of the SAPOS model.

Main findings: The findings suggested that a rejection of the SAPOS measurement model based on the results of the chi-square statistic and global fit indices would be unrealistic and unfounded in terms of substantive test theory.

Practical/managerial implications: BSEM appeared to be a valuable diagnostic tool to pinpoint and evaluate local CFA model misspecifications and their effect on a measurement model.

Contribution/value-add: This study showed the importance of considering local misspecifications rather than only relying the chi-square statistic and global fit indices when evaluating model fit.


Psychological ownership; Bayesian structural equation modelling; confirmatory factor analysis; CFA model fit indices; CFA model misspecifications; small variance priors.


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