Sociology Index


Operationalization in quantitative research is the act of specifying exactly how a concept will be measured. Before measuring the concept of ‘violent crime’ a researcher must decide what are indictors of violent crime and then specify how these indicators will be counted.

Examining how a researcher has operationalized a concept is the first place to look for weakness in the research design is operationalization. For instance, many would argue that assaults level 1 (the lowest level of assault) contain many acts which many would not really see as indicators of the concept of ‘violence’. The United States government, for example, does not include this kind of assault in their measure of crime.

Operationalization of Criminal Law and Policy in Local Law Enforcement: Organizational Permeability and the Policing of Hate Crime - Jenness, Valerie. and Grattet, Ryken
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.
Abstract: We find that socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic heterogeneity, and the presence of human rights commission all affect what we call the “permeability” of the local law enforcement agency, which, in turn, affects the likelihood an agency will have a general order pertaining to hate crime.

Our analysis of the factors associated with a community-organizational nexus situates policy operationalization as a central intermediary mechanism through which abstract law is translated into concrete enforcement practices. We conclude by arguing that understanding the contours of policy operationalization requires devoting analytic attention not only to “law-on-the-books” and the “law-in-action,” but to the behavior of the “law-in-between” as well.

The operationalization of race and ethnicity concepts in medical classification systems: issues of validity and utility - Peter J. Aspinall, Centre for Health Services Studies, George Allen Wing, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent.
Health Informatics Journal, Vol. 11, No. 4, 259-274 (2005)
This article looks at the operationalization of race and ethnicity concepts in medical classification systems, notably the main bibliographical databases of MEDLINE and EMBASE.

Exploring the Dialectics Between Abstract Rules and Concrete Facts: Operationalizing Principles and Cases in Engineering Ethics - Bruce McLaren and Kevin Ashley, University of Pittsburgh Intelligent Systems Program
Abstract: In our study of a national engineering society's set of engineering ethics cases decided by an ethical review board, we have identified a number of operationalization techniques which help to fill the gap between abstract principles. Goal is to develop a computational model that is capable of retrieving and applying operationalizations for the purpose of making accurate predictions.

Operationalizing "Globalization" in Empirical Sociology - Salvatore Babones, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Abstract: This paper offers a fresh approach to conceptualizing and operationalizing globalization in empirical sociological research in ways that are consistent with major theoretical treatments of the term.
A comparative analysis of five important international connectivity indicators like trade, investment, remittances, tourist arrivals, international phone calls, confirms the validity of this approach. The globalization levels and rankings arrived at here are shown to have greater construct and criterion validity than those for globalization as typically operationalized in the literature.

Measure for Measure: Concept Operationalization and the Trade Interdependence-Conflict Debate - Erik Gartzke, Department of Political Science, Columbia University, Quan Li, Department of Political Science, The Pennsylvania State University,
Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 40, No. 5, 553-571 (2003)
While most quantitative analysis studies find a negative relationship between economic interdependence and interstate disputes, research by Barbieri finds that interdependence precipitates conflict. We show that alternative variables constructions are sufficient to account for the discrepant findings. A simple formal equivalence unites respective operationalization of dyadic interdependence used by Oneal & Russett and Barbieri with the consensus perspective of monadic trade openness.

A dynamic operationalization of Sen's capability approach Marco Grasso
Abstract: The main purpose of the paper is to explore the possibility of using system dynamics to operationalization of Sen's framework.

A Bayesian operationalization of the resource-based view
Abstract: An attempt is made to explain that the gap between the theoretical utility and the practical utility of the resource-based view (RBV) could be reduced by operationalization of the theory more consistently with Penrose's original framework.