Experience Sampling Methodology: A Systematic Review and Discussion for Organizational Research


  • Ozge Can




experience sampling, event-sampling, dynamic processes, within-person studies, repeated measures, organizational research


In organizational research, growing attention has been given to the dynamic nature of workplace relationships and how such dynamic processes shape key behavioural outcomes. Experience sampling methodology (ESM) brings more opportunity than any other research option to examine such fluctuations and relevant causal relationships. ESM can be described as a quantitative method which allows individuals to assess discrete evaluative states on multiple events by combining three distinct elements; person, variables and occasion. Despite its increasing prevalence and popularity, however, there has been only a few attempts to investigate the most appropriate design, measurement and analysis choices for experience sampling data. Even though ESM has been utilized in organizational research for some time, systematic investigations regarding how these issues have been addressed and how the method has been applied to specific organizational topics are limited. This study provides a systematic and critical assessment of the use of ESM in current organizational research (2010‑2020) by reviewing a random sample of 50 ESM studies indexed in ISI Web of Science with the aim of identifying the current state of practice. The selected studies were analysed based on several methodological aspects including the type of ESM protocol applied, sample characteristics, data sources, specified interval and total duration of data collection, structure and properties of designated measures, analytic strategy, and the research model to be tested. Findings show that organization studies vary considerably based on how they design and implement ESM. Moreover, despite the availability of good practices, many studies fail to attain recommended standards about sample size, data collection procedures, data characteristics and measurement quality. As such, this paper offers several insights regarding how time‑based within‑person frameworks can be improved in future studies to account for dynamic organizational phenomena.



23 Feb 2021