Journal of Education and Psychology

Vol. 30 No. 1 , Pages 1 - 35 , 2007

Hierarchical Linear Modeling of Contextual Effects: An Example of Organizational Climate of Creativity at Schools and Teacher’s Creative Performance (Article written in Chinese)

Hawjeng CHIOU & Fur-hsing WEN


The data collected in social research frequently involve multilevel or cluster structure. One of the features of multilevel data is that the predictive variables in the individual level could be aggregated into the group level, served as a contextual variable. In turn, contextual effects, defined as the net effect of a group analytic variable after having controlled for the effect of the same variable on the individual level, may confound with other predictive variables in the model. The purpose of present paper is to clarify the significance of the contextual effects in the social research. A dataset based on a nation-wise survey on organizational climate of creativity, consisted of 688 high-school teachers at 22 high-schools, was taken for examining the contextual effects. Traditional analytic strategies such as ANOVA and multiple regression along with hierarchical linear modeling were applied. Results indicated that contextual variables on the group level have significantly confounding effects on the parameter estimates of predictive variables in the models, resulting in the different conclusions. Violation of the assumption of homogeneity of regression homogerenality may also affect the analysis of contextual effects. The present study proved that the HLM approach could be used to explore the contextual effects. However, further study on the basic technical issue of HLM for applying to the examination of contextual effects is expected. It is noted that the methodological issues of HLM have to be emphasized while the contextual effects been in interest.

Keywords: assumption of homogeneity of regression; contextual effects; contextual variables; hierarchical linear modeling; organizational climate of creativity

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