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What are latent and manifest variables? Latent variables are the unobservable theoretical constructs that we has researchers study. Manifest variables are the observable indicators of the latent variables.
We as researchers study the latent variables, but we can only measure the manifest variables that we can observe with our 5 senses.
Here is an example. How do I know that my dog actually loves me? I cannot observe the latent variable of love, and I will never be able to with a dog. However, we can observe the manifest variables that present themselves. She wags her tail, pants and comes nears me to get attention when I am around. These are all manifest indicators of the unobservable.
This happens all the time within research on organizations. How do you measure risk and uncertainty? How do you measure innovation? How do we measure expectations? We have to measure manifest variables that are often very imperfect.
It is often the case that is were we can make a large contribution to the literature by looking at this divide between manifest and latent variables.
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David Maslach is a research professor of entrepreneurship, innovation, and business strategy, I discuss topics, such as behavioral science, strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and apply these to my new peer proofreading and editing platform. Topics include the sharing economy, altruism, investing in technology, starting a business, and bounded rationality. My favorite videos pertain to incentives, goal setting, and learning from failure to drive behaviors such as weight loss, stopping telemarketers, creating novel technologies, and creating new movements.
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