Psychometric assessment of a scale to measure bonding workplace social capital

PLoS One. 2017 Jun 29;12(6):e0179461. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179461. eCollection 2017.


Objectives: Workplace social capital (WSC) has attracted increasing attention as an organizational and psychosocial factor related to worker health. This study aimed to assess the psychometric properties of a newly developed WSC scale for use in work environments, where bonding social capital is important.

Methods: We assessed the psychometric properties of a newly developed 6-item scale to measure bonding WSC using two data sources. Participants were 1,650 randomly selected workers who completed an online survey. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted. We examined the item-item and item-total correlations, internal consistency, and associations between scale scores and a previous 8-item measure of WSC. We evaluated test-retest reliability by repeating the survey with 900 of the respondents 2 weeks later. The overall scale reliability was quantified by an intraclass coefficient and the standard error of measurement. We evaluated convergent validity by examining the association with several relevant workplace psychosocial factors using a dataset from workers employed by an electrical components company (n = 2,975).

Results: The scale was unidimensional. The item-item and item-total correlations ranged from 0.52 to 0.78 (p < 0.01) and from 0.79 to 0.89 (p < 0.01), respectively. Internal consistency was good (Cronbach's α coefficient: 0.93). The correlation with the 8-item scale indicated high criterion validity (r = 0.81) and the scale showed high test-retest reliability (r = 0.74, p < 0.01). The intraclass coefficient and standard error of measurement were 0.74 (95% confidence intervals: 0.71-0.77) and 4.04 (95% confidence intervals: 1.86-6.20), respectively. Correlations with relevant workplace psychosocial factors showed convergent validity.

Conclusions: The results confirmed that the newly developed WSC scale has adequate psychometric properties.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics*
  • Social Capital*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology*
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The present study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Research in a Proposed Research Area) 2009–2013 (No. 4102-21119001) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, a KAKENHI Grant Number 26253042 from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and a Health and Labour Sciences Research Grant 2015–2017 (H27-Rodo-Ippan-004) from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.