Evaluating Equivalence and Confirming the Null in the Organizational Sciences

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10 Scopus citations


Testing and rejecting the null hypothesis is a routine part of quantitative research, but relatively few organizational researchers prepare for confirming the null or, similarly, testing a hypothesis of equivalence (e.g., that two group means are practically identical). Both theory and practice could benefit from greater attention to this capability. Planning ahead for equivalence testing also provides helpful input on assuring sufficient statistical power in a study. This article provides background on these ideas plus guidance on the use of two frequentist and two Bayesian techniques for testing a hypothesis of no nontrivial effect. The guidance highlights some faulty strategies and how to avoid them. An organizationally relevant example illustrates how to put these techniques into practice. A simulation compares the four techniques to support recommendations of when and how to use each one. A nine-step process table describes separate analytical tracks for frequentist and Bayesian equivalence techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-512
Number of pages22
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Bayesian methods
  • quantitative research
  • research design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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