Internal consistency and reliability of a questionnaire assessing organizational innovation in two schools of dentistry.

Amid I. Ismail, Robert F. Belli, Woosung Sohn, Loren Toussaint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to test the internal consistency and test-retest reliability of a questionnaire designed to assess the status of and factors associated with organizational innovation in schools of dentistry. The questionnaire included thirty-three questions that assessed the following six domains: innovation/environment, innovation/leadership, innovation/personal, feedback/environment, feedback/personal, and feedback/interpersonal. A seventh domain, evidence-based learning, assessed the reaction of dental faculty to a scenario where the scientific evidence found a current treatment to be ineffective in improving the health status of patients. The questionnaire was mailed three times to a systematic sample of fifty-six dental faculty working at a research-intensive dental school (RES) and all thirty-nine dental faculty working at a dental school where the emphasis is on clinical education (CL). The two U.S. dental schools had similar numbers of students; however, they differed significantly in their research portfolios. The response rate was 70.5 percent. The seven domains had alpha coefficients ranging between 0.60 and 0.89. The test-retest reliability for the seven domains ranged between 0.65 and 0.92. Dental faculty of the RES school had significantly higher average scores than faculty of the CL school on innovation/leadership, innovation/environment, feedback/environment, and feedback/personal domains. Regression analyses found no differences between the two schools in innovation/environment scores. The innovation/environment scores were significantly associated with innovation/leadership, feedback/environment, feedback/interpersonal, and age. The evidence-based learning domain was negatively associated with the innovation/environment domain, indicating that faculty who were willing to abandon teaching of a treatment found to be ineffective felt that their school environment was not highly innovative. In conclusion, this preliminary study found that the questionnaire reliably assessed six domains representing innovation and feedback. This preliminary study also found that an innovative environment in two schools of dentistry is associated with presence of leaders who promote change and innovation, an environment that encourages feedback, and faculty members who value interpersonal feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-477
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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